Confession #143: Sometimes I Just Don’t Feel Like It

12527678_961329197899_515934374_n“Ugh!” she grumbled as she over-dramatically shoveled her chair around and slammed open her math workbook. “Mom I just can’t. I don’t feel like doing all this work,” she continued on and placed her head on the table, refusing to pick up her pencil to begin her work. And then she began to cry. Not the serious I’m sad and need some lovin’ cry, but the if I cry maybe Mom will feel sorry for me and tell me I only have to do one page of work instead of two. You know the one.

Awesome, I thought. It’s going to be one of those days. And it was.

As the school year has progressed, so has my children’s workload. The 10 problems we used to do each day in math are now more like 30. Cursive takes way longer than print. And our 20 minutes of quiet reading time often turns into 60 because my children are incapable of sitting in the same building and not talking to each other.

The struggle is real ya’ll.

Lately I’ve been trying to take advantage of these moments, using them to teach my kids that in life, almost daily, you will have to do stuff you just don’t like doing. And although that may not seem fun, it is okay.

In attempt to explain, I once told them that I didn’t actually like getting up and making them breakfast every morning, but yet I still do it. They responded by saying, “But you are a mom. Breakfast is what you do.” “Well, yes,” I replied. “And math is what you do.”

They didn’t particularly like that answer.

But as frustrated as I get with my kids sometimes, I have to admit, I get where they are coming from because I, too, have those days. Those days when you wake up in the morning and think, “I just don’t feel like it.” And by “it” I mean anything. Like making three meals a day for the family, homeschooling, catching up on emails, walking to work, or even getting dressed for that matter.

Surely I am not the only one out there with this problem. If I am, well, YIKES! But chances are you know exactly what I’m talking about. Because this isn’t a missionary thing or a Haiti fatigue thing either, it’s a human thing. Or at least I am hoping it is anyway.

As adults, it is easy to take the “I don’t feel like it” days and hit the snooze button, binge watch yet another Netflix original series, or eat junk food for dinner. My kids, on the other hand, don’t have such freedom- meaning I make them do what they don’t want to do even when they don’t want to do it. And lately, that has got me thinking. Perhaps I should better practice what I preach. Maybe I should learn to better do the things I don’t feel like doing either.

So I’ve been trying- trying to do the things I don’t feel like doing- trying to be an example to my kids. And today, I thought I’d share with you what’s been helping me so maybe it can help you too.

Three things you can do when you just don’t feel like it:

  1. Don’t feel guilty– This is the most important. Don’t feel guilty that sometimes you don’t feel like (fill in the blank). You aren’t a bad mom or a bad employee or whatever. It’s normal.
  1. Change things up- Sometimes all it takes is a change in routine or settings to get your mind refocused. We do this in school all the time. When the work looks daunting and they want to give up before they even begin, I get my kids out of their chairs and away from the table. It truly is amazing how much their attitude changes just by letting them curl up on the couch next to our dog or lay on the yoga mat as they do their work. Don’t be afraid to change things up in your grown-up life as well. Take a new scenic route to work, try a new recipe, or listen to some new music while mopping your house. Whatever it takes.
  1. Choose to do it anyway, with a smile– Most often, your attitude is a choice. Waking up on the wrong side of the bed just isn’t a thing. Yesterday morning I really, really didn’t want to do school. What’s one day? Skipping was tempting. I thought about it for a good long while. But then I made the choice, and did it with a smile. And you know what? I actually had a really fun time teaching yesterday.

So there you have it. Nothing magical. Just practical. Hope it helps you do something you just don’t feel like doing today.

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