Sunday, April 26, 2009

Making time

During a girl’s night out Saturday night, I chatted with a dear friend in between rounds of loud opera singing waiters (fun but not great for talking). My friend revealed how much she felt overwhelmed and exasperated over her busy hectic life, but ironically when she has a few minutes to spare, she finds herself feeling panicked like she should find something productive to do. It’s a common complaint I hear among fellow moms, and it only gets worse as our children’s lives get busier and busier.

I do best with an easy routine, gently filled with social time, personal time, and down time. I don’t do well being too busy with an over scheduled calendar. I realize lots of people feel it’s best to keep full of activity and productivity and to expose children to a variety of activities to be well rounded and to stay out of trouble. There is nothing wrong with that if it works for them. But, somewhere in that busy life I believe there must be some time for no plans and no pressure - time to decompress, rejuvenate, and to veg out.

I’m certainly not an expert in the Jewish faith, but I do know that Saturday is a day to walk to temple, follow religious traditions, be with family at home, and not exert any unnecessary energy. Hooray for that! For many others Sunday is a day for church – a place to find comfort and to get grounded. Yes! The underlying theme, no matter what the religion, is a mandated day of rest. We need it and we owe it to ourselves and there is reason why it’s been done and worked so well for hundreds of years.

Although my family doesn’t attend church or temple, we generally honor Sunday as a day to relax. Our Sunday has evolved over the last few years to include many important rules: wear pajamas as long as you want, change sheets (start the week fresh), kid’s computer time (a real treat for them), a special yummy dessert, etc., and also a general attitude of relaxation and leisure. I do my best to not stress over the massive mess from fort making or dirty dishes from baking cookies. What matters most is all the good stuff – the quality time. Sure the kids love to be with us, but it is extra bonus for us to be with them doing their stuff. Quinn still talks about how it was “the best” when Jason spent an hour or so building a Lego firestation and fire truck with him a few Sundays ago. If I draw or work on a puzzle with Talia, she is in her element with a constant smile and lots of “I love you’s” and hugs.

The school day is long, the week zooms by, and we all get tired and depleted. I can’t imagine not allowing my family any down time. It’s as necessary as school is for learning, exercise is for health, and work is for making money, although our day of rest is the certainly most rewarding of all.

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