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Less IS More—De-cluttering Our Schedule

on August 18, 2013

I learned a valuable lesson at the end of the summer.  When it comes to your life, de-cluttering needs to happen in more places than just your closet.  I realized that when scheduling activities for our family, sometimes less really is more.  We spent most of our summer running around doing fun things or work things or lessons of one kind or another—and we had very few days or chunks of time at home to just…be.  The whole summer flew by, and when my daughter started school this year, it seemed like the summer was a fleeting memory.  We really did tons of fun activities and visited some cool places around town, but I came to realize that given the choice, she would choose to stay home and play.  She got so excited on the few days I told her we had nothing planned and that we could stay home all day.  All she wanted was some time with her toys and her neighborhood friends—and to just be a little kid playing.  She NEEDS that time.  She is only little once in her life, and she should have the chance to really enjoy it.

So, I made a decision.  When it comes to our schedule, less will be more.  We already have tons of items on our calendars—PTA meetings, dentist appointments, professional commitments, productions to see on our season pass to the children’s theatre, etc.  It’s a mixed bag of fun, work, and needs done.  As we looked to see what activities to involve our kindergartener in, I was really excited in the beginning to get her registered for dance class, girl scouts, swimming lessons, and whatever else came along.  But, after some soul searching, I decided I didn’t want to be the parent who shuttled her kid(s) to and from activities all week long and barely had time for dinner together at home let alone unstructured play time.  We tried out a dance workshop—and as much as my daughter likes to dance, she decided it wasn’t want she wanted to do.  I listened.  No dance this year.  And, I made the decision that we would have no swim lessons the first semester—at least—to give her time to adjust to her new schedule.  So, for the fall, she just has girl scouts once a month.  We can handle that easily (especially because I will be the leader) and still be home in time for dinner as a family on those nights with time to play after.  And, instead of finding every family activity going on in my city each weekend and cramming it into an already hectic schedule, we are going to pick and choose. Some weekends (like this one), our only outing will be to go to the grocery store.  And, I am ok with that.  I will not let folks make me feel guilty for not having her in t-ball, or music lessons, or whatever six days a week (which has happened).  She is 5 and needs a chance to be a little kid.  We will still schedule some fun outings here and there, but it won’t be every minute of every weekend/evening.

Watching my daughter use her imagination and set up a “house” in our living room, lounging outside while she runs around playing with the neighbors, and playing Ants in Your Pants and Jenga as a family is too precious to give up for another frantic day trip somewhere or for lessons she’s really not that into.  The bonus, we are really able to spend time as a family and watch as our daughter grows and changes.  We have more time to listen to her thoughts and watch her mind at work.  While this line of thinking is a complete 180 in many ways for me, just thinking about it makes me calmer and happier.  And…I am really looking forward to just hanging with my kiddo while she plays today.

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One response to “Less IS More—De-cluttering Our Schedule

  1. […] will probably be my biggest hurdle.  The first step will be to not over schedule ourselves.  Still working on that, but I know it is a problem and know it will be a work in progress–much like this whole […]

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