As our school semester winds down and the holiday season amps up, I feel myself evaluating where we are. Assessing the progress the kids have made in their studies and our progress this year. I went back and re-read my New Year's post from almost a year ago. I basically had to laugh. My words for the year were "Too Much." Well I didn't accomplish too much this year so I guess I was right but a bit backwards. If anything this year has been filled with more too much than last year was.
Last year I worked 2 part-time "jobs"- this blog which provides my family with some free products in exchange for some of my time and an independent contracting job that I've done from home these last 8 years. This year I added an additional part time job bringing my total to 3. Last year my husband had an 8-5 job (except for the 10 weeks he was gone to training) and this year he works a job with abnormal hours and no regular shift. This year the kids added softball and baseball to their ever busy schedules and one played an extra half a season.
However it wasn't all a bust. I did manage to regain some of my time from situations that I felt like were draining me. Of course a lot of that time has gone to my extra work schedule. What I absolutely didn't do was reign in my stress. It's been much worse this year. So while there a still a few weeks left this year I'm praying about God's word for me for 2014 and I'm thinking right now it will be relax. I need to find ways to relax. To let go of the things that I can't control. To dispense of the worry that plagues me.
One way I will do this is to STOP reading a majority of the blog posts that go viral. I know that seems backwards. I'm a blogger. I want people to read my content. The thing is that I hope when you read my blogs you don't feel condemned. I don't want you, my reader, to feel like I've added something to your already full plate. I hope this is making sense to you. Lately I've read several articles that were posted on social media by multiple mommy friends. Particularly the one I read yesterday got to me. Initially I felt convicted by the words. Oh I could relate to this mommy and the things she was saying. By the end though I felt condemned, not good enough, underachieving. Ain't nobody got time for that. If I pray about something and God convicts me to change then I need to work on that. If I read 100 mommy blogs and they all tell me 100 things I need to change then I'm just heaping undue stress on myself.
So if relax is truly my word I'll share more with you about my plan closer to the New Year. In the meantime let me encourage you. Let go of the stress of this season. You can't do it all and you shouldn't. Your kids likely won't remember perfectly wrapped gifts or a perfect Christmas tree, the won't remember elf shenanigans or every Christmas event/ parade/ play/ musical/ party you attend, what they will remember is the time and love you share this time of year. Keep it simple mamas. Or do it up special everyday if that's what makes you happy. No condemnation here.