Watering our grass

(No, this isn’t a follow up to the situation with the neighbors who told the police, city council and mayor that we’ve neglected our lawn for three years.)

I was already planning this post when Lindsey commented on the post earlier this week about whether the grass is always greener:

My dad says something along the same lines, “If the grass looks greener on the other side . . . (dramatic pause) water your grass.” I’ve always loved that saying:)

That’s exactly what I wanted to talk about today. We’ve alluded to this conversation before, but what do you to water your grass? What do you do to put things into perspective, to remember how much you love this life you’ve chosen?

We started with some steps to fulfillment in motherhood (and I’m still working on posting about all of them!), but I’d love to hear what you do or think about to keep yourself happy (or just sane).

Lindsey’s comment can start us off:

. . . . I can’t believe how much more I’ve grown as a sahm, than while I was at college learning and working. And heck, my kids like me best of anyone; I don’t want to go spend my day with people who don’t like me as much as they do. Does wonders for my self-esteem:)

For me, watering my grass is as easy as making the conscious effort to look for what is good in my life instead of focusing on what I don’t have.

I think most of us find (choose!) fulfillment in the little things.

These days, those are things like Rebecca’s hip-swaying dancing, her first signs and words (I swear today she said “dance”!), her snuggles and her toddling first few steps. Not to be outdone, Hayden melts my heart when he lays his head on my shoulder and asks for kisses; when he lays on his bed, throws open his arms and calls for hugs (and giggles the whole time); calling out every letter he can identify (“H for Haydie! M for Marty! Y for Cougars!”); the way his little legs seem to get longer every day.

Beyond the little things, I also think taking “me” time every day helps—even (especially!) if it’s just a nap.

How do you water your grass? What do you do to enjoy the present and the little things? What do you do or think about to keep yourself happy?

Photo by Aaron Vidal

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7 thoughts on “Watering our grass

  1. Good questions. This week I’ve made a conscious effort to focus on Gwen when she is awake. You know, play with her rather than sit and read or try to do dishes while she plays (aka whines) on her own. It has made a world of difference. For one thing, because she is genuinely happiest when I am interacting with her, so there is less whining and tugging on clothing while I’m trying to multitask (which totally stresses me out–I mean ridiculously!)and since I don’t have as much taxing my crying quota, my patience level has increased. The hard part is that only leaves nap time to get things done. I’m hoping though, that as she comes to anticipate time with me consistently, she won’t be so clingy and needy when I really DO need to get something else done because I will have already filled up her love bucket. We’re still working on that. :) Right now I’m just enjoying playing “Where’s Mommy?”, hiding behind couches/chairs/doors/pianos, and listening to her excited squeals as she crawls over to “find” me.

  2. What a great example! (And can I just add that you’re SOOO not alone—I do the same thing with my kids, trying to do my own thing and then getting annoyed with them when the thing that makes them happiest in the world is just playing with them, and they just want to see Mama.) It does take time for them to get that yes, I will give you my undivided attention for blocks of time.

    But playing with them, although it doesn’t “feel” productive, has so many benefits—and when it comes down to it, really is one of our big jobs. I’m working really hard to be “present” with my kids (tough when you work from home and are working on a novel).

  3. I do that, too! And I hate the point of realization that I’m doing it and it’s my own darn fault. It’s so hard to give them undivided attention and I don’t know why. I’m working on it, too, but good gracious it’s difficult.

    And thanks for using what I said in your post. Makes me feel like maybe I can put together a coherent thought, if only rarely:)

  4. What a wonderful post! I’d never heard the advice before to ‘water your grass.’ Excellent.

    To water my grass when I start to get discouraged or bored or something – I most often need to get myself organized. Order creates peace in my household, but more often than not, we’re a mess of chaos. When I put aside the computer or novels or TV watching in the evening after kids are in bed and DO something useful, I always feel better the next day. More able to sit and play with the kids to the exclusion of all else, because there’s not a giant mess looming around us.

    Also, I look across the street at the elementary/middle school aged kids of our neighbors. I see them playing outside, hopping in the car to go to school events, taking bike rides together as a family – and I’m reminded that these toddler days of craziness are not forever. They’ll shift and change and I shouldn’t worry too much about every little difficulty.

    (Oh, I’m here from Elizabeth Esther, by the way. Great post!)

  5. Just came here from Elizabeth Esther, and I wanted to tell you how much I loved this post. Water your grass. That’s great advice!

    For us, I think the key to a happy day is to get outside for fresh air and family playtime right after breakfast. After that, my kids (who are 4-years and 1-year old) are sweet and snuggly and cooperative for the rest of the day. Sometimes I forget and try to cram housework or other chores into those early hours and I always regret it. We need that early ramble to help us really engage with one another and the day.

    Thanks for the great post! This is one I’m certain to remember!

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