Small Success Thursday: A Fuller Summer and a Happier, Healthier Me


Small Success dark gold outline 800x800This week my six-year-old started summer school, and two of the kids started band camp. I’m still in my own bootcamp, trying to crank out 1,ooo words a day without driving my kids crazy, and my oldest is tagging me daily to work out. (Last week I made it 4 times a week–goal for this week? Repeat or improve). I have my Magnificat for July, and I’m trying to read it daily, and to listen to podcasts when I exercise, and read a bit before bed. The goal, my priest friend told me, is to keep proper focus. What is the priority of the moment? Should it be the kids? Then put away the writing. Should it be the home/errands/domestic life? Then turn off the computer. Is it Sherry time? Then don’t spend it distracted by the internet. You get the theme. The result: a fuller summer, and a happier, healthier me.

Small successes sometimes are the result of having had enough. Like stepping on the scale and saying, “No more…”  or deciding it’s time for confession or the house needs a good cleaning.

Today, I informed the children, that while they are in school, I have no problem maintaining the house and patrolling all their rooms. However, when they are not in school, there are eight more hours of the day where they can manage their rooms on their own. We held a family meeting and assigned chores and wrote them on the white board. I wonder why I sometimes forget this simple tool of parenting and take on too much or get mad because no one else is pulling their weight. It’s because I forget to insist they do so. It is a habit of mine, (a stupid one to be sure), a form of spiritual pride that encourages their physical sloth.

The result of having chores? I had more time and energy at the end of the day so we reestablished bedtime routine; the house looked better because it wasn’t one person’s efforts until she quit; and the younger children (4 and 6) complained they didn’t have chores until I gave them. They high-fived each other after cleaning the table. I know it’s only one day’s example, but I’ll take it. We’ll keep at it tomorrow, with the prayers and the workouts and the limits on the machines, and the chores, and maybe cumulatively, we’ll all find ourselves more fit, spiritually, physically and mentally, by the end of the summer.

Hope this week was filled with small successes!

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Copyright 2015 Sherry Antonetti


About Author

Sherry Antonetti is a mother of ten children, published author of The Book of Helen and a freelance writer of humor and family life columns. You can read additional pieces from her blog,


  1. Love this! So much…
    I wonder if you realize how many of us you inspire by sharing your stories, even the parts that are tough. (Perhaps especially those!)

    My SS for this week is recommitting to some daily routines. I have a million excuses about why those are hard, but none of them really stand up.

    Oh, and this too: – as embarrassing as it is, I’m going to share my exercise baby steps. I’ve seen another friend who is doing this and it’s really motivated me. Misery loves company?

    Have a great day Sherry!

    • Lisa, good for you! I am going to have to find my way back to the gym. No walking until I get this tendonitis under control. And summer camp has started for the Kid, so I have to figure out some NEW routines. Why this took me by surprise, I’ll never know 🙂

  2. Sherry, I was doing pretty well with enforcing the Kid’s chores (my daughter is taking 2 summer classes and holding down a job, so I’ve given her a pass, though she does help–even unasked–when she can). And then summer camp started today. Now I’ll have to figure out a whole different routine for that.

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