settling down...

it seems to be a common theme amongst my friends, family and fellow bloggers that everyone has this need to cut back, take out the busy-ness, and to stop overcommiting. it seems everyone is looking for a more simple life. and that definitely includes me.

ever since the beginning of the school year, when i took on a lot of responsibilities in a short amount of time, i haven't felt settled or in a routine. i ran around a lot with no real direction it seemed.

for the first couple of weeks i questioned decisions i had made about commitments in my life and felt like something needed to change, that i needed to cut something back. but i didn't know what. i waited for an answer from whoever would give it to me. it didn't ever come... i just kept up this really ridiculous pace for over four months.

i don't want to bore you with the details of my schedule but let me tell you it was a nightmare. running from school to school, picking up kids, dropping them off, running errands, running useless errands, spending more money than i had, sitting and waiting to drop off at one of two schools or pick up at a school. then then i would get home and it was near time to make dinner, check homework, sort through mail (aka throwing it in a pretty basket on the counter most of the time), return emails and phone calls and then time again to run somewhere else or wait for someone to be picked up. i kept hearing the words you need to cut back, you are doing too much from so many people. but i didn't know how or what to cut back on, what to say "no" too. everything i said yes to was to benefit my family right? school, preschool, part time jobs, extra activities... those are all great things until they have you so exhausted you can't function.

at the end of the day or really the end of the afternoon, i was exhausted and so stressed out. i was so exhausted that my husband and kid's got second best from me. they got a tired, grouchy, unhappy wife and mom who just yelled and snipped and fussed. i was exhausted from being that person, exhausted from giving my family the leftovers. i was stressed because i was always on the go and doing and things weren't getting done at home. i needed a break, a change, a solution.

over the holiday break, i evaluated my daily schedule. a great time to do it because it was quiet around here. we didn't need to go anywhere and i saw my life with a lot of "no's"; no school, no car pool, no waiting in car pool or parking lots, no driving all over the place, no preschool, no working at preschool, no picking up the little boy i care for, no waiting on his parents to pick him up, no spending extra money or running useless errands, no ballet, no basketball, no doctor's appointments, no work for jamil, no small group to lead, no small group to attend, no book study. no. none. a lot of family time and time spent doing things around the house and errands that were a necessity. simple life and settled down.

you may read this and think that is no different from what i do. or you may read this and be dog tired. for me, i realized by looking at all i do in a day, things could be rearranged and cut back. but it would mean i would have to say "NO" to some things.

God helped us in this process by giving us some answers. the biggest decision i made to was to take jordyn out of preschool (gasp... i am sure some of you are doing that right now). taking her out of preschool would mean a lot of time freed up in that crazy mess of a schedule. her preschool is a good 20-25 minute drive from home. (which i did for josh for 2 years and i couldn't make it through one more year.) with it being so far away from home two days a week i was stuck out away from home basically killing time and spending money that i didn't have. the third day of the week, i worked at her preschool basically which paid for her to go there. another day of the week i had to be away from home. and in that crazy schedule i manage to keep an extra child, picking him up from home and preschool as well as taking him to preschool. not to mention taking josh to school every day and picking him up 3 days (praise God for Angie who i car pool with).

all that to say, i made a huge decision that really goes against the grain of what most moms do. i said no to the preschool. i pounded myself with guilt and waivered on my decision several times a day. but i needed to do it for the sake of my sanity and the sake of my family.

i am ready to settle down. i am ready to live a more simple life. i am ready to give my family my firsts. and not my seconds.

it has been quite a journey. it has taken a while to get to this place of desiring a simple life. i am glad to be on my way to living a life that gives my family and friends my best.


Mel, Kyle, Cam, & Kaela said...

What a hard decision that must have been! Only you know what is best for your family, but I agree with you on living a more simple life. That is part of the reason that Kyle and I moved from suburbia to good ol' northern country life. It's just too darn far for me to go shopping all the time (AKA Target spree). Also, I have been wondering if I should be doing more with my kids--either during the day or at night--and I realized that I enjoy my nights at home with the kids. I don't want to be rushing around just for story hour. I also enjoy my two days at home alone with the kids. I don't want to HAVE to meet anyone or be committed to doing something. I like living my life free to hang with the kids at home, if I so desire!

Jess said...

i am really proud of you. i am really encouraged by this post and am going to reread it several times--
i've done preschool some years and
not done preschool other years--when i took my kids out, it felt HUGE but was a great choice for my family...
love you