Family has always been important to me. But this year, more than ever, I’m putting family first as it was always a challenge to balance family and teaching.
My son, Matthew, is a senior in high school. And you better believe, I want to treasure this time before he heads off to college.
So instead of teaching most afternoons, I’m leaving time to cook yummy meals and try new recipes.
Is it my shameless attempt to lure him home when he’s off at school? Absolutely!
But seriously, my real goal is to simply be…AVAILABLE. If he’s free and wants to hang out with me (be still my heart!), I want to be available.
The last thing I want is to look back with regret because I didn’t cherish this time.
Saying No to Balance Family and Teaching
Of course, all of this hinges on my ability to say NO and truthfully, that’s not easy for me. I’m a “yes” girl at heart. I want everyone to be happy.
But setting boundaries is important. I’ve written before about the necessity of learning to say NO, and this “yes” girl is definitely getting better! Mostly because I’m getting a lot of practice!
The school year hasn’t even started and I’ve said NO to:
- 11 new students
- 3 speaking engagements
- 1 meeting (On Matthew’s birthday!)
Yikes! Just looking at that list stresses me out! But you know what’s crazy? Normally, I would have said “yes” to everything without even blinking.
I would have reworked my schedule to make everyone happy, and then I would have been completely overwhelmed.
Not this year! My priorities are set.
These are the “yes” decisions I’ve made:
- YES to my family. (They get me first!)
- YES to my son. (The days are long, but the years are short.)
- YES to my current piano students. (Since I’ve limited my number, I know I’ll have the energy to give them 100%.)
- YES to Upbeat projects. (I love helping piano teachers. This year, I’ll do a little less, only to ramp back up when I’m an empty nester!)
A side benefit of saying no to balancing family and teaching
One of the best parts of this decision is that I feel a huge weight off my shoulders. Since I’m not overwhelmed with commitments this year, my focus will be better. And I’m excited about that!
- There will be time to prep for piano students.
- A time to cook my favorite meals.
- Time for movie nights.
- Time for Upbeat work.
- There will be TIME. Because I’m MAKING time – for the things that matter most.
The results of saying Yes to family
Of course, saying YES to my family meant saying NO to a lot of things. Today I’m sharing the results with you.
WHAT I SAID “NO” TO:
Join the the preeminent professional development, learning and networking community for instrumental music teachers.
- 11 new students. (In fact, I cut back on my private lessons at school, so I actually taught less.)
- Late teaching hours.
- Several speaking engagements.
- Extra Upbeat work.
- Blog posts.
- Facebook. It was a rare day that I was on FB last year.
Saying NO gave me extra time (and energy!) for other things.
Here’s what I did instead:
I cooked my son’s favorite meals. Well, until I tripped over the cat’s tail in early April and broke my wrist. Yep – that was fun. The good news is that Matthew got to help me in the kitchen. (Good cooking experience for him!)
I was AVAILABLE for my son. Of course, he didn’t always want to spend time with Mom – but that wasn’t the point. I simply wanted to be available for those rare times he wanted to hang out.
College travel trips. We visited a couple of schools twice, just to make sure he was confident of his selection. And of course, once he made his choice, we had fun at orientation!
Smiled more. Since I didn’t feel overwhelmed by a super-busy schedule, I was more relaxed. There was no guilt. I was more joyful. There’s truth in the idea saying, “When mom is happy, everyone is happy.” (FYI…This also makes for a happier, more energetic piano teacher.)
Spent a weekend away with friends. So. Much. Fun.
More family activities. We did everything from art classes to movies to another Comic Con. Matthew got to meet Danielle Panabaker (aka Killer Frost from The Flash!)
Baked more sugar cookies than I ever have in my entire life! (Well…until I broke my wrist!) We had so much fun decorating them!
This past year was full of enjoying the moment but also taking a look back. I’m so thankful that God somehow enabled me to balance work and family. It’s never easy but so totally worth it.
If you have children still at home, please hear me – the days are long, but the years are SHORT! I don’t know who first said that, but it’s SO true. Find a way to prioritize your family because you’ll blink and they’ll be grown. (Go back and read this paragraph again!)
This is how I got the idea for Upbeat Moms. It’s full of experienced moms who share their best tips for balancing work and family. I also interviewed young moms who are right in the middle of it! My guest experts talk about ALL stages of parenting – babies to toddlers to teens!
Best of all? The experts are honest and transparent. They’re sharing their biggest mistakes and regrets so you can learn what not to do.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed as both a teacher and Mom (or Dad). How about doing LESS?
Join us April 3 for a FREE webinar with Tracy Selle from Upbeat Piano Teachers
Teaching and Parenting: Reduce Burn Out with Three Practical Tips