Having 4 kids doesn't allow me a lot of flexibility to slow down. Usually just when I get into a groove and find a way to add margin, something changes and I need to adjust the schedule.
You would think with having 2 older kids, that are independent and don't live with me, I'd have more time. However, they still need me and when they need me, they truly NEED me. They are adults and therefore their needs are more emotionally demanding of me.
This leaves little time for me and even less time to even begin to think about slowing down.
However, in order to accommodate life with 4 kids that all have different needs, I decided I was going to need to slow down. Since slowing down I have found the most important thing and I can't even tell you how good it feels.
Making Time for What's Important...FAMILY
I took a rather drastic approach to slowing down. I literally dropped out of everything that needed me to commit to something. I crossed off days on the calendar and decided that if it didn't bring me joy I wasn't going to do it. I wanted to enjoy life and do what I wanted to do, not what I felt I needed to do to please other people (aka church activities that were just busy stuff).
Slowing down meant adding margin. I wanted my calendar to have margin that would allow me to have more time to enjoy my family. I wanted to have time to homeschool my daughters the way I want to, not the way I have time to squeeze it in. They are my greatest work after all. I also wanted to have time to have deeper conversations with them about life and their relationship with God.
Now we have Saturday's free to spend as a family. We basically get to be spontaneous because not every moment is planned for us. We also have days on our calendar that we do not leave at all, unless there is an emergency of course.
Slowing down has allowed me to model setting boundaries for my daughter. It has also allowed her to see me say no to things that would be fun but not necessarily the best idea for us. In turn we've had discussions where I allow her to make decisions about things and she will say I just don't want to be that busy. She truly enjoys having free time.
Energy for what I want to do
Slowing down has allowed me to have margin on my calendar for things that I wouldn't have had time to do in the past. Because I have margin, I am able to recharge and have more energy to think more clearly and take care of myself.
I am really big on self care and making time for myself. Because I have slowed down on our schedule, I don't need to use my self care time to recharge. I can use this time to do something I want to do. Recently I have found more time to spend with friends or just to take my laptop to the coffee shop and write.
Taking time for yourself isn't selfish, it's the best way to give your children a healthy version of yourself. But if your calendar is too full then it's harder to find time to do this. I know with multiple kids at home it's hard to slow down, but teaching them you matter too is a more important lesson.
Just because you can do everything doesn't mean you have to do everything.
Overall the most important thing I found
by slowing down is ME!
We slow down for yield signs. We slow down for school crossing signs. We slow down for yellow lights. We slow down for others. Do we ever just slow down for us?
I like having time to just sit and BE.
Now that I have this I seriously can't imagine life any other way. I'm pretty sure I'll never regret modeling a slower life for my children.
I'm praying for you!