Monday, February 6, 2012

Finding Our Groove

I am a recovering control freak.  The me of my 20's needed all my ducks in a row at all times.  I have come A LONG WAY from this lifestyle.  Once I became a mother I realized that I was going to have to either lower some of my expectations or be on more medication than was acceptable while operating moving vehicles.

At first this made me feel like a failure but I have come to realize this fact: I cannot be everything.  Each day I get to choose what makes the cut.  There has been a ton of trial and error in discovering what a healthy balance is for our family.  For some of you this may sound crazy-simple but simple is what I need.  When I feel like things are starting to spin faster than I can keep up with, I start by breaking things into the categories of needs and wants. 

Our needs are pretty simple and our wants are many.  I am over beating myself up for not being super mom.  There is no shame in serving a sandwich on a paper plate and calling it dinner.  What is important is that we juggle all of our duties without anyone in the family feeling like they are being sacrificed on the altar of "our schedule". 

This semester we have allowed #1 and #2 to be in an after-school activity, and, I have added a part-time job to my duties.  As a result time is more crunched in the afternoons and evenings.  In order to accommodate the new things and still accomplish our regular evening stuff, we have had to cut our media time.  We all kinda miss iPhone games and TV shows but for the most part no one really notices.  It turns out we are way more addicted to peace than we are to our technology.

Now don't over think these things.  We have not established a "no technology" mandate for our home.  That is a little to legalistic for our family.  All I mean is that due to our schedule additions we cannot fit media into our evenings without it pushing bedtime back too far.  We have learned that for us media is a want and not a need.  If something was going to be cut from our evening, TV is a better cut choice for us than family game/play time or dinner.  ;)

If your world is feeling a little out of control try making a needs vs wants list for your family.  You may have some areas that you have mistaken for needs that are actually wants.  By trimming the wants back you can greatly increase your family's quality of life.  I console myself by thinking that I will have plenty of time to watch TV and play Words With Friends after the baby graduates from high school.  Just kidding.  Kinda.  Not really.  They do leave after high school, right???? ;)

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