We have now finished several weeks of school. While I love my kids desperately and unconditionally, summertime can really be draining on parents and to be honest, as summer went on, I could see my children’s behavior deteriorate. They were in need of getting back into a routine and having more direction in their day. It’s not that I didn’t try or want to give them more opportunities for routine and enrichment, but let’s face it as parents, we have a lot on our plates and while it’s not all things I want to do; things like laundry, the dishes and dinner just have to be done. During the start of summer, I created individual morning routines for each child (with the help of my creative and smart niece!). Each day they were suppose to check off their morning tasks as they went on and they could not do media (our word for tablets, x-box, tv, etc.) But that quickly got pushed aside when we had to get to Turbo’s first enrichment class which was at 9 am for 2 weeks. After that, we just never got back on track.
I feel a little guilty now that school has started and I didn’t do all the things with my kids this summer as I had hoped to. I do miss them being at school all day from 8:30-4:15. It really is a long day and after getting home, playing with friends, homework and any after school activities that might come up, my time with them is limited. For now, Turbo is the only one in school full time. Tough Guy is in kindergarten half the time and Tootsie in preschool part time. Towards the end of the summer, I was really looking forward to having more time in the day to get things done and feel less overwhelmed with all the tasks in life. In my mind, I would be able to effortlessly make dinners, get laundry done, have time to volunteer and maybe even sit down each day for a cup of tea in solace.
The truth is, it is a new season, a change of routine and the kids are at school more, but my time to complete the tasks that need done still add up to 24 hours. No more, no less.
My intent for this post is all about balance. About three weeks ago, I started to think about balance in my life and how I really needed to focus on it more. In my mind, I felt like I was loosing the sense of completion of any task. (Ironically, the first two paragraphs of this intended post on balance were written 10 days ago, and even that was meant to done 10 days before that! I promise, I will complete this post!)
There just never seems to be enough hours in the day, days in the week or months in a season to complete everything I want to do. There are multiple aspects of my life that I want to do more in. I would love to volunteer in my children’s classrooms and I would love to take on the hobby of refinishing furniture, but I know that adding those two titles would only overfill my cup to the point of being overwhelmed, even though, I would feel great satisfaction from those activities.
So the other day, I thought of a couple things to tackle. And once I tackle those, then I can tackle other things. I’ve allowed myself to volunteer only for one thing right now, and meals have been narrowed down to the same 7 dinners on a weekly schedule I can manage. I’m still trying to figure out when I can actually fold laundry without staying up late. Because if I stay up late, then I’m too tired to wake up early, which is something I really need to have a good start to the day. I’m learning that I don’t have to over complicate things (like I usually do), but rather I need to simplify the tasks I need to do, and do it over and over again, until its so easy and quick that I don’t have to dread the chore. For me, if I complete the “chores” then I can do things I really want to do like play with my kids (without me being distracted with the thought of what needs done next?), write on here more, or even just watch a show!
I really think balance in life is possible, but it doesn’t come easily or free. Balance means I may need to step down or slow down in some areas in life, and for me that may take some practice. How do you find balance in your life? What things are priorities and what things can be take aways?