I came across this quote earlier this week and I thought how accurate it was, for this particular week. It has been absurd but not without its beauty.
This week, we had minor work done in our kitchen and that involved packing up the entire kitchen and living out of boxes for the week.
Having boxes in the living room shrunk the children’s play space and obviously, it wasn’t ideal.
There was stress from the adults about getting everything cleaned out and packed up in time and understandably the children didn’t like their space being overtaken by the boxes, our apartment doesn’t often feel small, this week it felt tiny.
From what people see of homeschooling, it can so often give the impression of perfection, the illusion of washed dishes, mopped floors, kids that don’t argue, parents that aren’t stressed, a quiet house, with clear desk space, where no-yelling-crying-lying-on-the-couch-from-exhaustion takes place.
For us this week, the parents were a bit more on the yelling side; not at anyone, but raised voices in general, because packing is stressful and I found packing up our belongings, without the newness or promise of a new adventure on the other side of it, a different kind of stress.
This was a week of muddling through and we live life with our kids and sometimes, there are muddling through weeks, here are a few ways I found calm this week, while mothering, unschooling and packing up all the essential things.
Five Ways To Find Calm When It’s Chaos
1. Involve the kids.
Sometimes, I have to remind myself to include the children, in things I wouldn’t think to because I’m an introvert and I live inside my head and I tend to just do things by myself but talking to my kids about what was happening and why we were doing it, made it easier, it gave me a different way to frame it. Both of our children helped us pack boxes and find things that we needed out of the boxes and both came up with ways they could help, which made my mama heart burst.
2. Shift focus.
Every time I caught myself thinking of what had to be done, I would shift my focus to something on the list that was already done. I would take mini-breaks for quick games of hide and seek and dance parties.
3. Look at inspiration.
When I found myself thinking in loops, I looked for inspiration outside of the task I was doing, things that I could put on in the background. I played Sir Ken Robinson’s “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” TED talk and I found a few moments to look at pictures of National Parks for the on-going list we are making of places we one day want to visit. These little moments of looking for inspiring things took the edge of the stress by thinking outside of the task.
My creative outlet is to write and I couldn’t find time for that this week and though the other forms of creativity comes with a lot of mess and it seems counterintuitive while you are packing and cleaning up a space, making time to create helped to ease my own stress. I brought out quick crafts, we painted in the only clear space we had left (the hallway) and glued the googly eyes on all the popsicle sticks.
5. Go with it.
It isn’t every week that we have to pack up the busiest room in our home, it is understandable that everyone is going to feel off and our rhythm is going to be disrupted.
When I stopped to remind myself that this isn’t for always, it’s just for now, I felt the tension ease. We watched a lot of movies and had a lot of late nights this week and I love that we found a way to connect that involved laying down at the end of the frantic days.
There were unexpected moments of surprise this week, our children delighted in finding old cookie tins I had tucked and I appreciated the clear and empty counters, for a few moments anyway, because they look too empty, not a reflection of the hum of our home.
Some weeks, you muddle through and take comfort knowing that your home can hold steady during the occasional chaos curve that comes your way.