Oh, I try to plan. I’m a planner at heart. Really want to be organized, get things done, check things off that list. It just doesn’t happen very often. I’m afraid I’m always ambushed by something. For example, today I have two children home sick, and 3 more ready to arrive any minute. In the meantime, one of my little girls has to have an emergency visit to the dentist, who I’m pretty sure probably feels as though he’s being stalked. Honestly, I think I’m there weekly. There really should be some kind of frequent flyer card – maybe I can earn a free thing of dental floss – the real size. Anyway, I had to laugh because I’m just simply not able to plan a day and have it be what I expected. Now, if I was a person who liked surprises and enjoyed spontaneity ALL the time, this would be a fine way to live. Unfortunately, I’m a real person who needs some known quantity and would like to actually accomplish a task in a reasonable amount of time. Spontaneity is all well and good for a movie night, but really as a way of life, not so great..
I think I must still need to learn the lesson of letting go — relaxing and enjoying the ride. This roller coaster is a bit ridiculous if you ask me….up and down and around and around… and I really do hate going in circles. As a single parent, our lives are so often about getting everything together…or maybe I should say holding everything together…or more accurately looking like we are holding everything together. I can’t seem to figure out how to even look like it anymore.
Recently all my kids were home for spring break, which I absolutely loved! It reminded me of all those wonderful homeschooling days – all my kiddos around me. Of course, we accomplished absolutely nothing that week which would have been an exceedingly bad homeschooling week. But it was considered by all to be an exceedingly wonderful week.
What a blessing to have nothing that we actually had to do…oh, that life could always be like that! Well, maybe for a few more days than a week…I’m sure we’d get quite tired of doing nothing - although at the moment that is hard to imagine.
In order to survive as single parents with our sanity intact, I’m pretty sure we have to lower some expectations – expectations about what we can accomplish in 15 minutes, in an hour, in a day, in a week…well, you get the idea. Maybe if I didn’t put so very many things on my to do list, I could finish a day not feeling like a complete failure.
I guess what I want to share is that there is a whole lot of grace in this life. My kids would much rather have me sit down and watch a movie with them than load the dishwasher. (I know because they have told me.) My kids would rather have family time than a perfect house —it’s hard to have good family time in a perfect house anyway!
There are lots of sayings about a messy house being a happy home. I get the idea and to a point I agree, although I have to have some order. I think the key is finding balance, understand priorities, and relaxing. Relaxing our unreasonable expectations (maybe even some reasonable ones too), relaxing our hold on having everything in order, and relaxing with our children. We, as single parents, just need to relax in general. I know, I know…show me how, when, where and I’m there!
As much as I wish relaxing was a glass of sweet tea, a good book and a hammock…mine is more sitting on the grass watching my son play soccer, putting down the work project to watch a little girl ride her bike, or sharing the sofa with 3 children on movie night. I believe that relaxing is an attitude. It’s choosing not to stress about the stuff we can’t fix and maybe even the stuff that we can fix. It’s choosing not to stress about the past, the present or the future because God’s got it.
Pant-flying is definitely the way to go! Relax and let the wind take you where you need to go! God is good and He knows how to fly pants really well!