This month is going to be different. This month we’re going to change things. In order to really change things, we need to start with a bang. We want things to be simpler, right? Simpler usually means getting down to the bare bones and for us that means we need to evaluate everything. There are things in our lives–right now–that can be either pared down or completely cut out because they are wearing us out. If we are so filled up with things to do and places to go we are never going to have the time to do the things we want and desire to do.
We want to have time to do things like:
- throw a special party for close friends
- get away for a weekend
- read for pleasure
- enjoy your new magazine over coffee in the afternoon
- watch a performance put on by your kids
- make play-dough
We want to have time but we don’t. Instead we’re doing things like:
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- multiple play date every week
- driving from practice to practice for our kids
- organizing snacks for co-op class
- running to music lessons
- organizing church groups
- remembering 16 things for every 5 people in your house
While all these things really are good, they might not be beneficial to you and your family right now. If you want to simplify–especially if you are feeling extra frazzled right now, you need to evaluate everything.
I realized this concept this summer. So many things I was running around doing were nixed this year. I have a large gap in my kids’ ages and with Vera being at an extra busy stage, I just couldn’t do it this year. Our school year is going to be very quiet. Besides school, regular appointments, and errands, our weekly activities are like this: Thursday afternoon–Sophia has an activity that is one hour long and it takes about 7 minutes to drive there from my house and Thursday nights–boys have one activity that my husband drives them to. That. Is. It. Can I just tell you how good that feels?? We decided to not do co-op classes this year and we also opted out of Wednesday night Awana. *gasp!* You opted out of church night!?! Yes, we did and we’re glad about it. This schedule means we have only one night where we can’t sit down and eat together because of activities and I think that’s pretty simple…and pretty darn freeing.
So what’s making yours and my life overly complicated right now? Maybe…
Get the 6 Secrets to a Simpler Mom Life
- kids’ activities
- too many night time activities causing late bedtime
- meal planning
- mess and clutter
- an intense school routine
- an intense school curriculum
- doctor or dentist appointments
- friends taking up too much time
- feeling overloaded with chores
Today I want you to look at everything on your plate. How many things are you trying to spin at once? It’s true that if we’re doing one thing really well, we’ve got a pile of things behind us that we’re dropping the ball on. And really? That’s ok. We’re not perfect and we can’t do it all. But here’s the thing, if we’ve got LESS to balance, we’ll still probably doing only one or two of them really really well, but that’s ok because there’s less to fall on the ground in a heap behind us. We’re trying to balance too much. So I want you to look at everything. Here’s some things to consider:
- How much are you driving? Is there a grocery store closer to you where you could shop instead? What about your dentist or your doctor? Do you drive all over for appointments? We just recently switched dentists because I found one about 5 minutes from our house. Now I save 40 minutes round trip on driving. Even if it’s for 6-month visits, its still worth it. Find places close to your house where you can do your business and cut down on driving time. For music lessons, find someone willing to come to your house to teach your kids. How awesome would that be!?
- How many things are your kids signed up for? I know a lot of people do the “one activity at a time” rule, which is great. But what if you have four kids? That’s a lot of driving and running around. Consider combining activities. Most of the time I don’t think our kids even care! What if they both did Boy Scouts or a science class? They will not be deprived if they’re not in flag football. It’s ok. Really. If they’re in too many things…quit. Simple as that.
- Are your friendships stressful? Are there people in your life sucking the life out of you? Do you need a breather? Its ok to have a friend for a season in your life. I don’t think we’re meant to carry through life with the same group of friends from age four on…it’s ok to step back.
- Have you volunteered yourself for too many things? Honestly we’re all so busy, I think even one thing for us might be too many. Guess what? You really can UNvolunteer yourself. Yes, you can. You might make someone mad for a while, but they’ll be fine.
- Is clutter, meal planning, messiness, and fighting taking over your life? Yes, mine too and we’re going to talk about that this month. I openly welcome your advice!
Today…or this week, I challenge you to look at everything you’re juggling right now. What can be put back in the cupboard and saved for later? What can be just plain ol’ thrown out without a look back? I know there’s things you can put down. You need to just take a long, hard look and decide what that is.
I just found these posts now. I guess when you switched URLs my bloglovin didn't keep up. 🙁
Anyway, loving these posts. Am totally in the same place this fall craving simplicity, calm and more intention.
One thing I did was booked my kids activities (him – soccer, her – dance, both – swimming) to happen on the weekend. ONLY the weekend. So I don't get any free days with them on the weekend but the pay off is that there are NO rushed nights after school when it gets cold and dark trying to get to this program or that.
It has only been over a month, but I LOVE it. We have our evenings back. The kids coming home from school is so much more relaxed. I don't feel as stressed as I usually did.
I can handle cold. I can handle dark. I hate cold AND dark. 😉
I am so glad this series was recommended to me on Instagram, this is so fitting with my life right now! In the last few years I've serious scaled back on activities and commitments and spent a lot more time investing in friendships that I wanted to. Life is crazy in this season because we are gearing up to travel to complete our adoption but I can honestly say that everything is either something I look forward to and/or something that will help us complete our adoption.
Can't wait to catch up on the rest of the posts!
this is awesome. you are talking right to my heart sister!! you've given me lots to think about this weekend. xoxo
Sarah, thanks so much for reading and I so appreciate your input. My kids love the quieter lifestyle too. They actually love staying home. I can feel them start to unravel a bit too when we're constantly busy. Thanks again for stopping by! Hope to see you here a lot this month!
Jessica, thank you so much for following. I am trying to write this for homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike. I hope you find some useful things here this month!
I love your posts so much! We had a big de-clutter last Christmas and have had a very quiet year. We do no activities now!! We homeschool our four girls and my husband left work to spend more time with us and start up a business. We are planning a major change in how we live to make it simpler yet more rewarding.
I sometimes feel that our girls are missing out, but the quality family time is something more important to us. Are all these activities really beneficial? They mostly want to play at home anyway.
I think you will love your new quieter lifestyle.
You are very inspiring and I look forward to a whole month of fabulous posts! Thanks so much.
I love this! I don't homeschool but my girls are in preschool so they're home a lot with me. I try to incorporate learning into our every day. I'm going to be following along!
LOVE this! So can relate. 1st year homeschooling my 6yr old & have a 2yr old & 8mo as well. Dragging the littles to all.the.activities & then entertaining them while we're there is killing me! Really need to evaluate & pare down.
Christi, that is seriously so smart. If you're going to do activities, do them all at the same time, right!? Such great thoughts. Thanks for reading!
Fall always seems to be the busiest for us – it seems a lot of people say that! For me, if I have to leave the house during the day, I kinda feel like that day is shot. So we don't. Finding closer options for grocery shopping & appointments & such isn't an option for us (we live 15 minutes from the closest – and only – grocery store) – so I drastically limit when we go. Basically, it's on payday twice a month. BUT, doing this means I have to be really on it with making a plan for my menu, etc.
This is the first year we've done co-op classes, and we are playing baseball (always, year round) & doing guitar & taekwondo. But the genius (haha) of my system is that guitar & taekwondo are during co-op hours, on Wednesdays, which is the only day I have to go out.
I have been evaluating & streamlining since summer, knowing that we were adding things we haven't done before. Approaching 40, I also have seen a huge shift in my friendships, and totally agree with your assesment there. 🙂
I am the queen of long winded comments. Happy Thursday!
Love, love, love this! Already feeling challenged (convicted) and I can't wait to read along and simplify!