Help is on the Way

Life has been pretty stressful lately. We decided not very long ago to move interstate, because we need to move out of our house anyway, and because it would be nice to spend some time living closer to Geoff’s side of the family for a bit, particularly since his Dad had a major heart attack awhile back and hasn’t been all that well. It will also be nice to have a break from the draconian and onerous homeschooling laws in our State. Oh, there’s also the fact that my sister-in-law lives in the city we’ll be moving to, and she also homeschools her kids and, well, it would be pretty cool for unschooling cousins to live near each other I reckon. 🙂 We think they’re pretty great people, too, and have really missed them since they moved away.

All that to say, it’s been a bit wild, crazy and stressful around here, particularly since Geoff now has a job at the new location , and we therefore have a definite, locked-in moving date and he just so happens to be away on business quite a lot leading up to the move (including the last few days!). When he’s not away, he’s mostly working at his local job, so that leaves a lot of pressure on me.

Tasks and me?
Let’s just say we’re not great friends.
Decluttering and purging?
Yeah, not too great there either.

I find it hard focussing on tasks, to the detriment of time spent on relationships (being an attentive wife and unschooling mum, and spending time with friends and family before we move away) and ideas (reflecting on and writing about the many things swirling around in my head at any one time).

Nonetheless, it must be done!

Since making the decision to move, we have had:

A week of visitors staying with us (which was great fun!)
Day trips and activities that we were pre-committed to
The anniversary of our baby’s death (which always causes my world to stop spinning for a few days)
A week of sickness (me)
Geoff away on a business trip, which happened to coincide with
A vomiting child
And now a vomiting me!

I went to the health food shop and consulted with a naturopath the other day, regarding strategies for coping with the stress. Stress apparently ranks pretty high on the scale of most stressful things. Add to that the fact that one of my biggest personal stressors is time stress, and you have a recipe for…. yuck. I had been letting it get to me, but over the past 24 hours things have started to settle a bit. Perhaps it is coincidence? Perhaps it has something to do with the magnesium and herbs I have started taking? Perhaps it was a long conversation with my mum that stretched into the wee hours of the morning and helped me think differently about our search for a rental property. Perhaps it is to do with the fact that my husband decided to come home from his business trip two days earlier than expected, and worked his magic on the mess. 🙂

Perhaps it is the fact that my three teenage sons got up to some helpful things (without being asked) while I was out doing errands this morning. 🙂

I texted my son while I was out, asking if he would mind hanging my sheets on the line. He replied, "I did it hours ago". :) Later, when we got home and he had left for work, we discovered his wet washing in the machine, so we hung it out for him. Kindness begets kindness begets kindness....
I texted my son while I was out, asking if he would mind hanging my sheets on the line. He replied, “I did it hours ago”. 🙂 Later, when we got home and he had left for work, we discovered his wet washing in the machine, so we hung it out for him. Kindness begets kindness begets kindness….
Our dog Lucy should definitely have been called Houdini! After discovering that she had masterfully escaped yet again, my husband came up with an idea to hopefully foil her Houdini abilities forever. He was away on business, though, and couldn't do it. When I came home from my errands, I discovered that two of my teens (13 & 17) had done it! So far so good....
Our dog Lucy should definitely have been called Houdini! After discovering that she had masterfully escaped yet again, my husband came up with an idea to hopefully foil her Houdini abilities forever. He was away on business, though, and couldn’t do it. When I came home from my errands, I discovered that two of my teens (13 and 17) had found some sheet metal and a drill and done the job! So far so good….

There is something so sweet about a child/teen doing something helpful simply because they see it needs doing and choose to do it, rather than because they are complying with a request (or perhaps, more sadly, a demand).

This move will certainly be a team effort. Not a conscripted team, but a team of volunteers, who may be more helpful at some times than others, which is okay in my book. Not necessarily desirable, but okay. I would much rather occasional help from a willing helper, than more regular help from conscripted slaves, I mean, children. I know this means that there will be days and moments when I feel overwhelmed and need more support.

The trick, I am learning, is being kind and honest about my feelings and my needs, and also respecting theirs. And coming up with mutually agreeable strategies for “getting the job done”. Oh, and also this: genuine requests are better than manipulative demands.

Relationships are the most important thing.

Published by

Karen Lee

FAMILY: Married since 1989 (does that make me old?), a full-time Mum since 1993, and unschooling my kids since 2005. On a journey of learning to live free and fully loved as God intended, following Jesus rather than an institution or "religion". Caring for the world and its people as best as I can.