“Brenda, are you picking the kids up?” my friend called me on the phone. I forgot I had volunteered to drive the carpool to 4-H that night–what a loser mom.

And I thought I was doing great. I had muffins in the oven, was ready to put the fish in the broiler. The older boys and hubby wouldn’t be home from practices until 7:45.  I had plenty of time to unwind from work and get dinner ready.

Until I forgot the carpool. Score 1 for loser mom.

losermomJust when it felt like things were slowing down, why is it I can’t keep up?

I sometimes have to remind myself I’m not an empty-nester yet. Though two kids are out the door, I still have two other kids who are in the prime of craziness. What was I thinking?  I could rest?  Silly me.

As I drove the carpool to the local 4-H grounds, I mentally calculated in my head:

30 years of basketball

14 years of baseball

9 years of tennis

9 years of band/choir

8 years of piano lessons

6 years of gymnastics

6 years of volleyball

7 years of 4-H

4 years of soccer

5 years of track

4 years of cross-country

And we still have a few years of extracurricular activities with the remaining children still at home.

So, the muffin were half-baked. The rice got pasty waiting for everyone to come home, and I snacked on too many half-priced malted Easter-eggs while driving around.

Score 2 for loser mom.

How did I do it just a few  years ago with 4 young kids in activities–with no drivers–and working full-time as a teacher of 180 students?

I know how I did it. 

Things were governed by the calendar and there was not a minute I could breathe.  Even when I sat, I was grading papers. I ran 2 miles a day just to have 30 minutes to myself. 

Multitasking was my energy drink. 

Now, I actually allow myself to sit and drink coffee.  I’ve forced myself to do one task at a time when needed.  I’ve been trying to teach myself to rest.

To not have every detail planned ahead.

To be okay with an empty cookie jar.

To trust God with a part-time rather than full-time job. 

And there’s more peace, laughter, and sanity.  

As least for the moment. Tomorrow night we will be in four different places and I’m not sure where the youngest kid will end up. But he’ll figure it out–he’s got a phone and knows how to use it.  

And that’s okay. In a few short years, he’ll be out the door, and hubby and I will be home alone.

Until then, I’m okay with being a loser mom, because I’m a happier, less-stressed mom.  Seasons come and seasons go, and I’m committed to living this season to the fullest.

If you can relate to this, I invite you to join me for more in my new book, Balance, Busyness and Not Doing It All. For an interview on the book on topics of parenting, marriage, and biblical priorities, The Harvest Show’s new broadcast from Monday is here. 

If you want to join a retreat on life balance for all women, there’s a local one coming up February 27. Complete details are found here.

So join me in balancing busyness and not doing it all.

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