Two things have recently vamped up the pace of my life.
First, activities. I love that homeschooling allows us to get our out-of-the-house activities accomplished during the day so our evenings are free for family time and just being. But that means they infringe upon the school day which adds a sense of urgency to get work done in a timely fashion. Our activities include twice a week PE, a half day (once a week) homeschool co-op- our first experience in one, sewing lessons (Sadie gets dropped off on our way to PE and picked up on the way home) and choir. This may seem like very little for some of you but for the homebody that I am, it feels crazy at times. Do you realize that this means I have to have my hair brushed and wear something presentable every day of the week?! See? Craziness.
Second, fostering. There are naps to work around, doctor's appointments and family visits that all revolve around the scheduling preferences of others. Not to mention, all the cuddling and changing of diapers.
There are many cuts I've been making just to keep us all afloat and generally happy. Here are a few...
1) It saddens me to say so but I have only used my clothesline a couple times in the last couple months. The dryer has become my new best friend.
2) I've been buying lots of convenience-type snacks for the kids. This sometimes includes fruit that is not in season (or local) and many of them are packaged (organic and fruit/nut based when I can find them). Just getting a home-cooked dinner on the table feels like a huge accomplishment and sometimes that dinner (or lunch) comes a little later than hoped for so the kids need something to tide them over.
3) I'm using disposable diapers (I just signed up for a trial of these) instead of using cloth like I did with Miriam. And I use wipes for everything because, you know, sometimes finding a clean rag, getting it wet, rinsing it out and hanging it up just takes too much time and energy.
4) I've stopped giving the garden and my flower beds attention. They are what they are. The little people require the tending right now.
jungle garden ~ some deliberate (lettuce going to seed, beets and winter squash yet to harvest, etc.), some not-so-much (weeds, finished plants waiting to be torn out)
5) I've been writing here a lot less. Partially because of the time it takes (to write, upload photos, etc.) and partially because so much of what I'm doing right now is repetitive. I haven't been trying new recipes or starting new projects. This doesn't mean I never will again. I still have new ideas- they just exhaust me to think about them :-).
6) The beekeeping has been turned over almost entirely to Jamey. I can no longer leave the kids in the house while the two of us are in the very back of the yard for an hour or more. So, just Jamey goes out and does the managing. Our record keeping has greatly decreased because of this but I've been trying to still keep track of major happenings.
With these short cuts (and others), I'm surviving and most days even thriving despite the fact that I still get overwhelmed occasionally. Overall, we're adjusted.
I do know that I don't want things to get any busier. I know people say that as your kids get older, the activities and busy-ness increase. I can see how this can happen! There are so many wonderful things to choose from and expose our children to. But I wholeheartedly believe that there is such a thing as too much. And I don't want to get anywhere near that. We believe that our children need time to just be at home- to rest, relax, play with each other, the neighbor kids and sweet babies. And even get bored. When else will they process all the neat stuff they're learning and doing?
So...I'm curious (and maybe looking for some more tips). What shortcuts are you making to survive the busy season in your life? And what lines do you draw to keep your family from becoming overextended? Pin It