Friday, October 19, 2012

On busyness and filling our time

Life with kids is busy.

Whether they work outside the home, stay home full time, or some combination; whether they drive carpool to school, put kids on a bus, or homeschool - parents are busy. From morning till night, parents live in a crazy world of preparing meals, dressing, correcting, loving, reading, playing, watching and otherwise being with their kids.

During my oldest son's kindergarten year, when I was staunchly trying to avoid the little voice in my head that was trying to get me to think about homeschooling, one of my main fears and objections (when I would allow myself to consider the possibility), was that I was too busy to homeschool. How could I possibly fit it in? It would be so much work!

In fact, that's one of the things people often say to me when the subject comes up. "I could never homeschool! I don't have time! I don't know how you do it!" That, along with "I don't have the patience," probably tops the list of responses I get when I mention I homeschool.

I was thinking about that today - about how concerned I was about the busyness of homeschooling. But the truth is, I don't know that I'd feel any less busy if my kids were attending school. Granted, maybe if you added up the time I spend doing things all day, every day, there would be less to do if I wasn't homeschooling. But in terms of how I feel about it? I don't know that I'd feel some overabundance of time if I wasn't homeschooling.

Granted, my life feels crazy busy a lot of the time. But if I was sending the kids to traditional school, there would be early mornings to get everyone up and dressed, lunches to be made, and kids to hurry off to school. My daughter would still be home with me, and there would still be errands to run, things to do at home, and a child to entertain. This year, with a kinder and a 2nd grader, school pick up would be at two different times. Then afternoons full of homework and trying to fit in any other activities or interests. Dinner, a little time after, and the bedtime routine would follow.

I bet I'd collapse into bed just as tired as I am now.

I think very often, we let our tasks fill up the space we have. If we have 5 things to do, it could take all day, even if we're capable of accomplishing 10. But when we have those 10 things to do, we make it happen (or sometimes not - case in point, laundry in this house). After a while with more to accomplish in a day, you grow accustomed to it, and it becomes the new normal. Sort of like once you've had several children, you wonder what was so hard about parenting one. But parenting one child did seem to take up all the time in the day, yet people manage to add one, two, three, four, or more to their families. We fill the time we have.

Just some random musings today I guess.

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