Today’s families are busy. It’s just part of the deal. At one time, it was kids’ sports that made families busy for a season. It’s not just kids’ sports and activities that fill our schedules anymore. Adults have sports now, too. And, there are festivals, concerts, parties, church activities, volunteering…. The list goes on. The plethora of activities available to kids and adults alike can overwhelm the schedule.
Homeschool families are not immune to a busy schedule. Sometimes, we are the busiest of all! One of the reasons many of us homeschool is to have time to experience different activities and programs.
We can try to cut our activities down to a manageable level, but we probably can’t totally remove busy from our lives. However, we can use some strategies to keep busy to a minimum.
Have a good morning routine
The beginning of your day can make all the difference. Create a morning routine to set yourself up to succeed. For me, getting up before the kids is essential. I need time to get myself ready for the day, have my coffee, read my Bible, check emails, make breakfast, and either set out the homeschool books for the day or get things ready or whatever activities we have planned.
Then, when the kids wake up, we are ready to hit the ground running. All the prep work is done!
Nothing panics mom out like the words “What’s for dinner?” No need to panic when you have a plan!
I make a weekly meal plan and base my grocery list off of that. It makes the dreaded grocery trip faster and cheaper. The meal plan takes the guess work out of what’s for dinner. The last thing I want to do at the end of a busy day is use the last of my mental energy trying to think of a healthy meal for my family. Meal planning is the key!
Have kids help with the housework
Our kids have been helping with housework since they were very little. My daughter had the habit from the time she was two to get all the books off her bookshelf and scatter them all over the floor so she could pick out the one she wanted. After the first week or two of that, I started to make her put the books back at the end of the day. I thought that would cure her of making the mess. It didn’t. It did make her realize she was responsible for her stuff. At the end of each day, I would say “Time to clean up the books!” and she would go to her room and put them on the shelf.
If kids are taught early and expected to help around the house, they will feel a responsibility to pull their weight. Teach them how to do chores around the house, then give them a chore list, and make sure they get them done. This instills responsibility in them and sanity in mom!
Lose the perfectionism
You are not perfect. Your family is not perfect. Your friends are not perfect. Your house doesn’t have to look perfect. Every situation doesn’t have to turn out just like you planned. It’s life. Roll with it. Accept life as it is. You can’t control other people. The only things you can control are your actions and your attitude.
Learn to say “No”
Since you can control your actions, choose them wisely. There are so many good activities and opportunities to learn, have fun, and serve available to you and your family. You can’t do them all, you need to choose the right ones even if it means saying no sometimes. If an activity doesn’t line up with your family’s priorities or will cause chaos in your life, just say no – even if it is a “good thing”. Your life is probably full of good things. Too much of a good thing is still too much.
What tips do you have for keeping the busy in your life to a minimum?
Related post: How Moms Can Make A Stress Free To-Do List