Committing to Uncommit

Y’all….I don’t know about you, but I am TIRED. That bone-weary, want to take a sick day and not get out of bed tired. Is this that metabolism shift that everybody warned me was coming in my 30’s? Is it being responsible for three kids? Am I slightly lazy?? ALL OF THE ABOVE?! It seems like there is always something. Something to go to, to put together, to prepare for, to CLEAN (we’re gonna pretend like I do that for a sec, mmkay?). There’s homework to check and Star of the Week posters to craft (which means a mad scramble to scroll through phone pics last minute to send to Walgreens the night before it’s due), and soccer and soccer and soccer. I can’t even tell you how excited we were when little bit changed her mind about starting dance this year….

If by some miracle everybody’s schedules line up for a girl’s night, we’re all so tired by the time it rolls around and just want a night of nothing that we end up bailing and rainchecking anyway. It’s pitiful. Truly sad.

tiredMaybe it’s just me and my natural tendencies towards being a hermit. I see adults running circles around us with all the extra-curriculars they’ve got their kiddos in (and all the things they’ve got themselves in!) They talk about getting home from flag football at 9pm like it’s a bragging right or something. And you never see the spouses together cause Dad’s always got older son at a soccer tournament out of town while mom’s trying to entertain baby brother at sister’s all day softball tournament across the state. They seem to thrive on this activity and the all-the-time going. Me? Not so much.

Our schedule’s have gotten just as bad this fall with one of the boys bumping from recreational to club soccer (WHY didn’t I look into this a little more before tryouts?! They are not the same. NOT THE SAME.) Sometimes I feel like the next time we’ll actually all be together is when we meet at the park to take our annual picture for the Christmas cards (if we can even schedule it in).

Somehow society’s shifted from a “gather at the dinner table” ideal to more of a “evenings are for activities/homes are for sleeping only” craziness. And if you choose to buck the system and stay home you get stuck with the parental pressure of wondering whether or not you’re stunting your kiddo’s social abilities and friendships bc “everyone else” is in baseball, football, dance, Boy Scouts, etc 12 months out of the year. Trying to keep a balance is stressful!

I tend towards the other extreme: I am happiest with just my fam and no obligations. In fact, I didn’t leave the house this weekend. Didn’t even get a shower (and I have 100% no shame in that). However, in order to have that gloriously low-key weekend, I went through several bouts of that above-mentioned guilt-induced pressure for all the things I was flaking off. I missed both of the boys’ soccer games, church, and a baby shower. All things that I felt I SHOULD have gone to. This weekend? I needed to decompress more than I wanted to avoid the guilt of skipping out on obligations.

But look. After all of the mandatory things are taken care of (like checking the kids’ homework, cooking dinner, packing lunches, and, you know, bathing and stuff) there’s not a ton of time left to use at my discretion. From the time I wake up it’s a scramble to get myself ready while breaking up fights and finding the perfect princess water bottle (which is never the clean one in the cabinet) and actually managing to get the kids IN the car (it literally feels like I’m herding cats some mornings….feral cats) and by the time I make it through a nine hour work day, I’m done. Spent. When the weekend finally gets here, I just want to roll over and go back to sleep for a few days.

So I guess the point I’m rambling around to is: if I skip your baby shower or your child’s birthday party or drop out of that community service group or if my kids don’t make it to the 3RD soccer practice this week, please don’t take it personally or think that we don’t care. I’m not sure if life has just gotten this much crazier in the last few years or if I’ve gotten lazier (or both) but our time, like everybody else’s,  is precious and we don’t have much extra. My commitment lately is to stop committing to do so much. I want to unplug, to veg, to cuddle on the couch in pjs watching a Disney movie (with the kids of course) and in order to do all that, I have to say no to a few things.

Splitting out the Have-To’s from the Want-To’s can be tricky. And even harder than that is determining if the SHOULDS (the Don’t-Want-To’s but feel like you Have-To’s) are really things you need to do or if you’re just feeling the pressure of someone else’s expectations. Don’t let other people’s ideas of what’s important determine how you spend YOUR time. Because you don’t have a ton of it to give away. And you can’t get it back.

Whew! Little soapbox there.

Until Next Time (which is hopefully not as long of a gap as this time but I’m certainly not COMMITTING to a time frame or anything…bahaha, you know that’s funny),

Jess

 

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