You're 5 minutes late, the baby needs a diaper change, and the toddler refuses to put her shoes on. You can feel your blood pressure rising, and you're wondering why you even attempt to leave the house because it creates more stress. Is it even worth it?
I find myself in this scenario when I'm trying to cram too many tasks into my day when I leave the house. Years ago, I read a book that recommended I have one day set aside for errands. Not only did I find it helpful to reschedule my week accordingly, but I also realized that I needed to take many other tasks off my agenda on the days I chose to leave the house. Recognizing this was a way to eliminate hurry in my life.
Let's chat about slowing down in our fast-paced culture so that we have calm flows to our weeks.
As I was reflecting on this topic, I thought of some areas in my day-to-day living that I'm constantly feeling stressed about:
- Getting out of the house
- Daily To-Do List + being task focused
- Big projects
- Rushing through my day
Leaving the House
Why is it so hard to leave the house with little ones? Let's be honest; sometimes, getting out of the house with my teenagers is hard! Over the years, I've learned we need margin to get out of the door with calm hearts and attitudes. I am very cautious and considerate when I say yes to leaving my house.
For most of our outings, it's a minimum of 20-30 minute drive one way, sometimes up to 45 minutes. Just in travel time alone, I will spend 40-90 minutes driving. Then I factor in how long I must be out for the activity, appointments, or errands. That can range anywhere from 1 hour - 4 hours.
I have discovered it takes our family about 15 minutes to leave the house and settle into the vehicle. If I need to leave at 10:30, then I need to start loading the car with kids + things by 10:15. Before we can pack, we need to consider that the kids will need to find shoes and go to the bathroom, so let's tack on another 15 minutes for that. At this point in my life, I know we must start getting ready to leave 30 minutes before pulling out of the driveway.
Depending on where we have to go, I also need to consider what we will need to bring. If I'm not thinking ahead, I'm also scrambling to grab the things I forgot. To make this smoother, I must think ahead the day before and ensure everything is ready to go the previous night. Preparing could take 15-30 minutes before walking out the door.
Let's break down the timeline:
15-30 min prep
15 min to go potty, get socks and shoes on
15 min to load up
=45-60 minutes of prep to leave the house
Travel time = 40-90 minutes
Actual activity, appointments, errands = 1-4 hours
I must figure anywhere from 2.5 to 6.5 hours when I leave the house. Whew! That's a big undertaking and one we must fully break down to consider the ACTUAL time it takes to leave the house.
It's no wonder we are frantically stressed these days trying to squeeze another load of laundry in before flying out of the house. We don't take the time to consider the cost of time when we leave our homes.
I had to consider whether the activity was worth the time investment and the potential stress it would cause to leave the house. Setting up boundaries and a vision is a great way to know when it is worth saying yes to leaving the house. You can find my post on vision and simple living here.
To eliminate the stress of hurry, I had to embrace the reality of leaving the house and make my decisions accordingly. In my current season, I have one day set aside where I focus solely on leaving the house and putting all other responsibilities on other days. Part of the stress is that we don't consider the time it takes to leave the house, and we are trying to do chores, respond to messages, and cook until the very last minute of going.
Next time you want to leave the house, break down the time to go in a peaceful and enjoyable timeframe.
Daily To Do
Over the last few years, I've realized that I try to rush through my chores, creating more stress and anxiety. Instead of taking my time and enjoying the process, I want to finish it and mark it as complete on my checklist. But in the process, I find it easier to snap at my kids if they interrupt me.
I began to think about the beauty of mundane tasks and how therapeutic they can be if I slowed down and enjoyed the process.
Recognizing the need to pass on teaching my kids how to run a home, I've needed to slow down and involve them in the process as part of our daily training. I need to prioritize what I will do and what I need to delegate to someone else. I chat about my top daily chores here.
How can you slow down your day-to-day tasks and truly enjoy the process?
My husband and I have lived in an old home for most of our marriage. We purchased our house 18 years ago, and we've spent each year updating it as we can. Over time we began to realize we were placing so much emphasis on accomplishing these projects and were missing out on saying yes to other activities because we needed to rush and get the next thing done. We realized there would always be projects and needed to slow down and recognize that they could be completed on a different timeline. Due to the fact we wanted to get them done quickly, we missed opportunities for our teen sons to tag along with Dad and learn more.
What projects are on your list causing you stress? Are they worth putting off training your kids or enjoying special moments as a family?
Rushing through my day
As we've broken down different parts of our days that can feel rushed, I invite you to slow down your day. Choose only 1-3 top things you want to accomplish, and if you have a day that you can get more done, great. Our life is not all about the tasks we complete but the moment-by-moment life we live.
How would you like more time to enjoy each day with your family?
Thanks for dropping by today! I hope you found encouragement for building a peaceful home. If you know another mom who might benefit from what you've learned here today, be sure to share this post with her!
Before you go --- I have laid out all my tips to creating calm in your home, and you can get it below:
Learn my 4 Daily Habits to Calming the Chaos at Home
Looking for more calm in your day to day life?
A calm home is possible--with the right habits.
Learn my 4 daily habits here, it's free: