....as we go into Lent. This is part of a post from Starry Sky Ranch. The rest of it is worth reading if you can spare a few minutes.
"My point is you have to be a good steward of your time. The more kids you have, the more health issues you have, the less wiggle room you have. I live by a few slogans. One is that there is always enough time to do God's will. There is rarely enough time to also do your own agenda. I have found God to be economical. He always provides for our needs. Not always so with our 'druthers. When pressed for time and or when energy is depleting I have had to step back and ask again, what of this is God's will and what is my own? Clearly SOMEthing is my agenda because while God does not promise to make me supermom He does promise me I can carry my yoke with His help. That does not mean I can carry ANY yoke I choose, only the one He has designed for me. This is where I run into trouble."
This quote speaks to a point I have slowly been reaching over the years as our family has grown. I started homeschooling with one child, and we kept very busy. There is a staggering number of activities available for homeschoolers in this area. You could literally go somewhere and do something wonderful every day of the week.
The activities aren't less wonderful now than they were then. I just have less time to do the things that are more important. The hard thing for me has been to distinguish what is more important. More important is often less fun. Instead of joining every group and class and field trip, I have to forgo some of these to make sure there is time to keep up with math, keep up with laundry, and keep up with the clutter. I need to make sure I'm home at least most days for Jack's naptime and to put a decent meal on the table for dinner. This has been a matter of self-discipline for me...and it continues to be. I guess we all have our issues. Many say they struggle with spending too much time on the computer. I have had days where I have been caught up in that more than I should be, usually in an effort to procrastinate backed-up housework, but generally it's not been a huge problem for me. I have a limited tolerance for sitting at the computer anyway,,,it just starts to make my head spin after a while. I do have my own weaknesses though...and the draw of those outside of the house activities is a big one. With the addition of a third child, I have finally reached a point where running myself ragged to do too many activities is officially not worth it anymore, even to me. It is now truly so much more work to try to play catch up when everything falls apart around here that I am far less tempted to leave home to begin with. Now I am faced with having a newborn in 3 months time, and I know I will be more and more drawn toward home, and wondering how I will balance this with what the older children need.
Here's another gem from the above blog...
"Best advice there - ALWAYS get up before the children. Whatever else happens do not wait until you hear Cheerios hitting bowls or Barney on the tv. The day is already in trouble at that point."
This is very true in our house. I used to be really good about getting up early. It wasn't difficult, really, I tend to do better in the mornings anyway and I'm pretty beat by 9 o'clock or so at night. But during the first trimester with this pregnancy, I started sleeping later, comparatively, waking up whenever the first child woke up, usually around 7:30 instead of my previous 6am. Then when my energy picked up again, I started staying up later and still sleeping later. It's tempting because the peace and quiet are so welcome after everyone is in bed, and when John is off of work he tends to stay up late too. But it's not been a good thing. When I was getting up early, I would make some coffee and get online, answer emails and read blogs, just have a nice quiet start to the day,,,then I would be ready at 7 to wake up kids and jump on the day. The morning moves smoothly and everyone gets the things done they need to get done with minimal complaining. When I wake up when they wake up, it is so much harder to get the day started on the right foot. By the time I am ready to start our day, they are sitting in front of the television and I get attitude problems all morning. I'm going to work on correcting that this week.