Sunday, January 18, 2009
Simplifying and Our Winter Sabbatical
I've always felt that I needed to have our children in many different activities, you know, to develop their potential and to find their talents and to keep them busy and to have something to do. Hence, I found myself last fall, as I have found myself many times as a mom, bringing our children to 3 library classes, boy scouts, swimming, dance class, playgroups...and then when I added in school, preschool, CCD, allergy shots, and volunteering in the kids' classrooms, we were NEVER home.
I think that it was at some point right before the holidays that I started feeling our family schedule closing in on us. I was behind with everything, always stressed out, and staying up too late. Henry said to me when I picked him up after school one day, "Mom, what are we doing today?" When I answered him, he said, "We don't get to stay home enough. I just want to play today."
That really hit home to me. He was right. We don't get to stay home enough. They needed some more free time (to blow bubbles :) and play dominoes, among other things). I needed some more time.
Thus, I came up with the idea of taking a winter sabbatical from activites. In theory, if the kids and I were home more, we would have more time to play, to choose, to bond with each other, to establish more efficient home routines and schedules, and to help out more.
My thinking was that we could temporarily drop out of most of our activities. We can always come back to things we miss. But maybe in the process I would regain some energy and sanity, the kids would have more play time, and we would all be happier.
So that's what we're doing, and I am really feeling a lot of peace about it. Granted, we couldn't drop some things (CCD and scouts), but for the most part, we are home. We have more time to get housework done, which is inspiring us to move on to bigger organizational projects (like the basement and Dave's office). We're doing things that we have wanted to do for years, but never had the energy or the time to do.
We'll see how it goes. We might all be driving each other crazy soon. ;) But for right now, the "simple life" is a really good thing.