Real Life

Finding Time for What Matters Most

I am sitting in front of my computer today, having waited until the last minute to write my post, and feeling anxious about getting it done. Why? Not so much because it is due today, as I know I will find leeway and grace with the wonderful ladies to whom are waiting patiently for this to be done! But more because of what I am NOT doing while I stress about a good topic for this post.

I am NOT playing catch, shooting hoops, jumping on the trampoline, swimming in the pool, reading a book, sitting in front of the fire, riding bikes, exploring the pond, sitting at the beach, etc. There are so many pulls in our lives, like laundry, a clean house, blogging, dinner, reading for yourself, a hobby you love, and more, that I often find it hard to strike a balance, as well as to fit everything in.

Tonight I walked away from this blaring white screen to sit at my daughter’s soccer game, and to take the kids to the pool after a very hot night of playing soccer. Now here I sit again, pondering the choices I make. Does it matter that I have an entire basket of laundry in my room waiting to be folded, or a dishwasher full of clean dishes waiting to be emptied? I say, NO!

Today I worked on reading The Secret of NIMH for one of our upcoming mother/daughter book clubs, I dove off the diving board to the cheers of my children, we shared Popsicles in the 90 degree heat, and I watched my little one score 3 goals in her soccer game. And as sure I sit here typing out this post, I know that those things matter more than the laundry, the dishes, and the blog post combined.

So how do we find the time for the things that matter most, and still feel as though we are keeping up with our house, and other commitments? I am not sure I have the answer to that question. I struggle daily with my need to have a clean house and to check off things on a list so I can feel as though I have accomplished something. But for just one moment today (ok maybe more than just one moment), I was able to push aside the laundry, the paperwork due to the school, the dishes, and the blog post (at least until 10pm when the kids are now in bed), to be the “yes” mom, to be not just a bystander in my children’s day, but instead a participant, a willing and happy participant at that!

I hope that each of you are able to find the time, or even just neglect something less important 😉 to live, really live in the lives of your children who will be grown in the blink of an eye and then you will have more time to do laundry than you could ever want. If you do find that magic secret to having time for EVERYTHING, not just what matters most, then please come back here and share it with us!

About the author

Heidi

Heidi lives in upstate New York where the winters are long & cold, but where she truly appreciates the lack of extreme weather such as tsunamis and hurricanes! Her house is filled up with her loving husband of 17 years, 3 busy children, & 2 dogs (Muffin & Oscar). Homeschooling started out as a trial run with a child beginning 2nd grade, & almost 9 years later has become a lifestyle which brings great joy. You can often find her behind her camera, or working something out in Photoshop. With 3 children homeschooling multiple ages is the norm in their house. You can find her writing at on her own blog, Starts At Eight where she often focuses on homeschooling high school, elementary unit studies, and books/reading.

14 Comments

Click here to post a comment

  • I so identify and agree with this. There are so many things tugging at us but I truly believe if we aren’t very careful we miss the moments that matter most. Love this post.

    • Thank you Karen. This post came at a moment of weakness for me. I hoped it might find those struggling to balance and let them know they are not the only ones. As much I am type A and feel I need a clean and ordered house/life, life doesn’t always lend itself to that. I am trying hard to say “yes” and put aside whatever I am doing as much as possible, because 9 times out of 10 what I am doing can be put aside, especially for my children.

  • Thank you Karen. This post came at a moment of weakness for me. I hoped it might find those struggling to balance and let them know they are not the only ones. As much I am type A and feel I need a clean and ordered house/life, life doesn’t always lend itself to that. I am trying hard to say “yes” and put aside whatever I am doing as much as possible, because 9 times out of 10 what I am doing can be put aside, especially for my children.

  • What matters most is always our relationships with our Father in Heaven and our families. How we nurture those relationships can change from time to time. Sometimes keeping the house in order so that you feel a sense of order so that you can remember to worship and pray is something that matters most. Sometimes it is putting the housekeeping aside and showing God you love Him by loving his creations [human and otherwise] that matters most. Sometimes keeping house shows you love your family enough to give them an orderly environment. Sometimes putting housekeeping aside shows your family you love them enough to put their activities first. I think that frequent, consistent prayer and immersion in God’s word makes us able to correctly choose what matters most and when.

    • Yes it certainly is an ever changing balance. What might be at the forefront of importance one, for you or one child, might not be the same on another day or for one of the other children.

  • Thanks for sharing this with us. It is an important lesson we must remember always. My husband and I have a sign up in our living room wall. It says “Don’t Postpone Joy.” We try to live that quote every day.

  • What a beautiful post!! There are so many things pulling us in so many directions. Sometimes we just need the reminder that it is okay to put the most important things first! Thanks

    • Thank you! I need the reminder often that so many things that I think are important, aren’t so important and can wait. I just have to learn to let the guilt, shame, or whatever it is that plagues me over a not so clean room, floor, house etc. go, and know that time spent with the kids is fleeting and worth it!

  • I believe in every single word you said. Today I just posted something similar to this and I feel that sometimes somethings should not wait. My daughter should not have to wait for me to sew another apron if she wants to play with me. She should not have to make a puzzle by herself because I want to clean the closet that day. Our kids are the most important extension of our lives and we should treasures those moments because time goes by and does not comes back.

    • I also often find that when I do say yes, and engage with my children, in the end I gain so much joy from them. That joy is worth way more than a clean floor, or load of laundry!

  • I completely understand. The laundry for my family of five is just never done. My kids want to set up a tent in the backyard and sleep there tonight. At first, I said no. Then I decided, of course they can sleep outside. Yes, it might be messy and more work for me, but they are so excited, and the memory will stay with them for a long time. That little extra time and support from us means the world to them. Thank you for such a wonderful reminder post. 🙂

  • Heidi,
    Look at you! You begin by noting this a last minute post and look what you produced…. A delightful, insightful post on the importance of NOW. Love it! I agree 100% with leaving laundry undone, the house messy, etc. If we take the pressure off of what we expect from ourselves, allow ourselves to be a bit more human (and sloppy), and dive head first into the moments with our kids like you did today? Wow. We’d all live much less stressed out lives. My home was much more tidy before I have kids and I imagine it will be tidy again when I’m a grandmother!

    I was your age when my first child was born. She’ll be 13 next month, yet I remember it like it was yesterday. She looks like a colt growing into those long legs, but I still see her as the chubby 18 month old who loved to take care of her baby brother. Time only speeds up when it comes to how our kids grow and change.

    The reward for finishing the laundry? MORE dirty laundry. The reward for delaying your post until after you spent an amazing, memory-filled day with your kids? A delightful post!

    How blessed to know what is truly important and life-giving. Not all moms will get it, but you do! Enjoy the rest of your summer.

    Love,
    Laura

Topics