Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Top Five Survival Tips for an Overloaded Spring Schedule

Spring time... a time (long ago it seems) of fresh flowers and budding trees. Hoping that happens soon around here. And around here, we have plenty of time outdoors to enjoy them with our busy schedule of baseball and soccer. We also have swimming, youth group, and piano in the mix too...oh, and I can't forget the music concerts for school, and the academic competitions. YIKES! Well, I thought I'd offer some tips to anyone else who might be feeling the heavy weight of a busy schedule crushing all sanity from their momma what's left of it after raising colicky infants to defiant toddlers to know-it-all school age kids...oh I do love the little rugrats.;)

Here are my tips...maybe not in any particular order of importance...maybe that's in the eye of the beholder?

1. JUST SAY NO: So, to get any negativity out at the front so we can end on a positive note...I thought I'd start with this one. Always check and adjust according to your family's well-being and each individual child. It's never too late to say "no" when it comes to the best interest of those you love. For example, we noticed a severe decline in our second son's ability to concentrate once his schedule got loaded down. RED FLAG! We had to re-evaluate and drop things...and he was ten times better for it.This is hard if you follow the philosophy of "Never Quit", but sometimes, quitting is exactly what you need to do because you really shouldn't have said, "yes" in the first place.

2. FAMILY TIME/DATE NIGHT: Carve out time for family time. Even when you have two baseball games, a soccer game, two swim practices, youth group, and a school music concert in one week, there is always time to sit in the family room and just hang might take a little effort, but in the long run, it is more important than a practice or game. Also, remember to include a date night here and there with the hubs. Seriously hard to do. Even if it means putting the kids to bed and sitting on the deck for a quiet evening. You won't enjoy this season if you are disconnected to the one person on your team!

3. MESSES ALLOWED: Don't expect a clean house. UGH!!! This is so hard for me. Clean=Peace in my mind. And when life is going 100 MPH, I need as much peace as I can get. But I gotta remember that this isn't HGTV and my house isn't on the market for a potential buyer. Paying attention to what matters most (my family) must trump a messy living room and a sink full of dishes. Peace could be found in the joy of my kids enjoying their activities...right? Still working on that one...but catching on more and more each season!

4. MENU FLEXIBILITY: And about that sink full of dishes....every once in a while, you just have to throw in the towel on cooking a healthy meal. There are plenty of quick healthy-ish options out there when you are in a time crunch...and actually, a couple of bad options once a month or every couple of weeks won't hurt. A friend and I talked about how we can work ourselves up into a paranoid mess if we worry about every thing our kids ingest now-a-days with all these diet fads and theories out there. It can work me up into a frenzy and make me feel completely out of control and like a failure as a caregiver. But I have to remember that God's in control...God is the ultimate Protector of my kids, inside and out. Sometimes you do what you have to guilt necessary.

5. HAVE FUN: This is so difficult to remember...I am naturally a complainer. It is so easy to get frustrated with overlapping games and time conflicts. But...the reason I allowed these things to happen is because my children benefit greatly from these activities. They learn confidence, team work, perseverance, endurance, and the list goes on! We have seen a TREMENDOUS change in our oldest's self-esteem once he got involved in sports. I know not every kid needs this or benefits from it, but when you find the passion in your kids, don't complain about the activity...enjoy watching your child thrive and GROW! It's over in a blink!


Any other tips you can think of? Would love to hear from you in this comment section!

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