Just say NO! (Calendar Overdrive)


calendar overdriveYou may remember my post in January when I wrote about saying YES to yourself as a person and doing things that make you happy…well, this is kind of like part 2. But now we are saying NO to calendar overdrive.

I yearn for warmer weather, outdoor activities, and opportunities for casual social gatherings all winter long. Then the flurry of invitations begins, usually the first week of March.

Sure, I can make that shower.

Awesome, looking forward to your birthday party.

Moms’ night out? Fantastic, sign me up.

By the end of May, the tune has changed…

Grrr, another event on that day?

Rock, paper, scissors, who goes to what on that weekend.

How much time are we spending at the party versus driving to and from the party?

Then add in that pesky thing known as work and all these obligations, especially as a teacher at the end of the school year. I feel like my calendar is on overdrive! (I have no idea how families with multiple children in ‘real’ activities even begin to prioritize!). Finally, after the third week in a row of collapsing on Sunday night and asking, “Where did my weekend go?” I decided to regroup and start clean.

I took my calendar out, color-coded and all, and started really thinking about myself and the quality of life I wanted for my family for the summer. Freneticism is the word I want to use to describe my family time, so here was my time to put my words to action.

I’ll be honest, the first 3-4 events I took off the calendar were hard.

Oh, but they always come to our party.

We haven’t seen them in so long.

By the fifth scratched off obligation, I started to feel like a weight was lifted. Maybe only one event a weekend was all we did need as a family with two working parents so we could actually have family time. There are some weekends that we are still a little more programmed than I’d like, but as a friend said, “There are worse things than having a lot of people that want to hang out with you.” True, but I think I like my family and downtime a little more these days.

Now that I’m on ‘summer hours’ (tutoring Tues-Wed-Thurs, 10-4:30 p.m.), I get to enjoy being a part-time, stay-at-home mom. (If you’ve never done it for longer than a week and stayed at home, I challenge you to…it’s not the dream you probably think it is. I really appreciate that my profession allows me to do both).

To help us stay on track with the “Just Say No” summer philosophy, we are trying to transition the whole family to have fewer electronics and more outdoor time, less time being shuttled around in a car, and more time just playing. I think we are all benefiting from the dog days of summer. By saying “no” more to the outside world, I’m actually still saying “yes” to me in the best way possible!

So, will this be a summer of no for you too? Or have you already mastered the delicate balance of yes and no?

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Maria is a full-time mom, teacher, wife, daughter, and sister, who feels pulled in too many directions! Her older son Michael took over 24 hours to be born, and at six-months-old was diagnosed with allergies to dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, shrimp, and wheat…all after exclusively nursing because she was SO SURE that would help him be a healthy kid. Luckily at age 1, he began to outgrow some of his allergies. Fingers crossed the others will soon follow because that plus a husband who doesn’t eat any veggies and Maria always battling her weight makes for three meals to prepare every night. Luckily, Christopher, her younger son, is a cooperative eater! As someone who has always been committed to making positive change, Maria uses her privilege and position as an educator and mom to work toward a most anti-racisit, equitibile, and inclusive world. Recently, Maria has even started getting up at 5am to workout in her basement. (Thank you pandemic living!) She is addicted to reading chicklit on her Kindle app in the dark, most Trader Joe’s products, and watching TikToks.



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