Hello, Mamma. Thursday, Thursday. How was your day yesterday? Have another good one teed up for today?
Building a close family takes time, doesn’t it? And time takes some protecting in these busy lives of ours. Yesterday, in the course of one day, I said no to Happy Hour with the neighbor ladies, no to this month’s book club and no to a dinner out with a customer (I’m not lead on the account, so I can safely skip this one). And that’s just one day.
I am not anti-social by nature, really I’m not, quite the contrary.
You see, instead of those activities, I chose to watch my son play soccer, watch daughter in a race and chose to have a welcome back dinner for Mission Trip kid. In saying no, I said yes to my family.
Because you are interesting and interested and capable, all sorts of invitations will come your way. Happy hours and fund-raising meetings and cool discussions.
There are only so many hours in a day.
Every time we say yes to one of these really cool things, we are saying no to our kids. No to a relaxed, hanging out, sitting at the table together night, or going for a walk together afternoon, or cheering kiddo from the sidelines morning in the sun.
I also said no to daughter when she asked to get together with friends on one of our only three dinner-together nights this week. I asked her to reschedule another event to free up a Saturday afternoon for all the family to be together. She agreed; she values family time too.
When you look at your daytimer, do you like what you see?
This week I’ve said “maybe” to a charity gala planning meeting (evening meeting) and “maybe” to a religious violence dialogue between a number of local Islamic, Jewish and Christian church leaders (breakfast). Cool stuff, but I need to see how my weeks shake out. How much time am I home? How much time am I away? Can I bring my kids (and/or husband) with me? What activities will bring the most joy to my life?
I’m willing to be away from my family two nights a week. That is my max. More than that, and I start to feel the strain, my house gets messier than usual (frightening thought), and my kids start to get crabby. It’s not worth it to me.
What is your limit? Be aware of your time away, and your time at home, and know what brings you joy. When you start to veer away from joy and into stressed out, make some changes.
I have three kids in three different sports right now. I work. My husband works. We have lovely, interesting friends, and a few different groups we are involved in. Because of all of this, overscheduling is this every present bogeyman hovering on the edges of our life, threatening to swamp us and suck the joy out of our lives.
I guard our time together. I have to.
And I give you permission to guard your time too. You are not beholden to give your life to anyone or anything that doesn’t bring you joy. Craft your schedule, Mamma. Yes, no, maybe. And save some time for sitting on the sofa tangled up with your kids and a blanket and a book and a dog.
That’s the best.