Slow Down

I’m a stay at home mom now. It’s something that I’ve wanted for over 5 years, but it was still a really hard decision to make. I heard a phrase on The Next Right Thing that resonated with me, “all the arrows weren’t pointing in the same direction” — and that was exactly it. I desperately wanted to be home with my babies. I desperately needed to be home because of all of the challenges that come with a child with special needs. But I liked my job and my coworkers, still have a ton of debt that I’m trying to pay off, and am stretched thin financially. The decision wasn’t clear cut or easy and we dithered about it for a very long time.

So the decision was long overdue. We’ve spent the past year in poor physical health, stressed to the max, and rushing around like mad people. We needed to slow down, focus on things at home, and be consistent with the parenting of our middlest bug. So I turned in my resignation letter, said a quick prayer to whoever might be listening, and turned my focus inward.

I’ve now had two weeks away from my job. Last night I thought about whether I missed it — while I miss my coworkers, I don’t miss the production of going to work and the extra stress it created at home. Leaving was the right decision despite all of the other things that I’m worrying about.

It’s times like these when I wish I could have faith in something. I’m trying – trust me, I’m trying. I’m being comforted by Rachel Held Evans’ Searching for Sunday, which gives me hope that I can sit with this discomfort for a while. So I sit with it. And I get mad at it and everything happening in the world right now. And then I try to sit with it some more without judging it or me. I’m no further along in my process but I’m still in the midst of it, so I guess that’s something.

Wednesday morning I found myself with a pocket of quiet time – the oldest was at school, the middlest was at pre-school, the youngest was napping. Normally I’d spend that time rushing around the house and trying to get as much done as humanly possible: fold all the clothes, clean the toilet, vacuum the floors (again), what else could I do with no little hands tugging at me?? But instead, I sat at our pollen-covered picnic table with my iced coffee, a pile of knitting, and focused on the breeze.

If I let myself, I could easily let my “new job” take over all of my time. I feel guilty knowing that I’m not bringing in any income and feel as though I need to prove my worth by keeping the house as clean as I possibly can. But I know that’s ridiculous. My sanity is precious and I need to maximize times like these in order to keep it in check. I had to fight back quite a bit of guilt, but I’m so glad I spent a half an hour in the sunshine and with busy hands.

As usual, I’m working hard to find a new rhythm in this new phase of my life. My daily writing practice has taken a nosedive so that’s where I’m focusing now, even if only a few words a day. I’m looking forward to figuring out this new normal!

Now you. Have you been able to keep up with the goals you’ve set for yourself? Are you doing the things that fill your own bucket or are you too busy filling other people’s? I hope you’re finding a way to take advantage of the bits of quiet time that present themselves to you, no matter how small.

6 thoughts on “Slow Down

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  1. Loved this post. Always good advice, and no matter how many times I hear it (and do it) I rev up again. Always puzzling, why the ‘good’ habits are so challenging to maintain — even when they FEEL good, too. I’m glad you’re getting back to your daily writing AND being gentle with yourself. This inspires me to start again with some things I’ve let slide. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I miss you, Jordy! Thanks for the kind words. I hope you find a way to get back into some of the habits you’ve been missing.

      I’m working on an email to the QA Gang with an update. Even without work, time is so short. How?! I hope to get it out to you all by Friday.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have spent hours and hours and hours stressing and worrying over those incredibly hard decisions – living in fear that I was making the wrong decision, but now looking back at those moments with an amazing clarity that regardless of the decision I made – it was okay and more than that, in most instances my decision was absolutely the right one. I hope that as the weeks pass and you find your new routine that you begin to feel some of that peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kat. I think things usually work out for the best, no matter what — as long as I can stay out of my own way! Your words are comforting!!

      Like

  3. I did not know this and I am SO happy for you as I know it’s been a goal of yours for quite some time! I struggle with wanting to slow down and enjoying journaling, reading, etc. but needing to get stuff done around the house and feeling like, “what am I really accomplishing?” It’s an insane cycle, and I can’t imagine how intense that trip would be with children! You’re an amazing person and an amazing Mother – you got this! I’m right down the road if you ever need anything!

    Liked by 1 person

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