Wednesday, February 2, 2022

balance

I have talked about this probably way too much on this blog, but I and perhaps every other mother on the planet regularly struggle with balance. Remember last semester when we were doing two co-ops not to mention babysitting, cooking Gaps, violin practice, and homeschooling? Remember how I admonished myself for doing too much? (and promised I wouldn't do it again?) Well, I need continued admonishment; when will I learn my lesson? 

It all started with a feeling that I wasn't doing enough. If you are a homeschooling mother (or probably just a mother in general) you will understand. I am not doing enough, I thought to myself, so I signed my kids up for gymnastics. Now, they LOVE gymnastics. But I miss my long day at home, because I scheduled the gymnastics on one of two "stay-home-all-day" weekdays. Why did I do this to myself? I don't know. Also, its very expensive. The gymnastics will be short lived and shall be canceled when the weather improves. I want to give it at least another month, so the kids get more than 4 classes. I also will be writing myself notes to not sign up for anything else and stay home and homeschool my kids. The more we do outside the home, the less I get done inside the home. There needs to be balance and right now I am not feeling very balanced. 

Another thing I have been feeling is lonely, and wow did God spring forth friends! I met a random lady with a four year old at gymnastics and suddenly I have invited her over to my house. I have also met with an old friend who I haven't seen in about 18 months and reconnected. Suddenly I need to make time to see people on top of all the other stuff we have going on. Today I saw the old-friend and while my friendship fellowship gauge is bubbling over in fullness, as a family we did zero homeschooling and my routine is kind of a mess. 

How do I do this? How do I homeschool, cook, clean, have friends, maintain a relationship with my husband, make time for myself and my hobbies, spend quiet time with God, work out, shower, and sleep??! It makes me dizzy to think of all the things I do. Today I picked cooking, having friends, and sleeping. All those boxes were ticked but everything else was half done or abandoned. I mean, is this normal?? Or am I doing something wrong. 

I know when I overload my schedule I exist in perpetual anxiousness that isn't good for my family or my health. When I under-load our time, sure, things may get done and boxes checked, but I am left lonely and my kids act up because they also need to get out of the house sometimes. Maintaining my community is hard, for sure! 

Perhaps what I need is grace. And a little helping of reality. Grace because every week is different, every season is not the same. And the reality: I only have 24 hours a day in which to live my life, and I should work within these bounds. If God wanted me to fit 78 hours of stuff into an 24 hour window, he would have given me 78 hours to work with. But he didn't.

A friend I was texting said something along these lines: there is a lot of truth, beauty and goodness to behold and wonder over. (and I would add: The feast is great, but we can't fill our plate with large slices of everything: a little bit of this and a little bit of that will go a long way.) 

Don't bite off more than you can chew! Will I learn my lesson or will I be saying the same thing next month?! Stay tuned to find out!

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