It’s been an arduous journey, friends, but I have to think if I didn’t have the large family that I do, I might not have figured out as neatly what the single biggest trigger for being unproductive could be for me. The One Thing…
How is that? And how did having a large family help uncover the One Thing that Slows me down?
Stress and overwhelm seem to be part and parcel to the gig of motherhood. Add to that, if you are a stay at home mom, there is less opportunity to break away for much needed self care. As a former working mom, from wedding photographer, to working in the same industry as my husband, and teaching kindergarten before returning home to care for our endless stream of kiddos since the early 2000s, I have noticed that self care as a stay at home isn’t just essential, it ought to be right there on the grocery list with staples like milk and bread.
::It OUGHT to be::
But it rarely is. For years, friends, I struggled with even knowing there was one thing that was responsible for my stress. It was my inability (though I tried) to get places on time.
It was probably more than 10 years ago that I inadvertently discovered that I don’t like being late to meetings and such – yes, I was (and still am) a stay at home mom, but my commitments came in the form of volunteering at church, including being chairperson of our parish council for two of my three year term, working closely with our parish priests, and giving birth to two babies in that duration of service. I also began Catholic Sistas and noticed that in order to effectively run it, I would have to step up my game. Being on time, I reasoned, was a signature way for me to let others know how I felt about their time…and mine. It was valuable and not something to squander by being late.
Bit by bit, it crept into my everyday. I noticed I don’t like for our family to be late to Mass, to events, to school (my kids almost everyday arrive a full 30 minutes before school starts), and even activities.
We are often the first ones to arrive at social events, much to my German descent husband’s chagrin I know he’d rather be “fashionably late” every once in a while.
I have often found myself applying this principle to a lot of my life. The newest phase is to think about holidays and birthdays and such further in advance. The goal isn’t to have the plans all laid out, but start the plan well in advance and circle back to it as the event/s get closer. All of this has helped tremendously with reducing a significant stress in my life, and when you have a gaggle of children all depending on you to prioritize your time, this is the one thing that slows me down when I don’t order my time well.
What is the one thing you’ve found that slows you down, friend?