Well, I meant to get my blogger award posted this weekend, but hubby has hijacked my computer all weekend. He's running out for an errand, so I'm hoping I have time to complete an entire post while he's gone. In his defense, he's hijacked the computer for a very good reason. He's been working on a paper for school. Poor guy - he's so ready for a break. I am too. It's interesting that he's the one in school, but I'm feeling the stress also. It's one of those things that easily creeps into family life.
Many parenting books talk about balance. Balance is such a great concept, one that I wholeheartedly agree with. But it can be hard. Sometimes we have seasons of life where things are busy busy busy and there's just not much that's optional that can be cut out. I think this is where we find ourselves right now. We made the choice for hubby to go to school, so of course classes and time for schoolwork are not optional. My business is supporting the family and so my work is not optional. Our birthing class takes up time, but while this would be optional for some, when I look at my parenting and birthing priorities, there was no question of us needing to partake in this. This class has been everything I hoped it would. I feel much more confident approaching my home birth as a result of having this set time on a weekly basis to learn about and discuss birth. I also feel encouragement in learning more and more how my body was designed to give birth naturally! Since we have an hour ride to and from class, it's been a great time of togetherness for hubby and I to focus on our birth. With all of the other commitments in our life right now, I'm not sure that we would be intentionally discussing labor and birth if we did not have a set time carved out of our schedule for this. I think we've grown closer as a couple as a result. Church is another commitment we have and should not be optional, but I admit that with everything else going on we've definitely chosen to sleep in a few Sundays out of sheer exhaustion. I was happy that I was up for Mass today and took Boo, who's always so happy to go. Hubby stayed behind and worked on his paper. We do have Boo's parent/tot tumbling class on Saturday mornings and that is definitely not a necessity, but it's a really nice time of family togetherness and physical activity. Boo loves to go and the teacher is really wonderful and seems to have a great understanding of this age group. She's never pushy with doing activities the "right" way (unless it's a safety issue of course), she knows how to be respectful of children's space, and she's very encouraging of his accomplishments.
One of the key pieces of advice that I hear from books when it comes to balance is cutting out the things that are not necessary. Well, I've listed all of our commitments. I think the thing is that the few we've chosen, with the exception of the tumbling class, are very time-consuming and life changing. So while it may not sound like much, I assure you that it feels like very much. Also, being an introvert, I think that I can personally handle fewer commitments than an extrovert could, so I know that this plays into my perceived level of stress a bit. I do feel that until hubby is done with school, this level of busyness is what we're going to be dealing with. So, other than cutting things out, how does one find balance during a season of life that is just busy? Is it a matter of better managing stress? Perhaps I need to focus more on my relaxation exercises. Connecting with friends and family? Perhaps I'm on the right track in intentionally connecting with Boo more often. Taking care of myself? I admit the massage and hair color and cut yesterday felt great. So, as always I'm open to the wisdom of others!