That's what Mardi Gras means, in French: "Fat Tuesday." It's the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent-- a 40-day preparation for Easter. As a good Catholic, Lent has always been part of my life. Stereotypically, people think it is about giving up something like chocolate, and not eating meat on Fridays. That is partially true, but Lent really means a lot more. It has a 3-fold focus: Prayer, Fasting, and Sacrifice. And most years, I find it incredibly refreshing and inspiring. It's kind of like New Years', when you look back over the year, think about what you want to change in the next year, and then make resolutions about losing weight, spending more time with friends, etc. But Lent lets us do that while being guided by prayer. It's hard to keep a New Years' resolution. Most people lose steam after a few weeks. But Lenten resolutions are between you and God, and it's only for 6 weeks. So if you really go through with it, you can reach Easter as a changed person.
This year, I am focusing on my role as mother. Sure, I think overall I'm a pretty good mom, but there is always room for improvement. Mainly, my patience/anger levels. When I am alone with both kids, and they start whining for things, I get flustered really quickly. Sometimes I get snappy and tell them to shut up, or stop being dumb. But my toddler has started repeating some of these phrases. Oops. So I need to focus on ways to deal with their needs and my patience levels:
1. Get more sleep. I keep forgetting that I am pregnant and need to sleep for 2. Me staying up late and not taking naps takes a real toll on my whole family.
2. Spend less time on the computer. I get sucked into Facebook, including the pathetic Mafia Wars and Kingdoms of Camelot games, and get annoyed when the kids interrupt. Selfish, I know. So I am giving up those games for Lent, and trying to limit computer time to the kids' naptime.
3. Make better meal choices. I have been tired and lazy during this pregnancy, but the more crap I eat, the worse I feel. I need to focus on healthier snacks and meals so I won't be so edgy.
4. Pray every day. I don't do this right now. I plan to take a few minutes each morning and start the day RIGHT!
So those are my goals this Lent. It will be a challenging 6 weeks, especially since hubby will be gone at training for most of it. But I think it will be a good practice to make me a better Mom and get me ready for deployment! Does anyone else have Lenten resolutions? Or are you currently taking specific steps to help yourself or your family?