Unfiltered Mommy

An honest view of parenting in today's world

Conscious Unscheduling

on May 17, 2014

The other night, when my husband was headed to bed, he asked if I was heading up too. I looked around and saw four loads of laundry that needed to be folded, and despite being overly tired, I just could not let it go one more day. It had already been sitting there for far too long. “Nah.” I said smiling. “This is when the magic happens.” The words flowed out of my mouth so naturally. It was one of the “A-ha moments” for me.  I realized that I was actually excited to watch the latest episode of Mad Men and fold laundry.

The fact is that I get more done in one hour after every one is in bed than I do at any other time of day. One glorious hour of uninterrupted time to buckle down and get shit done.

So thinking about this phenomenon of The Golden Hour got me thinking. Why is it that I always feel like I’m playing catch up? Is there really that much to do, that even being home full-time and having my toddler in preschool two days a week, that I still cannot get everything done? Life in the USA is so busy. There are infinite possibilities of things to do, see and experience. It is truly the place where if you can dream it up, you can find it. While I think this is wonderful, I also think that it complicates things so much that we lose sight of what is really important. We spend our days running errands, researching the coolest new attractions or events to whisk our kids off to rather than staying home, soaking in each precious moment of our children’s formative years.

I grew up in the Mid-West in the 80’s. My mom stayed home and we had one car which my dad took to work everyday. My mom wasn’t constantly running to Kmart or the grocery store. We stayed home and played and explored our environment. We ate every meal at home and we didn’t do things like go to dance class or swimming. We didn’t have weekly playdates or outings to the zoo, the museum or library. Life was simple and beautiful.

Over the past week, I have tried to stay home as much as possible with my girls. It started Wednesday morning when I made a conscious decision to stop stressing about getting my oldest to gymnastics. It was one of those moorings when she just was not cooperating and I found myself getting so stressed just to go have fun. I “leaned out” and decided that it wasn’t worth it. We stayed at the house and played out in her kiddie pool all day and had a wonderful time.  Over the next few days we ventured out only for the essentials like groceries and gas. I pulled things out of the freezer sand got creative with dinner rather than running back out to the store. It felt good. Real good. I have definitely noticed that I am less stressed and my days have been very productive. I plan to keep up this conscious unscheduling so I can be more present and accomplish more things here at home.

What have you done to simplify your schedule/life?

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