Have you ever had a season where the “shoulda”s make you feel like you simply aren’t doing enough?
I should be doing XYZ at home.
I should be more available for my family.
I should make healthier meals.
I should scroll on my phone less.
I should reach out to that friend more often.
I should read more.
The “shoulda”s go on and on and on…
Sometimes, we can be soooooo hard on ourselves. Why do we do it?!
I have a few theories.
When your season of life turns your plans for other things upside down
Ever since the world shut down in 2020, we’ve been homeschooling our kids. It wasn’t something I EVER wanted to do with them before then. I didn’t plan it. I didn’t put it on my top list of things to do.
I started homeschooling out of desperation to make school work for my kids when the system in place wasn’t working (thank you mountain internet).
Then, something beautiful happened. We LOVED it. We were reading books, learning together, making memories, and generally having a good time.
What we learned from 2020 and these past few years is that homeschooling really does work for our family. It works with my husband’s crazy and variable work schedule. It works with how my girls learn. It works for my level of excitement in learning with them.
This is our season.
However, over the past few years, I’ve had to come to a very difficult realization… I cannot do all the things.
You cannot do all the things.
I could not do all the things. You cannot do all the things.
Yep. I’m not as superhuman as I wish I were at times!
I can teach my kids, yes. That’s a full-time job though.
I can clean some days, yes.
I can cook healthy meals some days, also yes.
I can write some days, especially during those early mornings alone.
I cannot do all these things… every day. I’m in a season. It took me some time to realize this though. I thought I could do it all.
This is what happens when I try to do it all… I burn out. I burn out hard and fast, and I take everyone down with me. I get upset. I feel overwhelmed. I beat myself up.
I’ve learned these burnouts happen less when I’m honest with myself and when I let go of things. I simplify my days. I simplify my goals, and I simplify my expectations for myself.
Are you in a season right now?
Give your season a name
Maybe you have health issues. Maybe you just lost a parent or a spouse. Maybe you have a brand new baby. Maybe you are renovating your home or moving. You could be going through a divorce. Maybe you are simply overcommitted to other priorities right now.
I’m not saying to give up on your goals or to simply feel defeated. However, I do encourage you to give your season a name, an identity, or some way for you to recognize this is where you are right now, today, this week, this month, or even this year.
OK. I named my season. What next?
Just because you give your season a name, that doesn’t magically fix the burnout, the overwhelm, or all the “shoulda”s.
However, it does allow you to give yourself a permission slip. It’s a permission slip to let some things go, things that may not be as important as the real priorities in your life right now.
Decluttering helps with this. Living simply helps with this. It amazes me how often I come back to my goals of simplifying to help my life seem less crazy.
Declutter your “shoulda”s
I got rid of the curriculums that made me feel like I wasn’t doing enough.
I invest my weekends into making freezer crockpot meals… cause I simply can’t cook during the week with school and activities.
I stopped expecting myself to clean as often as I “should” and found a happy medium. (By the way, when you have less stuff, this is waaaaaaaaay easier.)
I quit some activities.
What’s your season right now? What “shoulda”s could you declutter from your thoughts?
Give yourself grace if you are in a season. It’s just that, a season.
Brooke, Happy Simple Mom
If you are new to this whole decluttering and simplifying thing, I invite you to join me. You don’t have to try and declutter your whole house in one weekend (although you could use a single weekend to make a little bit of progress), but you could give yourself just 5 minutes a day towards whatever goal you have in mind.