At least once a week my husband tells me to just STOP – stop stressing about the small details that he says no one cares about but me. It has taken me a while to get here, but I think I have reached my breaking point. There is no single thing that has pushed me to this point, just trying to keep everything in perspective and prioritize what is really important to me. We have all heard of the acronym K.I.S.S. or Keep It Simple Stupid. For about the last 5 years, this has been the opposite of my motto. I don’t know why, but I am the YES mom – to work, my kids, volunteering, birthday parties. You name it and I was there and probably volunteering to bake something too. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part I wanted to do these things and enjoyed doing them, but when you are always looking ahead to what you have to do next, it is hard to enjoy the present.
I am not very big on New Year resolutions and I am not Catholic so I have never been very strict on giving up certain things for Lent. I also do not want this to be a short-term fix; I want a solution that will make my life easier and more enjoyable. I do not want to miss any part of the day to day that I usually would be too busy to notice. I need to learn to keep it simple, not just for myself but for everyone in my family. This is going to be a lifestyle change.
When I receive an invitation, I try to instantly check my calendar and RSVP as soon as possible. This allows me to make a decision based off of if we are available or not. If it isn’t going to work out, an immediate response takes away the opportunity for me to re-arrange my schedule and days to make it work. I have decided to pick and choose what we do. We do not and cannot do everything we are invited to. Sometimes doing nothing at home with your family is the right choice.
I will not call myself Type A, but I do like to keep a relatively clean house. Everyone knows how difficult this can be when you have kids. It is not just the toys, clothes, and junk; it is also the food and dirt that ends up on the floor. Between the kids and the dog, I was vacuuming every other day. I got a robotic vacuum for Christmas and it has changed my life! I am telling you that you need to look into it, because there are several companies that make them at different price points making it a more affordable option. There is still no robot to do my laundry, but I am waiting for this game changer to appear in my life.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good craft for a birthday party or school party. But these are the things that I end up doing late at night on the day before they are needed. Do you know why? Because I don’t really have time to do them. Valentine’s Day was the first school holiday of the year and I simply printed free downloadable Valentines from Pinterest onto card stock. The kids thought they were so cool and talked about which friends they were going to give each one to. When they came home from school that day, they plopped down all of their party favors in the kitchen and left them there for about four days. They never asked about them again and this was the confirmation that I needed. I won’t say that I will never do crafts again, but I will make sure I am well prepared and plan accordingly to give myself enough time.
Cooking from scratch
Cooking is one thing that I really don’t want to compromise on. I love to cook and bake and trying new recipes is something that really brings me great joy. I also think it is important to know what my family is putting in their bodies. But I am a working mom of toddlers that don’t always want to eat what I cook. Imagine that!!! I have to pick and choose my battles because let’s be honest, do I really have time to prepare every meal from scratch? NO. So this is something I have to let go of on certain days of the week.
So far, I have enjoyed the newfound simplicity in my life. These are very minor changes that have had a major impact on my time and attitude. I feel like everyone has some part of their life that can be re-examined and possibly restructured to save precious family time and sanity! As we take on more responsibilities with school, work, and family, we have to find ways to make it all work in harmony.