Sammy has a little cold so I kept him home from church to get some rest after being up all night. So, I finally got him settled and am sitting here enjoying some coffee and quiet.
I wanted to get on here and share an epiphany I had this week. I have been pretty stressed out lately... more than usual. Having 4 young kiddos and homeschooling half of them is not the easiest thing I have ever done. But, I realized this week I had been putting a lot of extra pressure on myself.
I read this article from Growing Home about 15 Good things she doesn't do... And found myself totally in tears by the end of it.
I realized I often thought so much about how I have a friend that saves so much money using coupons so I should be using lots of coupons, and how I have a friend that is in really great shape because she exercises all of the time so I should exercise all the time, and how I have a friend whose kids are in lots of fun extra curricular activities so I should have my kids in lots of activities, and a friend who decorates well, one who cooks really amazing homemade meals, one who does fun crafts with her kids all of the time... and then I realized... BUT these are all different people... not just one friend! I don't know anyone who does ALL of those things, at least not well. And yet, I had convinced myself that I needed to be doing ALL of those things ALL the time in order to be a good and Godly wife and mother.
It is hard to say no to things because there are so many good things to do! It is really good to save money and cook from scratch and exercise... but I only have so many hours in the day. And I have young children who need lots of attention...
So, for right now, I have to say "no" to a lot of good things and focus on my priorities! After God my husband and children are my #1 priority. And I know that one of the most important things to them is to have a happy wife and mama. Which means they can't have a wife and mama who is constantly stressed and comparing herself to others.
So, I am realizing I have to have some "focus areas" in my life right now that are things I do spend a little more time on and a lot of things that I just let go of for now.
- Basic care of my family is obviously kind of #1. Making sure everyone is clean and fed and loved and snuggled and read to... that is the priority.
- Homeschooling. We are now legally required to be logging hours and "doing school" with Max. But, this is also something we feel called by God to do and it is very high on my priority list. It takes a lot of my time and energy during the day and has meant we have had to learn to say "no" to a lot of other things.
- Eating at home. For health and budget reasons I am making it a priority to eat at home for almost all of our meals. We eat out or grab take out maybe once a week (which is a huge step down from how often we used to!). But, I only have so many hours in a day so meals are simple. I do a lot of freezer cooking to keep weeknights low-stress. And I don't make everything as healthy as it could be or as cheaply as I could. I just don't have time for that right now. I do the best I can but just eating at home is the goal.
- Keeping my home relatively tidy. I have made this a priority right now because we have people over in our home quite often. We host our small group every week and then generally have people over in some capacity or another at least once a week. It is very stressful to have to take hours before people come over to get things in order. So, striving to keep things relatively neat most of the time cuts down on my stress level.
And so that will mean there are some REALLY GOOD things that I don't do!
- I don't cook super healthy meals from scratch.
- I don't coupon and price match and shop multiple stores.
- I don't have my kids signed up for a lot of activities outside of the home.
- We don't do much outside of the home during weekdays.
- I don't go out a lot with girlfriends or by myself.
- We don't do a lot of big art and craft projects.
- I don't do many crafts or hobbies outside of blogging every once in awhile or doing something together as a family.
So, that is what I am learning. And I am writing this post partly so that I can remind myself of all of this when I start comparing or listening to others telling me what I "should" be doing... And then I can also look at this picture of what God has blessed ME with...