Life of the busy family can be crazy and chaotic but there are some ways to embrace the crazy without losing your mind.
The other morning I was standing in our kitchen with my morning coffee. Listening. Silence. “It won’t be long before the silence is broken and the morning crazy begins” I thought to myself.
I looked across my kitchen at the sunlight streaming in the windows. I heard the birds singing outside and the light gentle hum of the refrigerator. My cat walked silently along the kitchen floor, crossing the room to bask in the early morning hours before she sneaks off to sleep the day away. Ah. Cat life. Did you know cats sleep 20 hours a day?! 20! I’m lucky if I sleep 4.
I have a lot on my mind and my plate. As do most moms and families these days.
I turn to look at our family calendar hanging on the fridge. It mocks my calm morning. Reminding me of the “busy” that awaits. Baseball games, dek hockey, church, volunteer commitments, birthday parties, play dates, a sleepover, fishing day… the list goes on… and on.
Nearly every day filled. “At least two are free this month” I think to myself, then turn away to pour more coffee. My morning refuge.
When did we get so busy? I wonder. Is this a good thing? Or a bad thing?
We as a society live in a time of such abundance and opportunity. It would be bad to say no to such much great stuff right? We’re making memories right?
The clock is now 7:30. The boys are oversleeping. I let them. They’re tired.
Tired from the busy – I remind myself. They’re sleeping because they are pooped out.
But is that bad?
Some people say our society embraces busy and wears it like a badge.
I think it’s true maybe some people do wear busy like a badge. Glittering from day to day, bragging about their busy and how important they are (or appear to be). But most of us, are just trying to get by.
Most of us are just simply overloaded, overwhelmed, bobbing up and down through the crazy of life because of our big hearts. Our hearts that want the best for our children and cease every opportunity for them because we love them so much. Our big hearts that say yes to that volunteer job that needs to be done and no one else will do,.. because it needs to be done. Our big hearts that stay up late to pack school lunches and fill school party bags. Our big hearts that keep family commitments and obligations.
Those same big hearts turn on us when we can’t meet those obligations. Our heart cries out to us asking why we can’t juggle this stuff better. Everyone else does it so well,.. why are we failing? Why can’t we get it right?
The truth is that we are all failing in one way or another. It’s just that most people don’t talk about it. Those that do talk about it don’t know what to do about it.
How to embrace the crazy
So here is what I propose we do about it. This is my plan and you’re welcome to use it and even add to it in the comments. Also come back to this post and let me know how this is working for you because after all, we are all in this together.
1. Today we all embrace life where it is right now
If your day is full, or your week or month, embrace it. Meet each day with a deep breathe, and an even deeper mug of coffee. Finish each day knowing that even if it was complete freakin chaos, you got through it and your kids know they are loved.
2. Let some things go
You don’t have to say yes to everything,.. just the things that matter. If something won’t impact your life or your kids lives ten years from now, it may be something to let go of so there is room for more good stuff.
Your house doesn’t need to be perfect. Yes there are hacks and tips to keeping a house company-ready but if having a clean home is adding more crazy to your day then consider hiring help or lowering your expectations. I learned the hard way to bless our mess.
3. Have sacred time
Friday night movie night. It’s sacred space. Pizza, popcorn, cuddles and laughs. This has been a tradition in our home for the past 6 years. We can’t always tell you the movies we watched but we can tell you the way movie night makes us feel. Connected. It’s our time. Phones off. World quiet. Us together.
Sunday’s are also sacred. No work. No social media. As a mom blogger, graphic designer and network marketer my work can easily take over and fill the pockets of my time. Sunday is the one day I don’t check my phone all day. Most friends and family know that if they want to connect with me or my family on Sunday, they will have to call or text my husband.
Bedtime is sacred space in our home. Our boys are ages 6 & 9 and they know that bedtime means reading with mom and dad. We read books even when we are tired. Truth be told, there have been many occasions where I’ve literally fallen asleep reading. But my husband and I know the days are numbered and that soon our kids will not want to read with us and prefer reading on their own. So we hang on to this sacred space and cherish it as well as the conversations that come with it.
4. Squeeze out every moment
There are times I just watch my kids. Literally watch them. Reading. Watching movies. Laughing and playing. These little faces are only passing through.
5. Show grace
This is perhaps the biggest truth bomb right here mom. Show yourself some grace. You can’t (and won’t) do it all perfectly. You’re going to screw up. You’re going to have those moments you wish you could hit the rewind button. But if you can get through your day and at the end of it your kids know you love them,.. then you have done well. Kids are remarkably resilient.
6. Include time for fun
This is one of those things that often falls off my radar. I all too often find myself consumed with my checklist and getting our family here and there and everywhere that I forget to have fun. And it doesn’t have to be anything Earth shattering to make this happen. Having fun can be as simple as singing to your favorite tunes in the car with your kids, taking time out for ice cream, taking time to jump in the pile of leaves you’re raking. For more ways to work fun into your day check out this quick article.
7. Take care of you
As a friend of mine once told me “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” In other words, you can’t pour into and give to others if you’re so depleted that you have nothing to give. Making sure your cup is full begins with self-care.
I use to hear the term “self-care” and groan. “Who has time for that,” I use to think to myself. Until my friend told me about all of the simple ways she incorporates self-care into her crazy mom life. You can read about her Simple Tips for Self-Care here.
So what about you? What do you think of the busy family life? How do you calm the crazy, take care of your family and nurture yourself? Please share in the comments below! Also let us know what you think of this list and what you plan to incorporate.