September 12, 2013

sweet sweet family time

It's no secret we lead busy lives. Mike's job, my ministry, football, running, homeschooling. Sometimes the weight of it all is enough to want to give it all up and move to the woods. Or at least a tent on the beach (in Hawaii). It has been tricky to find a balance but these are all things we feel called to do so it's been super important to find that balance and make sure we aren't sacrificing our family or our marriage to make it all work.

It's not always easy but I think we just might have finally found the sweet spot.

Before this homeschooling year kicked off I wrote out a detailed schedule - like crazy woman detailed. I have everything scheduled in to an hour/moment of the day on a weekly spreadsheet. A typical Thursday would look like this:

6-7am: pray, blog, get ready
7-8am: laundry in, make breakfast, kids awake
9-10am: Mass
10-12: Field Trip day/school
12-1: Lunch
1:00-2:30 Levi down for nap, school with big kids
2:30 Levi still napping, big kids take a rest (read/watch a show)
        I fold laundry
3:00-4:00 Meal plan/org paperwork. Big kids go outside to play. More school with Avila.
4:00 Make dinner
5:00 Unity Dinner (football) - bring kids
6:00 Leave early from Unity dinner, run 10 miles at Point Defiance
7:00 Mike does baths and bedtime
8:30 I'm home and Mike and I hang out
9:30 Bedtime to pray/read


I have my chores split up over the week: Bathrooms on Monday, Mop Floors and fold laundry on Tuesday, Vacuum and mop tile/clean out car on Wednesday, Fold laundry, organize paperwork and meal plan Thursday, Deep clean kitchen and wash windows on Friday. Lesson planning happens whenever I get the chance to sit down. (Sit, what is that???!) I'm only gone one night a week from bedtime for running and Mike is only gone a couple nights for Football. Our schedule seems so restrictive but actually...........

It has brought so. much. freedom.

I never have to freak out about the fingerprints on the sliding glass door. I know they'll get wiped off on Friday. I never have to freak out about messy bathrooms on the weekend because I know they'll get cleaned Monday. I never have to get overwhelmed about how to fit in homeschooling or laundry (sigh) or anything else because it all has a place in our schedule. And if something comes up, I just adjust according and some days (most days) it doesn't all get done - but at least I'm not flipping out along the way.

And lately the one thing we have made sure to never ever sacrifice is our family time and our time alone. Because with how busy we are a family, a marriage, can easily crumble under the weight of it all.

Tuesday night is our family night where we go do something fun (usually the beach) and when it gets crappy outside probably just games or whatever. We also have blocked out family time Saturday and Sunday where we all just hang out or go do something. Mike and I have Saturday nights as our "date night" meaning we try not to schedule anything else and if we do, we make sure to make it up because we need that alone time together to just hang out and be. The other times we are together (as a couple or a family) we try to spend as intentional as possible. It's not always perfect but with God's grace it's working.

And to make it work we definitely have to make sacrifices. I have very little down time during the day. I really have no other "me" time other than whatever I get before the kids wake up and my running. But that's OK because I thrive on being active and actually being this busy I get a lot done. Except for laundry. I never get that all done and when it is done it happens all. over. again.

I will also say that by having a schedule and routine the kids are so much less crazy. Still crazy but just less. :) And actually we do have many moments where there is nothing. Just playing, reading, snuggling, fighting and zoning out on Facebook .  The snuggling is my favorite.

On Tuesday night we packed up and headed down to our favorite spot on the beach. We spent a couple hours building sand castles, drinking "big kid" drinks (aka: something the little kids couldn't have), watching the sunset, listening to the trains, watching our sand creations get washed up by the ocean, and getting serenaded by a group of Samoans playing the ukelele. Ah, bliss. It was that recharge we needed to face the next couple of busy days.

And now I should probably go because Levi just pulled a handle off of a door and is licking it. Oh now he stopped that and is slamming all the doors shut. Yesssss.

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