Friday, January 8, 2016

The Busyness Ambush

"Do no work after supper."

That's been a longtime guideline for myself.  I strictly adhere to it when Daddy is out of town.  Easy supper, quick clean-up and hanging out in the living room with the Blossoms until bedtime - that's our Daddy's Out of Town evening agenda.  I also frequently used this guideline for myself for most of our weekday evenings.  It always worked well for the whole family.  At most, I supervised supper clean-up and folded clothes in the living room.  With the restful Christmas break, our Lego days, our puzzle sessions and other quality together time, I realized how far I'd drifted from that guideline.

I had no idea that I'd let housework, emails, phone calls and extra projects suck up our evening family time. 

None whatsoever.  My busyness had crept up on me, pilfering every spare moment from our daily lives and I didn't even know it.  After reflecting on the things I loved best about Christmas break, I decided to reinstate this self-imposed guideline. 

I can't believe the difference. 

One week into it, I am happier and in general, I have a much better attitude all day.  (I once told my husband that when I regularly and purposefully spend time with our girlies, I feel the shift in my outlook from looking at my life as basically babysitting, instead to true mothering.  There is a huge difference between babysitting - putting in your time - and mothering - investing in and enjoying your children.  It's like the two bricklayers.  One drudged through his work and when asked what he was doing, responded with, "I'm just laying bricks."  The other man, looked up with a smile and energetically declared, "I'm building a cathedral.") 

Also, the girlies are much, MUCH happier.  Even the bad is better.  Meaning, if a girlie went to bed too late, got up too early or missed a nap, even the "normal" bad results from those things are better.  There is less tension.  There is more spontaneous affection.  I'm marveling!

This is all especially interesting to me in light of a quote I stumbled upon the other morning,

"Teenagers don't rebel against authority; they rebel against a lack of relationship."
~ Greg C. Gunn

Thought provoking, isn't it?  It definitely aligns with what I see here in our Blossoms whom range from 2-10 years old.

And now, of course, I speak from a stay-at-homeschooling mom perspective.  Others find themselves in different positions.  Don't give up, yell, "I can't!" and pitch these thoughts out without pulling the good nuggets for your own family.  How can you make regular family down time a priority?  I don't think that my rhythm of motherhood is a magic formula, so I urge you to take a look at your own life. 

You might be as surprised as I was by "the busyness ambush."