I love this quote…
Have you felt like you run from one activity to another. That you are going 100mph with no destination in sight.
Have you yelled at your kids, rolled your eyes at your spouse while shouting, we are gonna be late!!! Hurry up, eat in the car we are late!!!
Have you ever shouted and rushed your kids around doing something “for them” while the cry and fight and scream. When you are sweating , stressed out, exhausted, and overspending because of lack of preparation . it maybe time to step off the crazy train.
I used to do a lot of things this way because I felt like I “had “ to. I felt like I couldn’t say no to anything that presented itself or some kind of way my kids would be missing out.
When I was first married I had to make some real adjustments. At the time, Brandon had a long commute and a very stressful job. So when he would get home, he didn’t want to go anywhere. Same for the weekends , he just wanted to be home. So over the years, I learned to do my outing type things during the week with the kids . So that kinda naturally protected us from 3 birthday parties, a baby shower, a camp out , a dinner party in one weekend.
Honestly my mom is a homebody. She loves to be home, she always has. She doesn’t like to go go go.
So these two factors kinda tamed my inner fear of missing out…
As I got into homeschooling though I felt like my kids needed to experience every single event that I could squeeze in.
⁃ We would go to library once a week.
⁃ We would goto Mom and Tots once a week.
⁃ We would goto a meet up at the park.
⁃ We would go to field trips to the zoo, science museum, post office, anything you could think of. I wanted them to experience it all!
But at what expense, small children do not handle outings very well… those years were filled with tantrums (mine and theirs lol) .
Exhaustion! Guilt because it was never enough. I remember feeling this crushing guilt that I could not give everyone what they needed. I was trying so hard and I had nothing. Left. To . Give.
Slowly over the years I learned what pushed them too far. I figured out that mornings worked best for everyone and if I pushed to far into naptime I always regretted it. I also learned that one outing per day was our limit. I learned that even the kids that didn’t nap, needed quiet downtime to collect themselves.
I learned that if I didn’t have sometime to myself every single day I would go crazy!??
I learned that anytime we left the house in a hurry , it was a disaster!!
A lot of people think the less they are home, the cleaner the house will remain. In my experience it’s the opposite when we are constantly on the go, the House gets out of control!! And there isn’t anytime to put it back together because you are still on the go.
Summer before last, we had a huge scare. We were swimming at our family’s pool and my second daughter almost drowned. We know how close we were to losing her and it has haunted us for a long time. I later shared the details with my prayer group moms. Fast forward a few months later and one of those moms revealed to me that she felt God had a message for me. She was uncomfortable telling me, and she wasn’t sure what I would think about the message but she decided to tell me. God told her to tell me to “SLOW DOWN.”
She said she felt Him saying I was doing way too much.
( that’s where the title of the Blog really came from)
It hit me like a ton of bricks! How can I slow Down ?!? I have 5 children under 6 ! We just moved , I’m homeschooling, but it was true.
I had to slow down. I almost lost my child. I had to get a grip, stop running around and be there for them. So I halted everything while I determined what “Slow Down “ meant.
⁃ The first thing I cut out was co-op ; I was driving an hour each way and it was too hard.
⁃ I cut out the library , it was so difficult and almost impossible to get a lot out of it with so many young children.
I started looking at my children instead of my calendar. If there was an event on the calendar, but that day everyone was crying and screaming then I knew I need to reassess.
If I was up all night with a nursing baby then I consider that for the upcoming event. A tired Mom is a grouchy mom. I don’t fool myself, I know what it’s like to push them past their limits and it is never been worth it.
The way it begins is the way it ends.
I started realizing that if I did push them too far they ended up being reprimanded the whole time. I felt sorry for the child that I knew needed to be home.
I also learned my own limits. I’m pregnant now, and I have learned the hard way what things wear me out too much. I have to be on my A game to take care of my family. I can not let my body get too worn out so that I can’t handle the work.
I was learning a lot of these things slowly and on my own and then one of my favorite bloggers
Did a Busy Boycott
What an awesome title right?!? I love it!
She really helped me ….
She also showed me that your worth is not gaged by your productivity, or your output. Your worth comes from you being you. You have value because God created you. That’s why disabled , elderly , and the unborn all have infinite value. Because their value comes from God not from their output.
So we cut back our lives even more so that I could slow Down and be a mother and a wife not a crazy Pinterest looking, selfie taking, perfectly dressed Mom riding the hamster wheel of motherhood.
Now when any event comes up I try to leave room for a change of plans. That’s why I hate giving advanced notice, it’s so tough.
I try extremely hard to listen to my heart. If my heart immediately says no, then I give the decision a little time before answering.
I weight every sport, or field trip against the value it will bring to my family.
So far we try to find out one sport or hobby for each child.
This is gonna sound funny but my mom has always been like “just quit!” I know that teachers just gasped but hear me out. If your family is suffering because of Tball or piano lessons it’s not worth it! Think of it like not giving up on your family.
If supper time and Saturdays have become a smorgasbord of playing taxi and trying to get ready for next next next next ; exam each event – value to your family vs event and be courageous in making the tough choices to slow down.
Even holy things can not be for you right now. I always feel guilty that I don’t teach CCD but that’s not my season of life right now.
I love this quote by a great author of teaching from rest : “if you could guareentee that your child gets a full scholarship At an Ivy League School but ruin your relationship with child in the meantime, would you do it?”
I guess we could ask , “ if I could guarantee this or that for my child but lose my marriage or relationship with them would I still do it?”
There is one last story that I want to end with.
There was a mom , working with the insurance company I worked for, that I thought had such a great family – her kids were older , and were very athletic children. She used to say this saying all the time: “a family that plays together, stays together.” I remember thinking that life seemed so fun. After I had stop working and went back to do some training courses , I saw her… she told me she was divorced!!!! I really was shocked!
Of course that’s not everyone, and sports are not bad they have wonderful things to contribute to children and to a family but I think we should always be protecting our families
from the crazy train ….
– too much extra curricular
– too much video games
– too many birthday parties and showers
Whatever it is… say no often so that when you do say “yes” you can give 100% to that thing.