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What do you need? What does your family need? How can you get that?
Forget usual, forget normal; I vastly prefer this-works-for-me to any clichéd vision of whatever we are ‘supposed’ to be doing.
I took yesterday off and made Christmas cookie dough with my mom. We mixed it and rolled it and froze it; four different kinds. You see, I can look ahead to the coming months and I know I won’t have time to make cookies, so I do this. They may not be as perfect as cookies freshly made on December 2nd, but I’m looking at December 2nd and there won’t be time. So, this-works-for-me.
I get up at four in the morning so I have time to read, write, pray and get a run in before my family wakes up. I can’t stay awake past ten at night. Wine is a rare luxury in my life. This-works-for-me.
When I’m out of town, I leave business dinners/parties/events to call home for an evening blessing with my kids. They give me the update on their days and we say our nightly Irish blessing together even if I’m three time zones away. If it’s an important meeting I’ll step out quietly and quickly, call my kids, and then come back in. I try to be quiet about it, but I’m sure there are people who think I’m some kind of weird religious nut or overly involved mother for doing this. Don’t care. My kids love it. I love it. This-works-for-me.
You know what you value, you know what fits and what won’t. You have my permission, right now, to jettison everyone else’s idea of what you are ‘supposed’ to be and do what works for your family.
If using paper plates will give you twenty minutes of no-dishes to read out loud with your kids, use the paper and no guilt. Grocery delivery service may feel like a luxury, but I’ve found I actually spend less (way less) when I order online instead of wandering the isles at the mercy of the food marketers; more importantly, I need that hour. I put my make-up on in the car, I missed every one of the ‘grown-up’ parties I was invited to this summer and I’ve been to book club once in three years. I have caught up on email, in the stands, during half-time, at an eighth grade basketball game.
I have discovered what I value: time with my kids, time with my husband, time to work-out. What do you value? How are you going to protect that?
There are only so many hours in they day, no matter how much we may wish there were more.
Your family, your life, your rules. Your happy.
What works for you?