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:
- 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…
- 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:
Get the 6 Secrets to a Simpler Mom Life
- 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.