Friday, February 6, 2015
More of this, less of that
I am finding it hard to find the time to blog lately. Life just seems to get busier and busier as the kids get older. When you have a houseful of toddlers, everyone tells you that it will get easier, but I am not really finding that to be true. I am probably not as bone-deep-exhausted as I was back then, but I know I am a heck of a lot busier! And just as frazzled, if not more so. Wednesday was supposed to be an at-home day for us, but Grace is attending a writing program for the next few weeks and I gotta say, that one extra thing is throwing me for a loop! I didn't realize how much I depend on having two afternoons each week when we don't *have* to be anywhere. Take one of them away, and....well, I feel drained even just thinking about it!
The truth is, I love not having anywhere to go and having a little time after our schoolwork is finished to catch up on email, housework, laundry, and my always growing to-do list. Most days, there is just no time to do more than basic chores and oversee the kids' chores and basic hygiene (just brushing Rose's hair can take a solid 10 minutes and most of my kids will never shower without me prompting them), then do our schoolwork, deal with meals, squeeze in a bit of exercise, and drive to our outside activities. That's all of the days' hours pretty much accounted for before I even factor in animal care, gardening, cooking or baking beyond basic meal prep, more in-depth housecleaning, errands and appointments, correcting papers, homeschool planning, time with friends and family, and so much more. Sometimes I get the urge to move off to some mountaintop and just go down once a week for supplies. And possibly unschool.
I very much want the kids to be able to pursue their passions, receive a solid home education, and have a lot of good solid family time. And those things take time. A lot of time, especially with four kids. And other things will be, and need to be, neglected as a result.
It's funny how it can take so very long to figure out some very basic things. Like, that you really can't do everything in the season of raising and homeschooling children. I have said it before myself, but lip service is one thing, doing is another. More and more, I find myself actively choosing not to do something that I think I "should" do. And it's great. I want to do more of this, but it isn't always easy and it doesn't come naturally to me. I want more of some things, less of others and I've been trying to identify what fits in which category.
I want us all to spend more time outdoors. But I want to do less gardening and not grow so much stuff ourselves. I signed up for a farm share for this summer. I'm pretty excited about that. I like to garden, but it takes a ton of time. I'm no longer sure I can afford so much time for it.
I want to travel more, both near and far. We are starting to plan a trip to Costa Rica for this spring. It's a lot of work to plan a vacation! Worth it, of course, but a lot of work. It takes time.
I want to set aside dedicated time to write every day, but I don't want to try to publish a certain number of blog posts each week. I am a slow blogger and it takes me an average of an hour to write a fairly simple post; this post took me over two hours to write.
I want to have a little time every day to do yoga or walk, and to read and knit a row or two. This is necessary time to decompress.
I need time to keep the house in reasonable shape. It doesn't have to be perfect, but I can't relax if I feel like things are dirty. But I want to stress less about the house. I am rethinking my whole housecleaning plan to see if I can cut down on daily tasks or make them more efficient somehow.
I want to prepare reasonably healthy meals with more vegetables and that takes time. But I still want to keep things simple. I just picked up Dinner: A Love Story from the library.
I want the kids to be able to pursue an outside activity or two. But I want to spend less time doing things we don't really want to do....group field trips that don't really interest us, activities they only "kinda sorta" like, hanging out with people we find draining. Taking the time to actually consider each opportunity as just that, an opportunity, not a "must-do".
I could go on, but basically I just want to start thinking more about what we do and why we do it, and if we even should to do it at all. Selectivity can be a wonderful thing.