Tuesday, February 25, 2014
My year of less is more: my new schedule a month on
Almost a month ago I wrote a post about decluttering my schedule as part of my year of less is more. I wanted to have less busyness so we could have more time together and so I could be more of a nice mum!
It has been one of my most popular posts ever and I'm sure it's because I'm not alone in feeling like life's all a bit crazy. I think many of us are searching for some balance in our family lives and are questioning what we're doing driving kids around from pillar to post, getting more and more frantic.
I have to say it has been fantastic. I'm so pleased I bit the bullet on this one.
Here's what has been great about it:
1. We have two afternoons a week with nothing we have to attend or get kids to. Four mornings a week are free before school. If you need to be reminded what our schedule was like previously check it out here. I've said that if they want to do anything new, it has to be in school time or something else has to go. Now the older three kids are doing one musical instrument (which is quite a lot because it still involves a music lesson/bands/practice) and one sport. The fourth is doing one instrument and swimming lessons. And the youngest is doing swimming lessons, a bit of piano practice and a lot of singing and dancing in her bedroom. They are far from deprived!
2. We can get the basics like homework, music practice, showering, chores done, without them being forgotten or cobbled together at the eleventh hour (I have to admit that getting the younger kids to have a bath was getting challenging. Yes, it was that mad).
3. I have time to have a conversation with my kids beyond "Hi, how was your day, great, let's get in the car and get going", (all said in one breath, with no time for, well, like, an actual response).
4. I don't feel stressed out
5. Can I say it again? I don't feel stressed out (this is GOLD people!!).
6. I don't feel like yelling at the kids every time I find them playing schools and creating complicated craft, instead of getting organised when we NEED TO GET SOMEWHERE ON TIME …. There's just a lot less of needing to rush, so I have more brain space to gear them up and warn them about what's coming up.
7. We get to Friday night and I don't have to drag the kids off the lounge to go to youth group. They're keen. They haven't done much for the past few days except go to school.
8. Sometimes I just sit and read a book during the day. That feels good. And I think that's OK - well, sort of. I suspect the reason I need a YEAR for this process is to wrestle with my strong protestant work ethic.
9. I can cope better with the unexpected. Last week the 15yo got off his bus and realised that he'd brought the wrong bag home from school having left his bag (complete with laptop) outside the band room. We could cope with an extra trip back to school without a disastrous domino effect.
10. And more on the unexpected. A few weeks ago I wrote about operating at 80% rather than 100% capacity, to leave room for the unexpected.
Well, the unexpected arrived pretty much straight away. Our 11 year old has been very unwell for the past five weeks with a glandular fever-type virus followed by a terrible post viral fatigue that has meant she's only attended four days of school this year. That certainly wasn't in the plan.
I'm thankful that God gave me peace about cutting back on our schedule before I was forced to by her sickness. The timing has certainly been his provision so that we've been able to be as calm about this as possible (even though it has also been, and continues to be hard because her recovery time is uncertain).
Thanks for journeying with me so far. You can catch-up on the rest of my year so far here.