Monday, November 19, 2018

When Slow Changes

"Mama, can we have a slow day tomorrow like we used to have?" Samuel gently asked last Tuesday? I replied that I would love to, and need to clarify that when he says 'like we used to' I think he means where they get to pick something fun to do during our day at home.

Our slow days have changed as the girls have gotten into 7th and 8th grades and have more schoolwork to do than they used to have. We could incorporate slow into school in those days and now that is hard because if we do that we get behind and that helps no one.

I started the morning with a boxed muffin mix and a candlelight breakfast and asked each one what they would like to do during our day - here were the responses:

- Samuel: play a game
- Emily: watercolor
- Rachel: watch a Christmas movie
- Mama: poke around at a church sale that I had passed a sign for the day before

It sounded good in theory and in reality it was what my heart wanted - to say yes to all of these things. So, I did. We also had school to do and had plans to meet friends late in the afternoon. Yes, I'm sure you see where this is going - it was way too much for one day and I was so frazzled. Each thing was fun in itself but the whole of them left me crabby, overly tired and short tempered at the end of the day when we got home later than expected.

After the church sale, Emily wanted to go to another thrift store so we traded that for watercoloring. But, there was still the struggle of what we had to do and what we wanted to do. The wants caused us to push and rush through the needs so that we could be done and move on and just have some fun together. However, I don't think we did a great job on our schoolwork because I was feeling pressure of how much there was to do before we played and, as usual, I think it was anti-productive for my students.

I had to come back to them at the end of the day and just confess that we tried to squeeze too much in. Slow has been under attack in our home this year and I'm honestly not sure what the answer is. Our children are at the age where life feels much busier than it did when they were tiny.

Along with grieving the loss of what I think slow should look like or even what it used to look like, is a lack of quiet in my life. Quiet is what centers me, it is rejuvenating and clears my head. Too many days without quiet and I am a mess. I notice things about myself like I am always turning the radio off, or other music off, or leaving a noisy room or wanting to go home if I'm in a crowded noisy place.

One of our children is a night owl and another is an early bird so there is literally no margin in the fringes anymore unless I wake up super early which has happened frequently recently due to the time change!

Admitting to the Lord that quiet was a need has helped me and He has provided. Even through the time change and the early wake ups that I've experienced, I see His provision in an hour or two of quiet before the rest of our household rises. 

I'm waiting for that moment of relief when I realize things we've accomplished or necessary things we've taken care of but so far, there is a list waiting at the end of that task that we must press on to without relishing the beauty of the finished item.

Some families can handle lots and lots of commitments and maybe even thrive on them, but that is just not us. And, I am in that hard place again of trying to figure out what slow looks like in our current season of life and the ages of our kids.

With the holidays approaching, I am craving some slow, sacred time and looking for ways to carve it out and savor it!

 I'm learning to look for moments of slow and quiet in different ways, it may not look like it used to but I am grateful for those times when they appear and want to hold on to them and enjoy the gift that they are.

You can see some pictures of our not-so-slow Slow Day on Wednesday!


Kimberly Lottman said...

My baby is 19 going on 20 now, but as a mama who raised two girls and did foster care, I understand. What I did eventually was exactly what the Bible instructs. we took a sabbath. No cooking, no cleaning, no outside commitments one day a week, and it wasn't always Sunday. I prepared for this, of course, by cooking our meal the day before, or making something in the crock pot on that day. Each month one person go to choose one "fun" thing for us to do, but since we didn't "go" on this day it had to be something we could do at home. Our foster kids were always young so they just tagged along.

Connie said...

hi monica......yes, as the kids get older, things definitely get busier! it is hard to dedicate a whole day or even half a day to slow. maybe instead of having a "slow day", rename it "slow hour". that way the pressure is off a little, yet there is still some down time. everyone could write something down they want to do that week for slow time and spread it out over the week or even weekend. a little bit is better than nothing, plus i think it would give a nice break in the day :)

Anonymous said...

From experience with our older child who is now in college — co-ops change the definition of homeschooling and the “mood” of our homeschool.

We did a parent-run co-op for 1 year when he was in middle school,

You said it correctly — you can get behind.

(I currently have a high schooler in Challenge and a child in Foundations at CC. This is our 3rd year.)

Your homeschool schedule and vacation schedule become dictated by the co-op’s schedule.

Lessons move on even if your child is not finished — or worst, does not understand.

Your life starts to slowly reflects a restricted schedule similar to a brick and mortar school.

As a family, you have to decide what you want your homeschool to look like.

I think we all want our cake and want to eat it too. I’m including myself in this.

I find that single classes here and there tend to be more helpful — but then there is more driving and more days out of the home.

Hope this helps.