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Why My Family Says “No” to a Busy Schedule

Recently, Pat and I were talking about various things that our families were doing (and not doing, in my case) and we thought it would be interesting to share our very different takes on that topic with our readers. And, of course, hear your input on the subject!

Why My Family says "No" to a Busy Schedule

I haven’t always said no to outside activities. Years ago, you’d find us participating in many weekly activities. Park group, homeschool co-op, church meetings and small groups (for adults AND kids), and visits with extended family were a part of our normal weekly routine. Extra-curricular interests, such as sports and swimming, field trips, camping trips, and various other homeschool events filled most days of the month.

And then…

Our 3rd son developed a rare, life-changing seizure syndrome. Without going into all the details, let me just say -everything changed! Anything that wasn’t mandatory was dropped. Homeschooling, of course, made the cut, but all the extra stuff that had mattered so much before didn’t.

Years later, he recovered and life returned to normal. We started filling in our calendar and enjoying more time away from home and then I was diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly my calendar was filled with hospital visits, chemo, surgery, radiation, and all the other things that go along with a cancer diagnosis. Once again, everything that wasn’t absolutely necessary came to a screeching halt. We continued to homeschool, but most everything else was dropped.

Though all is well now, we’ve continued to keep our calendar fairly clear. I guess I never really thought about the “why” of our mostly stay-at-home homeschooling until recently, but it makes sense that we just value our time at home a little bit more than we used to. That’s not to say that those who have busy schedules don’t value their time at home – just that we’ve needed a few years to simply be here more than before.

As my 3rd son enters high school this year, we’ll be branching out a bit more to give him more opportunities for social activities and community service. That’ll include joining our local homeschool group again and a membership in Key Club. We’re encouraging more participation in our church’s youth group and some of the activities provided through that venue. And, of course, we’ll still get together with Pat and her kids each week!

I have a feeling, though, that even as our calendar fills, it’ll not resemble the earlier years of hustle-bustle. I’ve found that our days flow more smoothly and are more productive when the majority of our time is spent close to home.

Does your family say “yes” or “no” to lots of outside activities? Do you find that the answer to that question varies? What are your thoughts on “being busy”?

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Candy is a southern girl who enjoys the simple things in life. Dirt road drivin’, Sunday afternoon nappin’, back yard swingin’, and sunset watchin’ are a few of the things that make her smile. She’s been married to her best friend and the love of her life for almost 25 years and is navigating motherhood with her 4 children, aged 23, 19, 14, & 11. Homeschooling for over 18 years now, she is also a bit of a word-nerd (ok, maybe more than a “bit” – she actually considers making lists of homophones to be entertaining), a lover of books and chocolate, a survivor of cancer, an author, and a hula hoop maker.

6 Responses to Why My Family Says “No” to a Busy Schedule

  1. Jennifer August 24, 2015 at 8:38 am #

    What a great article! Our family definitely needs to evaluate our schedule. Thanks for the insight. I found your blog through Modest Monday.

    • Candy August 24, 2015 at 9:27 am #

      Thanks, Jennifer! So glad you found us. 🙂

  2. Elizabeth August 19, 2015 at 9:55 am #

    Yes! “Selective scheduling is one of our family’s “Top 6 Happiness Habits” We love being home together but it’s hard if we’re never home– or together! Love this piece!

    • Candy August 20, 2015 at 6:08 am #

      “Selective scheduling” – Yes! That’s exactly what we do. I just never had a fancy term for it. I love it!! Thanks for your input. 🙂 Love your site too!

  3. Heaven August 19, 2015 at 9:33 am #

    As the mother of six girls and wife to a college president, we have to prioritize our time so we get down time as well as much needed family time. My girls are allowed one extra-curricular school activity a year. We put a lot of emphasis on music, so if they are old enough they have an instrument they are required to practice every day. With so many people going places, we have to draw the line somewhere. It’s already been hard for one of my girls to wait for a spring sport and not do a fall one, too. But the conversations have been enlightening and empowering!

    • Candy August 20, 2015 at 6:11 am #

      Love the way your family handles keeping the extra-curriculars to a minimum. What a blessing it will be for your girls when they get older and they’ve already slushed through weighing different activities for importance and laying aside those that aren’t. As adults that’s often difficult, but your girls will be 2 steps ahead of the game!

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