Balance

Oh dear. I really wish I was going to show you pictures of my latest handspun. Or maybe the quilt top I am so close to having put together. Or perhaps the cute little knitting kits I have waiting for me in the closet, yarn and patterns all ready to go. (Don’t worry, that will all be appearing again, just not today). Instead,  I am here to talk a about the search for balance. And why I’ll be taking a little break.

This is the problem:

DSC07793

You see here approximately one third of the boys books strewn across the living room floor. And yes, you also see one boy on the bookshelf and one trying to join him. And of course a fight did ensue, as well as much wailing about the picking up of the books. All while I was trying to make supper.

Now, if you take the above example and multiply it by, oh, let’s just say 10 or 20 a day and you can see how I’m feeling just a wee bit overwhelmed these days. Add the fact that the kitchen is ripped up (remodeling, good!), we have to have the whole house cleaned out and ready for re-plastering in a little over a month (last of the tornado repairs) and the fact that Little Man Math Boy is on an elimination diet of no wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, nuts or fish, which leaves me cooking constantly and well, that makes me feeling really overwhelmed.

But wait! It’s not all doom and gloom here. Life is a challenge right now, but I also know that these early, crazy years are but a blip on the radar. The boys will learn to fold their own pants, wash their own hair, find their own shoes and stay asleep once they go to bed. They will learn how to make their own lunches and do the dishes. They will learn how to not break down into a sobbing mess every five minutes when they are tired. I know this is going to get easier. But I also think I that even though life will be busy, and messy and shall I just say… energetic, I don’t think it needs to be as crazy and chaotic as it feels right now.

Here’s why:

Simplicity Parenting

Rhythm of the Home

Zen Habits

Calm and Compassionate Children

(And yes, you should click on all those links. If you don’t have time now, be sure to do it later.)

The basic question is this: what if there were only ten books on that shelf rather than the sixty plus books I picked up?

Now apply that question to every other nook and cranny of my life, and you’ll see where I’m headed.

Because I realized that the stress in my life, the craziness, the lack of time and energy is pretty much caused by the large amount of stuff, stuff and more stuff. I want the focus in this house to be on our family and not trying to trudge through and clean up the stuff that’s all over this house. It’s time for the stuff to get cleaned out.

So I’m taking the next month or so to get started on this new journey of ours. I’m going to follow the ideas lined out in Simplicity Parenting, and use the other links/books as further inspiration. I know I’ll just be  making a dent in what I want to do this month, but the break from the blog will be one less thing for me to worry about as I get started. I’ll try to take lots of photos,  and my plan is to return in late June and do a five week series on what I’ve been working on and some ways that you can do the same in your life. My hope is that as the stuff leaves, we will find more time in our house for each other as well as for the things we really want to be doing, rather than the daily drudgery of wading through the stuff.

In the meantime, take some time to read the above books or visit the sites. Let me know, what do you do to bring more calm into your life? How do you make sure you have time for the people and things that are really important? This isn’t just for frazzled mamas like myself either. I think we all can benefit from looking at life this way.

Wish me luck! I’ll see you in June….

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7 Comments

Filed under family, home, Uncategorized

7 responses to “Balance

  1. I had Simplicity Parenting on my nightstand for 4 weeks but never got around to reading it…HA! I’m with you though. Jackson’s ASD has really slowed us down in a good way. Time to focus on the important stuff. (In the meantime, let’s play! Next week? I’ll call you.)

  2. That sounds like a wonderful path to explore! I’ll be looking forward to reading your posts on what you choose to do and how it affects your home and life.

    Good luck!

    Also, we had a kitchen remodel, too, but I was in the hospital the whole time. Peter and the kids did a lot with a toaster oven and a crock pot. Oh, and an electric griddle. Good luck with that, too. Share some pictures, if you think of it!

  3. Best of luck with streamlining things and paring life down to what’s important! Remodeling is so stressful.

    That said, reading is so important to children’s development (and adults’ development, too). I’m very sad to hear that the mess of books on the floor was the last straw. Books aren’t just “stuff” — they’re pathways to imagination and growth. Having just 10 books might work if you’re really good at going to the library and picking up a load of 20 or so each week, though!

    • Good point!! And I should clarify what I meant, because we are such huge book lovers here. Don’t want to scare anyone:-)

      The plan is to get rid of the “junk food” books. The ones that just have bad writing and little depth. Then, we’ll reorganize the books into smaller groups, maybe 10-15 books each in their own baskets (which then they can share). And then they’ll get rotated out every couple of weeks or so. So the idea is that instead of getting overwhelmed by so many books at once, they really get to dig into and enjoy a smaller amount at a time.

      Hope that makes sense! I’ll post more about it once we’ve done the switch and we see how it goes.

  4. One thought… kids often don’t appreciate real bookshelves the way grown-ups do. Sometimes storing kids’ books in piles in milk crates (plastic or otherwise) works well, or even in a small toybox.

  5. Oh, I know this feeling! I still have stacks of book jackets from when Oldest Daughter was ripping books apart. When she gets her own apartment, I plan on giving them all back to her!

    I have a friend/blogger who sounds a lot like you – only with daughters so I’d thought I’d give you the link:

    http://measuredword.typepad.com/my_weblog/

    Enjoy that time off !

  6. Abbey

    That room looks fabulous! 😀

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