For awhile I was struggling with getting things done. I had a bit of an issue with this as we adjusted to being a family of 5 but then we settled in and got into a routine and everything was running smoothly. I was getting up early, going to the gym, starting our homeschool day…my little guy would nap and play peacefully and we would go on. And then he became mobile. Everything changed. I feel like I am constantly chasing him everywhere and trying to get things done, then getting ready to go to all of our activities with my chores half completed around the house. All the while I’m frustrated that I’m not getting my workouts in that keep me sane.
I refuse to be that mom, the one who is crazy busy and stressed, and never taking care of herself, frustrated with her children, her husband and her life. I understand that life changes and seasons like this happen, but I’m determined not to get stuck in them, and to be aware enough to realize when I’m in a rut like this and make some changes. So, I came across a blog where a woman listed the things she needs to get done each day and the amount of time that these things realistically took up. Not fun things, chores that need to be done. Non-negotiable, and I have some control over my non-negotiables. For me this daily list was:
- Bible reading
- Cook 3 meals and clean up
- Clean floor (I don’t know which one, but it never fails that some floor will need cleaning 😉
- Get my children ready for the day
- Get my children ready for bed
- Feed my son and put him down for a nap
- Play with my children and be present
- Pay bills/add items to budget
- Do a load of laundry
- Feed dogs
- Get myself ready for the day
When I added the realistic time slots in for these activities, I came up with about 9 hours. My day is full. Without any homeschool or any extra-curricular activities, or volunteer activities. This doesn’t include any of the time I spend on the race I direct with a group of friends or the time I spend volunteering or helping out others if they need it. It means that at this time in my life, with 3 small children, I need to do some SERIOUS re-evaluating of our schedule and need a bit more practice saying no. There isn’t even any time in there to chat with my husband. Remember that man I chose to marry to spend my life with?
I think as mamas we are so busy and especially as Christian mamas we forget to take care of ourselves. The past few weeks, I have been taking time to get up early and make myself run, (more like Clint attempts to wake me up several times because I ask him to the night before) because once I get out of it, it takes me awhile to enjoy it again, and now that I’ve made it non-negotiable, I am loving it again. Running is a part of me and I’ve missed it. My husband and I spend time talking when he gets home from work where we don’t allow our children to interrupt us at all (really…they spend the entire day with me, they can keep themselves busy for 15 minutes!) and I cherish that time. I get him all to myself. Because honestly, at the end of the day, he and I are spent! I’m not saying, start being selfish, go shopping, spend hours at the gym, and do date nights each week, but you’ve got to figure out what it is for you that helps you to function best as a mommy. Because if you’re angry, frustrated, tired and aren’t doing anything to your best ability, you’re honestly doing more damage to your family than you are caring for them.
I’d love to know what you do for yourself to make sure you stay on top of being a blessing for your family! Let’s pray for eachother to continue in the right direction and be realistic about our priorities and time 🙂