Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

In Search of a Well-Balanced Life

Sustaining a comfortable balance while homeschooling is NOT easy, but it is possible! 
I've had friends comment that they wish they could be more efficient . . . 
my reply to that is, 
“Being a mother isn't always efficient! 
There will be good days, 
there will be not-so-good days; 
life will get in the way! 
So, relax, hold on and keep smiling--you will make it!”

There is a lot required at our hands, and it can feel overwhelming and unconquerable at times. 
We wonder how to keep it all together, 
how to make sure the kids are getting all they need 
(and deserve from us), 
how to balance the school work and the house work, 
how to keep the mountains of laundry to manageable small piles, 
how to put healthy, nutritious meals on the table 
THREE. Times. A. Day! 
Also, how to be a great wife, a great mother, a great visiting teacher, a great friend . . . 
and how to have any time at all for ourselves and for our sanity!
I want to share a couple of thoughts with you to help you achieve this balanced life we all desire.
As mothers, we spend our days running from the child most urgently in need 
to the next most-urgent event
and on to the next 
and the next 
and the next . . . 
In the midst of all the craziness, we tend to lose sight of the big picture. 
It’s hard to maintain your balance when you have tunnel vision. 
Widen your focus; 
keep your eyes and heart open to what is most precious, 
and you will be living that 
Well-Balanced, Intentional Life 
that we all want, 
but that looks different for each of us!

A couple of thoughts that I always keep tucked in the back of my mind to keep me focused and on the right track are:

~Mothering must come before Math 
and LOVE will always be more important than Language Arts.
~In the end, what will matter most, will be the relationships you have with your children . . . 
their secular education will not be your first concern.
~ No child ever died because they couldn’t find clean socks or underwear!
We wish only the best for our kids; 
because of that we add in various activities and obligations to our daily routine. 
While this is not a negative necessarily, if we choose to add too many things to our plate, the load begins to feel burdensome and our attitudes may wind up reflecting a touch of negativity. We start feeling a little out of whack and long for a day away or a week away from the challenges of an overwhelming routine. 
This feeling of “needing a vacation” is a red flag for me; 
it is my first “a-ha moment” indicating that I am hitting critical mass and need time to reassess and restructure to find balance.

When planning all those amazing and educational activities for your kids, don’t forget about leaving time to take care of you and your relationships. 
We have the tendency to get so caught up in wanting to provide the very best for our kids that we suffer personally.

How do we create change? 
How do we find and maintain balance in our lives?

Grab a piece of paper, get a cup of tea, and sit for a spell . . . we've got some work to do.

If you could make your life look any way you want it to, 
what would it look like? 
What things would you want to include? 
Start at the end by writing your goals, 
and then figure out what you can do right now to start on the path that will end with you achieving them. 
Imagine it,
 dream it; 
then write it and even draw it! 
It is all part of the process to help you live it!

Start that “Wish List” for your life . . .
Do you wish for more time (real, enjoyable time, hanging-out-time) with your kids?
Do you wish for more time with your spouse? 
With your friends? 
With yourself?
Do you wish for time to do a project or two? 
What would those projects be?
Do you wish to read a certain book? 
Do you wish to go explore and uncover the wonders that surround you? 
Do you wish to start a new business? 
Do you wish for time to read your scriptures each day? 
Do you wish to take a yoga class? 
Do you wish to teach classes? 
Jot it all down . . .

By jotting down our wishes, 
we create a list we can prioritize and from that--make a plan. 
Intentional Planning time is a fabulous thing to do . . . 
as you look at your wish list, 
you can dictate what you do each day, 
so go for it . . . make it amazing!
Use this list of priorities over and over—
change it, 
add to it, 
but never give up on it. 
It is part of what restores peace and balance to your mind and your heart.
We all have our “Own Way” of how this will look . . . here’s a suggestion for you if you are struggling with creating your own:

Consider breaking your day into blocks of time ~
Early mornings /Late Morning to early afternoons /Afternoons / Evenings

Consider plugging in one or two priorities from the wish list you created into each space 
. . . STOP . . . 
I said to plug in ONE or TWO, only! 
Be good to yourself!

Early morning might be a nice time for you to fill your own cup; it might be time for a little relationship building one-on-one with a certain child who needs your undivided attention, or it might be time for planning and preparing for the day.

Late mornings to early afternoons will likely include schooling your kiddos; 
remember to be gentle on yourself and don’t add in 5 other things during this time. 
Be PRESENT IN HEART AND MIND with your kids during their time
I promise the time will be well spent, and you will all walk away feeling pleasantly happy.

Your Afternoons might include a few household chores and dinner prep, 
maybe some time for playing with your kids; 
(Make your play time with them memorable...
Mom can hoopla!
or it may be the time for running kids to lessons or activities, or a brisk walk in the fresh air.

Evenings might be the perfect time for relationship building, 
time to work on things your heart needs, 
and maybe a little blogging time or reading time.

These blocks of time DO NOT have to stay the same each day . . . 
and these are just ideas for how to create a little balance in your life.

I think you’ll find that if you take the steps to set some priorities and intentionally make room for them in your life, you will be more peaceful and less frazzled in this ever-busy life we are all living. 
Be willing to let things go
and trust yourself. 
Part of creating a balance, is not trying to keep everything in the air at once.

During our DHSA Homeschool Mothers' Meeting for October, I talked with all the sweet moms about what is on their plate, what load are they responsible for...
we wrote them down on balloons 20131012_113023.jpg
~ enough to fill the room 
and then together we tried to keep them all in the air...20131012_094856.jpg
I finally asked them to just let them go 
BE willing to let some things drop...

with the exception of 
that I continued to hold in the air...
The most important one we must consistently keep going 
and be so careful to be mindful of is the "ME" balloon...
our families are counting on us, 
we keep the balance and the focus for our families,
so we must remember to take care of ourselves first 
so that we are able to give and keep giving and keep giving...

Wishing you a beautifully balanced life!