Life in the modern world pretty wells guarantees constant noise.
Our minds continue to work despite all this noise. We plan dinner, decide
what order we need to do things so that we can get a kid to sports on time, and how to help friends. All this with kids fighting, radio blaring, and the latest cartoon craze on the television no one is watching. We function very well despite the constant sometimes overwhelming input from anything and everything. Half the time I smile and think it is funny that I can do this.
But we need silence
There was a time when silence really bothered me. It bothered me because of what happened when there was no outside input. My mind started to think, to process, to analyze. This can be a difficult thing for someone who can overthink easily. I learned it was necessary though. When we have so much input from so many things, we cannot process fully what has or will be happening and often times, we miss a behavior from someone who says they are friends but are not really acting like one.
I have kids, where do I find silence?
Many of us are already early risers. We rise early to prepare the school day, to squeeze in some personal religious study, some yoga, or for those who are so motivated a run. The thing is, when you run, you have music on typically. When you study there is input coming in from an outside source. When you do yoga, you are focusing on your breathing and movements, not what’s bouncing around in your head.
Not everyone has this chance but some of us have time just before or just after the kiddos have lunch where there is break time. My kids are often sent outside and I start picking up, handling emails, working on my own schoolwork or handle animal care. Some of us use this time to gather the next thing that needs to be done with the kids for school or even preparing for dinner and the evening activity that night.
Evenings around here tend to be a bit busy for us. We have dinner and then there is usually a kid’s activity to run off too. This can be either of the scouting groups, youth, or sports depending on the day of the week. Essentially, from 4pm to about 9pm, I am nonstop. Then, I usually am working on my own school until 1130. This means if I am to get quiet time in the evening, I must be intentional. The best thing for me to do would be to get the kids in bed and then have a small quiet break before starting my school work. If I went from my day’s activities straight into my evening ones with the plan to have quiet time after, I would never get it in. I would be too tired.
You need to make a point to have 10 or 15 minutes of silence at least.
This silence will allow your mind to process the day’s events, how you handled things, how you could possibly do better next time ( I am always reflecting on this as my kids and I are all deep feelers and can react too quickly to one another), the schedule and interactions you had with other people. One thing I have caught before is that a friend of mine was acting a little off. During my rushed time on the phone with her, she seemed fine and everything was ok and our conversation went well. When I reflected on it later that evening, in quiet, I realized that her voice was a little strained and her answers shorter than normal. I was able to reach out to her quickly and ask what was going on and turns out, she was beyond overwhelmed but hadn’t said anything because she didn’t want to make me overwhelmed too.
I have also had some pretty mind-blowing thoughts. I realized that someone who was supposed to be my friend had stolen from us during one of these quiet times. Again, I didn’t realize anything was really off till I had quiet and realized that she had been acting funny when I asked her what she had been up to after disappearing in our house for a time. If I had not allowed myself the time to process the day in silence, if I had music on in the background I would have just wondered on her time away but then been distracted by the words in the song.
During a lunch break one day, while the kids were outside, I was grabbing a minute to sit and rest on the couch before cleaning up the kitchen some when I suddenly realized my older boy had been upset by something during a lesson. My eyes went wide when my mind rested on that thought and I immediately called him in to talk (something he likes as usually, he is the one who fights me going outside). Sure enough, when I asked if everything was ok, he shrugged and gave me a grunted “yeah” but he was reserved. We talked for a time and I finally got out of him that he was overwhelmed and concerned with his daily schedule. We were able to bounce ideas back and forth on what we could or could not do to help him and we settled on two as ok options. He was then my bright-eyed, happy man and started joking around with me.
We sometimes feel that silence means we are doing nothing and if we are doing nothing we are being lazy. The truth of it is that we Need to do nothing so we can do things properly. We will not see when we are being taken advantage of if we do not have time to process. We will not see when we need to check in with our kiddos if we do not have silence to think. We will not see an option that is right in front of us that would help our family greatly if we have constant noise.
Greetings! My name is Joy and I am currently a stay at home mom who is homeschooling her three kids in South Carolina. I love learning and I love sharing the love of learning with others so getting to home school my kids and watch the “ah-ha” moments when they understand something is unbelievably rewarding. I have been homeschooling since my twins were preschool age so we are going on 8 years now. I am also a military spouse, so we have the added joy of being a military family with some of the complications that come with it. As a family, we stay busy with our scouting groups, American Heritage Girls and TrailLife, and we do many camping and hiking trips with them. When I have downtime, I am typically reading books I have sitting around the house, on YouTube/websites getting more information on different home school programs, or working on plans for homeschool. I look forward to being able to share our experiences with everyone and help encourage all homeschooling families.