So, I set up a lovely Waldorfy home when we moved here. Not all the way like waldorfmama or like on any of the other pretty blogs out there, but close enough for my own comfort level.
Somewhere along the line, we've backslid horribly. I mean, my son has a Superman comforter for goodness sake, and DD has a Tink one. I know it shouldn't all be about materialism, but it's part of it. They have lots of books, which I'm OK with to a point, because I have a lot of them myself and I'd rather them tear theirs up than mine.
They tend to stick with art stuff but my mom keeps buying them all sorts of Crayola weirdo kits which I feel compelled to let them use because she's SO excited about giving them. (Plus I liked art sets as a kid too, but they're way too young to get that part and they just make a mess.) We don't do a whole lot of media (every few weeks they watch some DVD's, but that's pretty rare). I do have the computer on in the living room though, it's the only place in the house it will logistically work, and it's on most of the day so I can keep in touch with people I need to keep in touch with for school, work, etc. They're always trying to get on it, and why not, after all I'm on and off it the whole day. So I succumbed and got them a Thomas game they can play every few days for 10 or so minutes. They love it and are always asking for more.
I found that wooden toys are not going to work in this house. They had a lovely wooden kitchen that they d-e-s-t-r-o-y-e-d in a matter of weeks and then hurt themselves with it. They now have a plastic one that they adore. Wooden toys get used to clobber one another with or get thrown around or just plain old broken. So, plastic is safer. (Neither of them are big on cloth.)
Food, we used to eat whole food prepared together... now I'm so lazy in that department that whatever goes. Takeout, sure, why not. Frozen tater tots? Go at 'em. An apple here, an apple there, that's enough, right? And we used to make bread every day until that great French bakery opened up down the street... You get the picture. One thing led to another and now I barely recognize our diet.
They do love to play pretends, and sing songs, and verses, and play outside, and such.
To make matters worse, their father moved out lately (well that's not the bad part) and when we go over there to visit him (he doesn't come here) all he does is park them in front of his HUGE, and I mean HUGE TV with some Netflix on Demand while he gives them some juice boxes that are made with 0% fruit juice but 100% coloring or whatever. And that's the visit. If I don't agree to that, he doesn't see them. I don't want to cut them off from him and try to differentiate between dad's house and our house, but it's still, I dunno. Jarring to them, I suppose.
So, what to do?
I'm currently trying to re-Waldorf but I feel like a failure; we had such a strong start and then it fizzled. Not happy about that.
Anyone else go through phases where they're more Waldorfy and then go back to less, etc?
ETA: Tonight I splurged and bought new down comforters and lovely patchwork quilts for the kids in the hopes that I can sneak the Superman and Tink away from them - their bed really is the focus of their rooms and every time I go in either room I'm just so jarred by their bedding. And I think we're going to be doing another toy cull. They have so many (yet again... sigh) that I think they'll be calmer and do better if they have fewer toys. I know that was always the case in the past. And maybe I can do a complete "kitchen declutter" where I pass on all the junky food we got. Let Halloween be the "last hurrah" for processed food/junk and go back to the way we used to be pre-laziness.
for your mom, there are plenty of waldorf art supplies that are nice and expensive (if she is into that) that she can spend her money on. things that they can use through the years and s on. just start directing it a bit.
for your diet, just go slowly. make one decent change at a time, get it incorporated, and go from there. don't worry so much about it. it ebbs and flows.
with your partner, i guess you just have to let his house be his house when they are over there. take that time for yourself, and let it be whatever it will be. it's up to him to create the relationship. if it's every once in a while, it won't harm them, unless you notice something specific in their behavior and can say to your partner "look, when J comes home, it's just crazy, so could you play music instead of videos?" because that might work and then they can play, and he can either become involved or not. BUt, i don't know, becuase i don't htink anyone takes to kindly to criticism of their parenting, particularly if they are not partners at the time. it might work though because some people do work together even after separated.
toy declutters are great, too, and that always calms things down. at least, at our house.
just do your best and don't worry about it. sounds like things have been stressful lately, and it happens.
Just wanted to send you hugs, it sounds like things have been difficult lately.
With the food, try and take it one step at a time...choose a day that would work for you to cook from scratch and get in the habit of doing it that day every single week. Maybe that will help you get back in the swing of things slowly and you can build from there.
If you don't have time to make bread daily have you thought about a bread maker? We use it daily and while i know baking bread by hand is better for the children to see and the rythmn of the home, i had to let that one go because I couldn't cook everything from scratch as well as bake bread daily. I just can't manage it, and I have accepted it and am happy with my choice! We have a panasonic breadmaker and have only bought about 3 loaves of bread since buying it a year ago it makes such healthy delicious bread.
Hang on in there, i think if you take it slowly you can get it back, if that is what you want, and it sounds like you do,
So, today I made a nice pork roast in the slow cooker which should last us for a few days at least. And we made cookies and pickled some cucumbers together. Then they watched Little Bear while I worked on a quilt that they were sporadically interested in helping me with. I know, I know, I'm using TV to get motivated for a Waldorfy lifestyle, seriously! That show just inspires me though. I know they're bears and they're a cartoon, but if I could live like that, I would.
I also talked up the new blanket they're going to get in the mail and showed DS a pic of it, so now he can't wait.
We would have gone outside too but I'm still getting over a wretched cold, the worst one of my adult life, and I'm just absolutely miserable. So, no going outside, even though today was a lovely autumn day. Ah well, such is life.
Also, zoe, when did you meet my mom that you know her so well? =P You were right on. I will try to suggest some nice Waldorf sets for her, but the last time I made a recommendation to her she got offended. So I'm gonna pick my battles, I guess...
ETA: The breadmaker idea is a good one. When we lived in Connecticut I totally did that, I set it to wake us up with bread in the morning. Unfortunately we are now at a high altitude where bread machines don't work. We can have the machine make the dough but we still have to bake it. And the sad thing is that depending on the weather of the day, and humidity content, etc, the recipe changes entirely. I know it does for other areas as well, but in two and a half years I have had ONE loaf of bread come out good. One. Out of... well, many dozens. The rest of the time they're really dense or collapsed or raw in the middle and burnt on the outside. I do know how to make bread, and I had several foolproof recipes with both the bread maker and by hand where we lived before. But here... beats me. I haven't found one person here who can consistenly make a good loaf. I know someone has to, but I haven't met them yet. And all the high altitude recipes still don't work, and each time I make them (exact same recipes) they come out different due to the weather. I just can't figure it out, darn it.
i got right to the heart of it with my mom.
i told her about love languages. I explained that there are 5 primary love languages, and that I think hers is objects. She loves to buy things for us: it makes her feel good and it's a way of showing she loves us.
but, my love language is experiences. objects actually stress me out (i'm a rather spartan minimalist), and objects that i *truly* do not want around for personal, philosophical reasons are really a slap in the face, not a demonstration of love.
but with this, there *are* objects that we both *want* and *need*. My mother could purchase *those* objects for me. She shows her love in her love language, and I am able to receive it because it is not just a random object, but an object that is focused on what *i* would like, which is part of giving love. It's not just the love that *i* want to give, but also the love that *they* want to receive.
BTW, it makes it *very* difficult to give to an object-oriented lover. In truth, nearly any object will do, but since i really don't care about objects, it's very, very difficult for me to just go out and buy objects. What helped me was to buy objects that i consider useful, and now, we make objects that are useful (DS and I will wool felt soap, for instance.)
anyway, that helped us out. Also, getting my mom on the mailing list for print catalogues such as nova naturals helped too.