2020,  Family

Family: Mental Load

I’m not sure when I became aware of my desperate need for simplicity, but I remember starting to think about it more seriously not long after I had our fourth baby. Maybe it was the shock of having four children under 8? Although it could have been everything that was on my plate at the time, considering my dad had died 8 months prior to having Jaden! Also, 2011 was a massive year for us as it was also the year that our Amy was diagnosed with Chronic Recurring Multifocal Osteomyelitis (CRMO), and we started our four year journey getting Ames back to health. I know I spent a lot of time through out this time trying to simplify our lives so that it was easier to deal with all the other things going on in our lives.

Over the years, I have found that outer order helps me with my inner calm. This simply means that when we have systems in place, and we have order and structure around us, we actually find that it is easier to do life. There is a sense of peace that comes with it all I first came across this concept many years ago when I read Gretchen Rubin’s book ‘Happier at Home’.

I am a big believer in the idea of when you know better, you do better, and how successful we are depends on the systems we put in place around us. Home is our refuge and our sanctuary, but it is also our launching pad into other adventures or other work experiences. I believe that when home feels good, it is easier to feel more confident and happier about trying other things.

I used to talk a lot about craving balance in my life, but I have been rethinking this whole idea as it infers that I am in a position to give every single part of my life equal time and energy. Mum’s know that it is physically and emotionally impossible to ignore our child/ren when they are upset about something, and it’s impossible to ask our children to have their emotional episodes at more suitable or scheduled times. When there is human need either in the household or in our extended family or friends, the To Do list literally goes out the window, and that is the way it should be, but the absolutes on the to do list are put on hold. Balance just doesn’t happen, because we are always rearranging our priority list, and family and friends will always trump a to-do list.

So, if I am no longer striving for balance, what am I wanting? The answer to this question is easy. I simply want peace. I have come to realise that it is impossible to have everything on our To Do Lists done every single day. My To-Do list is 3 foolscap pages long! I have since reorganised my to do lists into groups of things we need to work on. The Now, the Near Future and the DIY.

How do we find peace in our world.

1. Turn off the news! The news cycle is not our friend.
2. Put music on in the house.
3. Put on calming essential oils in your diffuser.
4. Don’t compare ourselves to others.
5. Don’t compare our homes to what others have.
6. Accept that our choices have consequences. Make better choices.
7. Teach our children to participate in the family when it comes to simple jobs. If you don’t expect them to help out when they are young, they will resent you when you all of a sudden ask them to help out when they are teens. Helping out should be a normal part of a child’s life.
7. Realise that our lives are divided up into seasons, and it is okay that we can’t do everything in every season. We weren’t created to be everything to everyone in every season of our lives.

and finally,
8. If you are struggling say the serenity prayer…

God,
Grant me the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; courage to change that which can be changed, and wisdom to know the one from the other, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Hope you are well,
Chat soon,
XO

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