Do you ever have those seasons where life feels just a little too full? Too many appointments, too many tasks on the to-do list, too many needs. As moms I think we regularly have to navigate busyness and implement self-care strategies so that we avoid burnout and stay relationally connected to our loved ones. But as our kids grow and they face busy schedules of their own, we then have the task of teaching them how to do the same.
Our family recently went through a particularly busy season. In addition to my work, toting my 4 kids to and from two different schools, cooking meals, doing laundry, etc, I also ended up driving one of my children around for sports and my daughter around for musical rehearsals and her job. As moms, we all have different capacities, but for me, this was definitely bumping up against the outer edges of my capacity.
As I was moving all day long from 7am to 7pm each day, I was feeling stretched to the max. Thankfully, I knew it was just a season, and because of learning the relational skills, I had tools in my tool belt to help me navigate my way through the busyness. I stopped and tuned in to how I was doing and shared this with my husband, I took breaks when I could (and savored them), and I even worked a few less hours. And, most importantly, I apologized when I blew it and was rude or snappy to someone because of the extra stress.
As I walked through this short season though, it was not just my own limitations I had to be mindful of. Two of my kids were also facing especially demanding schedules during this time. As I observed them hitting their limits, I was faced with the opportunity to tune into how these two were doing, teach them how to be aware of their own limitations, and guide them in how to find rest even in the busyness.
As an example, one of the kids was playing a sport several days a week, while also doing preparation for the physical fitness tests for his grade and preparing for a 4K Color Run. He started to get really wiped out and I could tell he was hitting his capacity. We had several conversations about him being in touch with how he was feeling and paying attention to what he needed during this busy time. We also talked about keeping hydrated and well-fed as a support to his body and not overdoing it physically during recess.
This season provided him a chance to grow in his awareness of his own body and emotions. He had some rough moments but really did such a great time of tuning in to himself and recognizing what he needed. He started to go to bed earlier every night (on his own!), and he also found pockets of time to get more rest in. He was still super tired. But he was learning so much through the experience and, for the most part, able to stay relationally connected with the family.
As moms, one of the beauties of developing our own relational skills, is that we can then spread them to our children. I feel so thankful that I can help them learn things that I had very little grid for when I was their age. This particular busy season has passed for us. But we have learned lessons and developed skills that will continue to serve us as we face future busy and stressful times.0