In the evenings, my three older kids are getting old enough that they can put on their own pajamas. And they can brush their teeth with some supervision. In fact, after having three kids in two and a half years, and then adding a fourth a few years later, we’ve felt a little spoiled with our kid’s newfound independence. It’s helped to simplify our family life.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I were enjoying this independence. We asked our kids to get ready for bed by themselves while we finished up a few things in the kitchen. After a few minutes, we heard panicked cries coming from the bathroom. One of our boys had accidentally dropped a bath toy in the toilet. And then someone else dropped a hair bow into the toilet to “save” the bath toy. And more toys followed. The toilet became a watery grave to more than one rubber ducky that night.
More isn’t better
In a somewhat misguided attempt at unclogging the toilet, my kids had added, not subtracted, to the total count of toilet casualties. By the time their cries for help reached my husband and me, our children were worried and sad about their lost and missing toys.
It was a hard lesson. To avoid a plumbers fee my husband disconnected the toilet himself. He didn’t have hands small enough to reach into the curves of the toilet, so little hands reluctantly volunteered to help remove toys. Baths were taken, tears were dried, and toys were thrown away.
More isn’t enough To SImplify your family life
It’s easy to see where my kids went wrong. But, don’t all of us do the same? When we have problems, or we feel that something isn’t quite measuring up, we add more. More activities, shopping, and food. It’s as if we don’t realize that adding more to our lives and our family is actually doing more harm than good.
What can we do when problems arise? If your life is out of control and you can’t seem to tame your calendar, simplify. When your home life is chaotic, simplify. There have been very few times in my life when adding more actually improved my situation. Instead, simplifying will help you regain control, peace, and even fun.
how to simplify your Family LIfe
Removing things from your life probably sounds scary. We hold onto things that we think will make us happy. For many of us, we think that more will help us feel enough. Even if we know that all the extra could be causing stress or distraction. Now is the time to simplify your motherhood by removing the excess. Take some time to make of list of the things you can remove to help simplify your life. For example, simplify your family’s:
- Schedule. Does your calendar feel too busy? Stop saying yes to too many things. Make a list of what’s most important and remove things that don’t align with you and your family’s priorities.
- Finances. Are you living within a budget? Removing the extras can help you accomplish your family’s financial goals. Get out of debt and stop buying things you don’t need.
- Belongings. Is your closet stuffed with clothes you never wear? Are you constantly tripping over your kids’ toys? Make a goal to donate or get rid of the things that don’t make you happy or aren’t useful.
- Friends. It sounds harsh, but we all have a friend or two that constantly leave us feeling sad, judged, or annoyed. Life is too short to spend time with people who make you feel bad. You don’t need to cut ties dramatically. Just try to spend more time with the people who help you feel happy.
You don’t need to remove everything from your life to simplify your life. Even small changes can increase your happiness and peace while removing distraction and overwhelm. This is a process! Don’t expect to go through your life once, simplify and be done. It is a constant process of evaluation and reevaluation to remove the things that sneak into your life that don’t belong.
How do you simplify your life? If this helped you, please share!