When I was in therapy a few years ago, my therapist used to tell me, “It’s okay to change your mind.” At the time we were talking about my decision to homeschool my oldest son. Because I was feeling overwhelmed with lots of little ones in our family, I struggled with continuing to homeschool and feeling like I couldn’t do a good job.
Changing Your Strategy is not Failure
I think my struggle with my changed circumstances and homeschooling helped set the stage for my later bouts of post partum depression. I couldn’t give myself permission to change our educational strategy, nor could I get support and understanding from the people around me. Looking back now, I can see the impact of continuing a strategy that no longer worked for our family. To this day, my oldest son feels like the subject of Math is difficult for him even though he gets good grades in Math.
When I was catching up on my magazine reading this weekend, I found this quote from Seth Godin. I think it was in Better Homes and Gardens.
“Giving up is not the same as failing; it’s simply a change in strategy .”
As busy moms, we need to give ourselves permission to change what’s not working in our lives and in our family’s life. We also need to give ourselves permission to try new things followed by time spent evaluating the new change. If we give up what works for another family but not for us, that’s okay.
Be Intentional with Your Planning
Have a plan and work it. Then evaluate. If the plan needs fine-tuning, or if it’s not working, it’s time to change your strategy.
At the beginning of the year, I do an Annual Review. I look at the plan for the previous year, write out the plan for the new year along with metrics for measuring the plan, and I work the plan through my Weekly Review.
At the beginning of each season, I look at our/my routines to make sure they still work for the current season. We changed our food shopping strategy around this summer, and tinkered with it again in August. We’ll see how the routine works for September. If it doesn’t work, I’ll tinker with it again. My husband and I talk about handling household tasks each time our regular routine changes.
Remember, changing your strategy is not failure. Sometimes, you need to use the strategy to see the flaws in it.
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