Make a Plan. Let it Go.
Less stress at home sound good? Less frustration? Disappointment? Read on…
A bit of advice to the younger me:
Be flexible. Be willing to be flexible on the things that don't matter. Stay strong and fight for the things that do.
Sure - You have a plan, appointments, work, meetings, schedule. The check list.
Then, a kid gets sick. You get sick.
You go for a walk for some peace, your kid gets hurt in the first 5 minutes.
The new meal you cooked doesn’t turn out to be edible.
Eating healthy turns out to be great in the morning but out the window by evening…
Someone once said "Spontaneity is the reward of preparation."* That has always kind of stuck with me.
I love preparing and having a plan, but most of our fun "spontaneity" is the reward for a lot of preparation...or for the less fun moments, it is the beauty of learning to be flexible and throwing my plan out the window.
Every home is different. For us, we function best with a blend of structure or “a plan” as well as some freedom. When the world works like normal - I have most days pretty planned out. They are full days much like yours…work/school/activities/social stuff…
In the evening or early in the morning, I enjoy planning the next day or week - making a little checklist. What things do I need or want to get done with work, home, school, family and friend life? (I make a lot of checklists.)
To be honest - I used to demand perfection from myself and the kids. I would make everyone miserable including myself to get that checklist done from top to bottom. Even the “fun” things!
Life brought its interruptions. It ended in a lot of anger in not meeting my own expectations.
Now, I still sit down and make my plan…But what HAS changed is my expectations. My mindset. I am flexible. I can quickly lower my expectations when I need to or rearrange "the plan".
A successful day is NOT completing my checklist. It is doing my best - with all the interruptions the day will most inevitably hold. So. Many. Interruptions.
I don't want to rush through. I don't want to constantly be in a hurry. I want to keep my peace on the inside.
I set the tone in my home. If I have peace...eventually it's contagious and my kids get it too. If I have anxiety and stress...it's amazing how it spreads like a wildfire in the home.
If I fall short in an area or don’t complete something that needs to be done, I will try again the next day. I expect my kids to give things their best - not perfection, so why don’t I have the same standard for myself?
When you start your day off with a flexible mindset…you end it with grace and not guilt.