Making time….when there isn’t any

November 12, 2013

My to-do list stretches from here to the moon an back. Everything from organize sock drawers, sweep the basement, do laundry (it’s never done!!!), review spelling words with kids, touch up paint in the hall….

It goes on,
And on,
And on.

I also have a list of should do’s and want to do’s. I’d love to take cooking classes, join a French class, get to the gym regularly, volunteer.

The thing is I’m busy. I’ve got five kids, a house to keep clean, meals to cook, laundry, homeschooling, laundry – there are 7 of us and it bears repeating. I need more hours in a day or an eight day in the week.

As neither is an option, I’ve come up with my own.

I’m making time.

Here’s the thing, I read a lot every night after the kids are in bed. Which is awesome, but I’ve decided there are other things I want to do. So I’m shifting some tasks to that reading time. During the day, I’m trying to use small moments to get little jobs done. For instance, I hung a growth chart I’ve had for 6 months. It took about 5 minutes and I can check that off my list.

I’m also stepping up the kids involvement in clutter control. They have their chores, which they do diligently, but now I’m asking them to jump in and tidy coats and shoes and other random clutter. While they are not very enthusiastic, they are capable, and that frees up a bit more time.

So all of those minutes…what am I doing with them? Well, I’m trying to get out with some girlfriends a few evenings a month. A local group I’ve wanted to volunteer with for the last 10 years? Called ‘em. And I’m excited to help. The community theater group that I loved so much as a tween (did we call kids tweens back then?), I’m going to do costumes for their next show – with the woman who introduced me and Ed way back in ’99.

It will be busy. Ed keeps making jokes about “all my free time.” But I love being around people; crazy theater people, old friends, homeschool buddies, like minded Christians. The last year or so, I had my head down and just focused on homeschooling, on getting into a groove and figuring out how to make this lifestyle work. I don’t think I’ve got it all figured out and that’s ok, because education is a moving, morphing, living creature that requires a certain level of flexibility. More so when you are teaching 3 grades and keeping two preschoolers out of trouble.

So I’m happy. Life is a little more chaotic and balanced now, I think.

Have you ever realized you needed more on your plate?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Heike November 12, 2013 at 10:25 pm

I came to this realization last year as well. Everyone thought I was nuts – full-time job, twins infants and a toddler… why, oh why was I trying to add more to my plate? But the thing is, I’ve been in the same job/career for 11+ years and no longer find it mentally stimulating. And for the last three years, I’ve been working in a satellite office and feeling a bit secluded. Extroverts & isolation do not mix. I felt myself slipping away. I didn’t want to be defined only by my job and my kids. So, I took on a leadership position within the Junior League, also “in my spare time”. It has really felt like an awakening. Yes, it is more to juggle, but really, I love the added responsibilities and social opportunities it has created and most of the workload has come either via email, which I’ve managed to stay on top of, or at times when I’m able to schedule the au pair to help out with the kids. That was this Spring… since then, I’m ready for Round II. Hubby & I are both good about giving each other a break from the kids, but how about spending some of that time out together? Always a work in progress!!!

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