This month, my girls are starting in-person school and my husband is going back to the office. It feels bittersweet to be living in an empty house after more than a year of having everyone home ALL THE TIME. It’s just me and the dog, Woodford, listening to the sound of silence. It’s a sound I haven’t heard in such a long time. It’s a sound I longed for during the heart of our survival mode. Now that I’m hearing it, part of me misses the chaos of the girls playing and my husband taking endless conference calls from our home office.
I sip my still-hot coffee, an act of luxury just 3 months ago, and appreciate the silence knowing it will pass as quickly as the seasons. I take another sip, give Woodford a little pet, and start a list on my phone. I type out various tasks and ideas I want to accomplish during this next season of motherhood.
In this next season, I’m no longer managing virtual school while wearing the hats of a full-time house cleaner, chef, and referee. It’s been a long year of survival and depletion. I’m more than ready to shift my focus to start filling my cup.
Here are the 5 things I am focusing on in this next season of motherhood
1. Transitioning to Planning Mode
It feels like years since I have been able to plan out a goal for myself. In fact, the last time I tried, everything changed. Then things changed again. It was frustrating to spend so much time planning for the plan to fail repeatedly. So I stopped and acknowledged my season of survival. Today, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am over the moon excited.
2. Practicing Self-Care
During survival mode, I practiced self-care activities like taking walks or working out, detoxing my face, and going to bed early. I am excited to explore self-care activities that I have pushed aside for the last 12+ months. Things like researching and trying out new recipes, scheduling the non-urgent doctor appointments, and dabbling in the bible study I had hoped to accomplish over the summer, but didn’t.
3. Cultivating Friendships
Speaking of self-care and this next season, I look forward to investing time in cultivating old and new friendships. During the last year, I struggled to connect with friends. I’m not much of a phone talker and meeting in person was incredibly anxiety-inducing. I stepped out of my comfort zone once in a while, but my friendships took a back seat to all the other things I was managing.
4. Finding My Joy
Being in survival mode meant that the few moments I had to myself were spent sleeping so I could be ready to get up and do it all over again the next day. The hobbies and activities that used to bring me joy were put on the backburner. In this next season, I look forward to reading more, journaling, volunteering at the girls’ school, and learning a new skill.
5. Home Improvement and Organization Projects
Going through my girls’ clothes and toys while they are home is absolute misery. Suddenly, the toy or outfit they haven’t worn or played with in months becomes their absolute favorite. While the girls are in school, I’m going through their closets and reorganizing their toys. I’m also finally planning out what pictures I want to print, getting them into their frames, and hanging them up on the wall.
This next season of life is going to feel different and a little sad, but it’s also going to feel less heavy and exciting. I’m eager to keep a few of the traditions we started over the last year and blend them into the traditions and activities I was forced to set aside.