Simplifying.

I’m starting to get my rhythm with two kids, slowly but surely. It has definitely been an adjustment, and I’m learning that there are some things I just have to let go. Pretty much my house is never clean, so there’s that.

I’ve also realized that my life is in need of a lot of simplifying. Baby Boy needs time at home to be loved on and cuddled, time to work on his physical therapy exercises and time to just hang out doing nothing. He is at his best when I’m down on the floor with him, talking to him, laughing with him and reassuring him. And lately, he doesn’t really even want to be on the floor — just in my arms. This is getting to be physically challenging, because let me tell you, that boy’s appetite is a bottomless pit so he isn’t exactly light.

Prior to having two kids, my life was pretty full. And…pretty easy. Yaya and I attended weekly tot classes at the museum, yoga and the library. It was not unusual for me to spend a few evenings a month at book club or having dinner with friends. Yaya dresses herself, goes to the bathroom by herself, and can entertain herself during my piano lessons or association meetings — or if i need to clean the house.

But life is different for us now in wonderful and challenging ways, and I am getting burned out more easily. There are “seasons” in life — and right now I have little ones at home — one who has some very specific needs. So I’m in that season — which is a lot of work but brings a lot of joy — and I am doing my best to surrender to it and celebrate it. But, I can’t do it all. Here’s what I’ve done to simplify our busy lives:

-I quit the book club. I love my book club, but my free time is now spent reading books like The Connected Child or Parenting the Hurt Child, and trying to sneak away for an evening a month –whether I’ve read the book or not — just isn’t going to happen on a regular basis. I should note that this didn’t stop me from attending the MOVIE Great Gatsby during the kids’ nap time last weekend with my book club (Go see it immediately. You’re welcome.).

-I resigned from my position as president of the Southwest Montana Music Teachers Association. People were pretty resistant to the idea when I first sent out a letter letting them know and were trying to convince me to stay on in some capacity. Then I conducted our end-of-the-year meeting with two little ones in tow — one of whom was throwing his entire body unabashedly across the table and trying to eat their breakfast foods —  and I’m pretty sure they were no longer sorry to see me go.

-I cut back on my piano lessons. Right now I teach four afternoons a week, which I realize is not that much and I’m able to work from home and I probably sound like a spoiled brat complaining about it. But honestly, it’s been hard for me to give up that same time every afternoon with my kiddos. Yaya is only a year away from school and I don’t want to have my after-school hours filled spending time with other people’s kids (not that I don’t love other people’s kids…but I love mine more).  So over the past two weeks, I called a bunch of my piano students and told them I won’t be returning this fall. It was SUPER hard because I love my job and my students dearly and have become so close to many of them outside of piano, but they were all incredibly supportive. And I’m really excited to only be teaching two days a week this fall.

-I turned into a homebody. I’m finding that I’m just more content to be home, letting the kids play, crafting art projects or just reading books together on a blanket outside. I was worried Yaya would miss her regular activities, but she’s kind of turning into a homebody, too. Plus, her and the neighbor boy have recently become best friends and now spend many afternoons chatting across the fence and hanging out at each others houses. (Oh, my heart.)

Have you noticed ways that you have had to simplify or adjust your life through the years? What’s worked and hasn’t worked for you? Feel free to share below and be an encouragement and resource for another reader who may be struggling to surrender to the season in her life or achieve balance when she feels overwhelmed.

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  1. […] I celebrated my first Mother’s Day as an adoptive mom and worked hard to simplify our lives. […]

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