NFP is not an exact science, and when I was 4 days late recently, my mind raced between picking out baby names (Henry James or Elizabeth Ann, if you care to know) and utter panic (a year without running, where would I put a baby in this house?). Since everything I do, from the moment I awake to the instant my head hits the pillow has to be fit in like a giant 500 piece puzzle, I didn't relish the idea of having to fit more pieces into my daily life.
Tuesdays are my worst days: Mary at the elementary school at 8:50 for art and gym, Charlie at the primary for gym at 10:00, pick Mary up at 10:10, pick Charlie at 10:35, Maggie at the primary for gym at 11:15, pick up at 11:55, drop off 3 children at piano at 2:00, drop off Will and pick up 2 children at piano at 3:15, pick up remaining children at 4:00, fit into all of this school for 5 children ("Will, this is how you do this algebra problem, I want to see the rest completed before I get back."), laundry, breakfast, lunch and dinner, tidy the house, etc. etc. etc. There are always errands to run, doctor/dentist/orthodontist appointments, groceries to buy, and a phone call, "Can you do this?" thrown in for good measure. At any moment I feel like the whole puzzle is in danger of being tipped off the table by one or more of the children. Yesterday Julia Ellen got hold of a pair of children's scissors and not only cut her own bangs days after I trimmed them so carefully, but cut up the first page of a library book, and cut off the kitten's whiskers.
I just don't think I can add one more thing to my day, my life, my world. So, when Parents.com, of Parents magazine emailed me asking me to be in contention for their new homeschool blogger position, with the obligation, under contract, to produce 3-5 posts a week about homeschooling, I was pleased about the recognition, but knew in my heart that I could not accept. When I say I will do something then I try my best to honor that promise, whether that obligation be daily prayer, marriage, children, art lessons, or employment. I didn't think I had a table large enough right now to work on a 1000 piece puzzle, no matter how much I wanted to.
However, I realized on Friday morning that if God asked me to take on the 750 piece puzzle we could make it work. I can say no to some things, but not to another precious life. There are only so many hours in each of our days and we must pick and choose how we will fill them. In 2011, I have chosen to teach my children at home, supplement with public school classes, and be a homemaker. In 10 years that situation will likely be different, but I do hope and pray that one day I will see the completed puzzle of my life, including 6 (or more?) beautiful children and a happy husband.
edited to add: it was a short-lived false alarm, but I found that 36 hours are plenty of time to be horrified, be resigned, and be prepared, before being disappointed.