There are a lot of good things in our lives. We are busy people, always going, doing. And most of what we are doing is good. We are investing in our children’s futures. Taking them to extracurricular activities. Helping them grow into great members of society. We volunteer at their schools. We volunteer at church. We serve on this committee and that PTA. Some of us run our own businesses, some of us work tons of hours every week. Some of us do all the laundry, all the cleaning, all the cooking, all the child-rearing. We try to feed our families well and exercise. We try to limit screen time and encourage more creative play. We answer emails, calls, texts all day long. We try to do it all.
But we can’t do it all.
My family is going through a busier season. We have 3 kids 4 and under. My husband works a lot. My newborn doesn’t sleep much. [Warning: if this post makes no sense, I’m very sleep deprived.] I don’t have the time, energy, or ability to do it all anymore. Actually, I probably never did. But I especially don’t now. And I’m okay to say it.
The problem with not being able to do it all is that it means some of the things I have to give up are good things. That’s part of what makes it so hard to say no. But in order to have more good in my life, I have to say no to some good things. I have to say no to some volunteering. I have to say no to time with friends. I have to say no to a perfectly clean and picked up house some times. I have to say no to always replying to texts and messages. And I have to often re-evaluate how I’m doing and what I need to give up on at any given time. I have to fight the lie that tells me that because it’s something good it must be done.
Sometimes we have to let go of good.
For this season of my life, that means I’m taking a look every week at what good thing I need to give up that week. Some weeks it might be my phone. I might have to let go of seeing every picture on Instagram [which seriously is hard for me], or returning every message, or keeping up with different groups on Facebook. The next week it might be that I have to say no to the good opportunity presented simply because it wouldn’t help my family for me to say yes at that time. Whatever it is, I am continuing to learn that in order to be a better mom, I have to manage my time and our time so well. Part of that means learning to say no to some really good things. It’s so hard for me and also so life-giving to encourage my family. I want less stuff and more room. Room for conversations, opportunities, and true life to happen in our family, and I’m willing to let go of some good stuff in order to have truly great.