Many of you might have guessed this, but I'm typically pretty well organised; running around after two boys and a baby as well as running my business means that to get anything done, I need to have a multitude of lists and to make the most out of every minute. Therefore it would come as no surprise that when it came to the arch nemesis of all parents of school aged children - the School Holidays - that I had a plan. It involved a delicate balance of travel, work, time with the kids, time to study and occasionally, time for me. I should have known better.
Being away from home I have felt my work and family worlds collide heavily in the past two weeks. My work to-do list has barely shrunk, despite my best efforts to work remotely. I am meeting my priority commitments, but the non-priority tasks are still on my list. The school holidays have truly eaten my homework. Rather than the delicate balance of work-study-family-fun, the balance has been more like: screaming baby needs sleep, school aged boy wants to go swimming, pre-schooler wants to sit down and read, everyone's hungry and the baby still hasn't slept at all... hardly conducive to the creative demands of a running my own business and studying.
So I have made a choice. I choose not to beat myself up for not getting further through my list, not to fight a battle that I cannot win - I choose to let it go.
Letting go is not always easy, and I know I struggle when it comes to backing away from a commitment, even those I make to myself and my business. So how did I come to not only make, but also accept my choice to let go? Here's how...
A realisation that the school holidays are for the kids to have a break, and have my attention, without the usual homework and sports commitments. With this in mind it became easier to accept that I could only focus on my urgent tasks, the remaining important tasks can be completed when school returns.
Re-evaluating what is important for right now - spending time with my husband and kids, taking some down time (a challenge with three boys), laughter, creating memories and reconnecting as a family. My business is also important, but my family comes first. This has let me focus on what is important (family) versus what is urgent (writing my blog). Taking care of the important stuff, typically allows your mind to then tackle what is urgent.
Releasing myself from structure - taking the days as they come, rather than planning them to the hour. It has been a learning experience at times, but the results have been great - two swims in one day, water play, impromptu plays at the park, catch-ups with family and friends, and boys with their imaginations on overdrive.
These three things have really allowed me to go with the flow and actually enjoy the school holidays, even though they have been demanding and very tiring at times. I have done something that is important for not only my family, but me as well - I have made some great memories through being out-of-balance for a while.
While it might sound counter intuitive, being out of balance is key to getting done what we need to in life; we simply can't do everything all the time. Prioritising means that we will always be out of balance in some areas, and that's OK. Being out of balance and NOT realising it or NOT being happy with it is when it becomes a problem. (More on that in a later blog...)
So whilst the school holidays have eaten my homework, they have given me something else too - fun, family time and connection. The rest? It can wait until the new term starts...