Thursday, December 10, 2015

How to Enjoy Family and Slow Down during a Busy Season

We are two weeks out from Christmas people!  I don’t think I have ever had a year seem so busy and move so fast!

Part of the reason that we take such a long winter break from homeschooling is because of the inevitable busyness that comes along with December.


There are still basketball practices and games, homeschool co-op, library trips, and general household day-to-day activities, but there are also Christmas parties, Christmas dinners, Christmas presents, cards, crafts, and probably other C words that I haven’t thought of yet.

How do you make life slow down?

Honestly, that is a question I have been asking myself a lot lately.  It seems like no matter how hard I try to be present and in the moment, the days move by quickly.  I want more time to enjoy my family.
  

I can’t remember a day or week that seemed to drag on or a time when I was bored and didn’t know what to do.

That sounds a bit ominous, doesn’t it?  It absolutely is not though.  I am having the most fun that I have had in my life, being a mama to my three little ones, and having so much activity and energy in the home.


When I see the joy of my kids playing basketball, or making a new friend, or running off to play in the woods behind the co-op; it is all fun.


For a very long time I lived looking towards the next thing.  I was constantly thinking ahead, planning, trying to make sure that times were filled in appropriately.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I still plan – a lot.  In fact I probably am planning more than I ever have with all the schedules we are juggling.

However, I am definitely trying to slow down the unnecessary items, enjoy my family and quiet more.

This life right now, with kids, and sports schedules, homeschooling, extracurricular activities, co-op; it is what I signed up for.

I know that come January, life will seem a bit slower.  The holidays will be over and we will be back to a regular school routine.  The dark days that I used to despise are now a comfort to me, knowing that life will be a little quieter.

How can we allow ourselves to have a little quiet now, especially with all the Christmas craziness?


Well, I think that having downtime is extremely important.  And often, we need to schedule that downtime.  I know that the kids will have basketball practice and games every week; they will have co-op and library trips every week.  But, are there moments that we can slow down?  Absolutely!

The first area I found that helps me to slow down and enjoy family is the laundry.


Are you laughing at me right now?  Even as I write that it seems funny to me.  Laundry.  I have so much laundry in my life.  It honestly is never-ending.  However, recently my kids have been asking me for chores they can do around the house (they want ways to earn money), and laundry is a good place for them to start.

They love to help me sort the clothes, and Emma does a great job of folding towels.  Jack matches socks and helps put Lucy’s clothes away. 



Typically I like to do the household chores myself – it is faster that way!  But, I realized that I am doing a disservice to my children if I don’t let them help me – especially when they want to.

This allows me time to enjoy my family while we do something that needs to be done anyways.  The kids are happy to help, and chat with me, and I am happy to have the help.  I realize that part of my job as a parent is to raise kids to become adults, and this is one way to do that.

My next tip?  Drink tea.  It seems so incredibly simple, but the process of boiling the water, letting the tea steep, and then sitting down with my family is a wonderful thing.  My kids especially like raspberry lemon tea with a little honey.  It isn’t something they have often, so it is a treat, and since it is also one of the ways we stay warm in the winter it is a great way to slow down as well.


If you aren’t a tea drinker, you should try it.  There are a variety of herbal teas available, and they are delicious!  The right pick me up in the afternoon, especially with a cookie – this is the time of year for a lot of cookies after all!

Finally, breathe.  No matter how busy you may feel, if you have an infant like I did last year at this time, or if you are in the middle of a huge project at home or work, stop and breathe.  Taking a few minutes to re-center yourself, pray, meditate, it will do wonders for your nerves and for your health.

Everyone has busy seasons.  It is inevitable.  But, that does not mean that we can’t all still slow down and enjoy our family during that time.  We do not have to move at warp speed, even though sometimes it feels like we are on a crazy roller coaster that will not stop. 


What do you do to calm yourself during the busy season?  Is there a favorite chore that you do with your children?

19 comments:

  1. In order for me to clear my head, I need to leave the house. Usually working out is enough for me to calm down and get back to reality!

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  2. I am not one to slow down and take time out but I do love spending time with friends and family .

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  3. I definitely don't slow down this time of year. In fact, I feel like I never even sleep! But it's worth it to get to do it all. I always crash in January :)

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  4. I have really (RALLY) slowed down this month. I pretty much just said no to everything. Last moth was NUTS and I think I haven't recouped yet!

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  5. Great post! I'm ready for time to just stop, I want to soak it all in! When things get crazy busy, I head for the tub - even if it's just for a quick respite. It's a great way to energize and feel better!

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  6. I was JUST telling my husband about how I feel like I need to slow down after next week so I can really enjoy the holidays! It's so important to enjoy the kids while they're little. They grow up way too fast.

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  7. I'll totally admit it, laundry is my favorite household task! I cannot STAND floors though! Vacuuming, mopping, sweeping, etc, are my LEAST fave things EVER!!!!

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  8. Once a week we have family fun night, with movies, board games and/or walks, depending on the weather. No one is allow to make playdates or work late on friday... it's a rule.

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  9. I love this post! It can be so hard to find family time during the really busy season.

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  10. These are awesome tips. I make sure to find time to spend with my family no matter how busy I get.

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  11. Since I celebrate Hanukkah, the holiday season isn't as busy or stressful. I feel like the crazy time is Thanksgiving for us, so we make it a point to enjoy our time together then.

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  12. This whole year has felt a bit like a blur, and we're making a point to slow down this month. I love your reminder to slow down and breathe. Happy Holidays!

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  13. I'm definitely looking forward to the school break so I can enjoy some time with my son without homework. But then again, I just found out that basketball starts next week. Ugh!

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  14. I am really thankful that we are going to be able to slow down a bit for the holidays. Starting Christmas Eve, my husband and I are going unplugged and won't be on our computers or phones through Christmas day. It will be so nice!

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  15. This post is such a great reminder. There is always so much going on this time of year. I try to snuggle up with the kids in the evening and watch Christmas shows. That's my down time.

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  16. This time of year is always so crazy! I sneak off to the tanning salon when I need to take time to myself and breath.

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  17. There really is truth about stopping and smelling the roses. When we slow down we notice so much more. As busy as I am, I always try to live in the moment. It makes everything more memorable.

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  18. Sometimes we really need somebody to remind us to "slow down and breath". Thank you to remind us in a very wise way.

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  19. Part of me loves the busyness of the season because it's exciting and fun. Then all of a sudden it's overwhelming and I look around and there is so much to do. That I don't love.

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