Sometimes I feel certain that if I could just find balance, I could cure all kinds of problems in my family. Fighting kids, messy house, unfinished projects, and so on.
Along this train of thought I bought The Money Saving Mom's Makeover Your Mornings e-course – and I loved it. I started planning my days around the principles I learned, and I started getting things DONE. I've really enjoyed it, and I'm still reaping the benefits of it – I'm getting so much more accomplished, and it's been awesome. MoneySavingom.com later published Makeover Your Evenings and I felt even MORE organized – I wasn't wasting time on things that didn't need to be done anymore.
Then I found “Addicted to Busy” by Brady Boyd. While it's a full-length book, not a course with worksheets like Makeover Your Mornings, it convicted me on several levels. I've learned lot about finding real rest, and turning “off” as much as possible to just…be.
Here's my biggest struggle: I have five kids who are growing faster than I ever thought possible. These kids need school lessons, one-on-one time, discipline, meals, baths, and a house they shouldn't have to shovel through to move around in…all while Mommy works two jobs from home and Daddy works REALLY long hours and most weekends. My youngest is a baby, who needs a lot of attention, but more than that – I LOVE her. I love all of them! I want to savor this time with little ones around. I want to enjoy my kids and spend time with them that is NOT attached to a task or oriented around a project.
So how do you balance the two seemingly opposite principles every day? How do busy moms, with endless lists of tasks to be done, get real rest?
These are some of the principles I've gleaned from BOTH Makeover Your Mornings and Addicted to Busy that have help me find SOME balance in my life. These won't be the same for everyone, but they're definitely the ones that are helping me the most so far:
- I need to wake up at least an hour and a half before my kids do to get important things done – exercising, cleaning, and work (the specifics on how to do this best are in the Makeover Your Mornings course).
- I need to set aside just a small amount of time in the evenings to do a few key things (for me, it's doing the dishes, choosing my clothes for the next day, setting out our homeschool books, and doing a five minute pick-up).
- I need to get my children involved in these streamlined morning and evening routines for smoother and easier days.
- I need to spend time organizing my home and my life so that I can relax when it's time to relax.
- I need to learn to say no when we are asked to do extra projects and things that take us out of the house.
- I need to consolidate my errands to one day, or one trip, so I can be more productive every other day of the week .
- I need to keep Saturdays and Sundays clear. Author Heidi St. John has written about “white days” – days that she keeps clear on the family calendar. I've talked about this before, but it's something that's become very important to me – when we schedule every day of the month, we ALL feel burned out and exhausted. By keeping Saturdays and Sundays open (this often means getting our cleaning and cooking done on Friday), the following week is much better and more relaxed. That family time is invaluable, and we REALLY need the down time.
- I need to find time – real, quiet time – to spend with God. As Brady Boyd says in Addicted to Busy, real rest is only found in Jesus. This has to be one of the critical building blocks to getting things done while NOT going crazy with tasks.
How do you find balance in your home and in your life? Are there critical steps that you take each day to prioritize rest, while still meeting your goals for your home and family?