This post was originally published on Feb. 27, 2015.
One of the hardest things, when we find ourselves in a parenting or homeschooling pickle, I think, is to not try to fix it all at once.
And I think many mamas are BIG PICTURE people, which makes it hard to not spin every problem right into the poo-tornado.
That’s where I found myself Friday night when my husband got home from work:
“I want to crush the Wii U with a hammer.”
My kids received our family’s very first video game system this Christmas as a gift from a very generous grandparent who had asked what they really wanted.
What they really wanted was the game system all their friends have — the one they play at other people’s houses.
But what it didn’t advertise anywhere on the box was that the system came with the constant question, “Can we play on the Wii U, Mama? Pleeeeease?”
It has become our anthem; our theme for the past month and a half, and I finally brought my husband into the fold because I was starting to feel very all-or-nothing about the thing, mostly nothing.
“I can’t compete,” I told him.
Pretty much no book I suggest, no game with pieces, no art project, no free puppy, no cupcake, no bucket of cash, is going to be as cool right now as driving race cars.
But because I was feeling super defeated as a homeschooling mama, here are a couple of other worries I threw in, just for good measure:
- I really need to make us a new meal plan. I spend so much time on this every week. Would it be so terrible to only eat 7 things for forever?
- My cleaning routine needs a tune-up.
- Speaking of which, the kids have pretty much stopped doing chores.
- That’s my fault, because our rhythm is so off.
- We need a new rhythm!
I was spinning.
Talking to my husband helped.
Taking a deep breath helped.
Doing a brain dump helped. (Do you know about brain dumps? Mine involve writing everything down on a massive sheet of paper, just to get everything OUT OF MY HEAD.)
And when I did that, I realized that my biggest problem was not a new game system — it was that I was trying to get everything under control at once.
AND. For the 75 millionth time, I needed to look at our rhythm.
Because all those things I listed? All of them — they are all rhythm things.
So knowing that I had just one big thing to fix, helped me to put the other stuff in perspective.
A meal plan could wait.
Who needs a tidy house?
But school before video games — that’s an absolute big deal, and worth throwing all of my energy into.
And so that’s what we did.
It’s been a couple of weeks since I started this post. (See? You really can’t fix it all at once!)
And things are better. Easier.
And the best part might be, that the meal plan and the chores and all that business seem much more manageable now. Sure — they might need updating … eventually.
So I want to remind you today that sometimes, it all comes crashing in. It really does happen to all of us, I think.
But when you find yourself spinning, take a deep breath, friends.
Focus on the biggest issue first. (Write everything else down for later. You’ve got to get that business out of your head. You’ve been carrying it around for weeks.)
It’s kind of amazing how a lot of those little things that are driving you nuts start to slip away when you focus on the big thing.
And when you can bravely face the biggest monster, suddenly a new cleaning routine seems a lot less scary.
I hope you find yourself a moment of peace and calm today, amidst the chaos of the beautiful life you’ve chosen.