“Mama what are we doing tomorrow?”, “Mama, where are we going next?”
These were the questions my four year old was routinely asking each day that made me realize our family was just too busy.
After our second was born, and I was no longer working full time, it didn’t take long before our days were filled with library events, trips to the zoo or children’s museum, or to the park… all on top of our normal errands.
While of course we enjoyed these trips and adventures, it led to a feeling that we always had to be “doing something”. So much so, that even on days when we should have been home resting, we were instead hopping from place to place “filling” our day.
I often reasoned that these days were necessary and part of my “job” as a mom. I felt as though I HAD to make sure that my children were involved in as much as possible, experiencing all these things.
The Sanctuary of Home
Before long, after weekly trips to the zoo, park, children’s museum, pool, or library, on top of daily chores, grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments and life, my soul began feeling drained.
I was loving all that we were doing but it just began feeling like too much.
It began feeling as though we were so busy our lives were passing us by without us really even noticing. Our days were too busy to stop and enjoy the moments we had together.
After a while I was longing for time to slow down. There was on crushing feeling of never being able to catch up. I craved a simpler life for my family.
We needed less chasing and more relaxing. Fewer to-do’s and more time spent making memories that we would actual be able to remember.
I decided it was time to make a change. It was time to begin slowing down and finding a balance of awesome adventures and simple days at home.
Finding Peace with the Quiet
Changes were slow at first and at times it felt uncomfortable to just be at home, but it has been worth it.
There were often times I would be itching to get out and ‘do something’ but after some time, being at home became our new normal.
Rather than giving into our old habits, now we find fun at home. Instead of doing all sorts of things after preK pick up, we come home for a slow lunch and playtime outside.
Rather than running errands all nights of the week, we opt for grocery pick up and chunking all errands into one day. This allows us to spend the remaining time together at home.
Rather than dinner out we opt for more dinners at home. Instead of multiple trips a week to activities we create artwork at home, play a game together, or simply snuggle on the couch for some TV time.
While we are still active in our outings to parks, the library, and such, we are living a slower life most often these days.
We spend more time together at home. We are having fun and building memories, together, without the stress of running all over town.
We are now more intentional with how we spend our time and are no longer afraid to say “no” to things that are just too much.
The effects of this change have been felt throughout our entire family. Stress levels are down, our children are happily enjoying our home, and we are finding joy in simpler activities at home such as cooking and crafts.
Letting go of the need to be busy gave us the freedom to finally sit back and enjoy our time together as a family. We were able to fill our days with simple joys at home, instead of car trips from one errand to another.
How about you? Do you ever feel a pressure to always be doing? Give slowing down a try and let me know how it works for you.