Category: priorities

Shadows holding hands

Survival Skills for Moms, Part 3

BY JENNIFER VANDER KLIPP

Our first two parts (Part 1 and Part 2) discussed getting and cooking food, activities that take up a large part of our over-stretched calendars and budgets. But today we’re talking about you.

As moms, we’re so busy taking care of our families that we routinely put ourselves last on the list. And that’s a sure-fire recipe for burnout. So here are three areas you need to nurture if you want to avoid that.

Time for yourself

I hear you saying, “What’s that? I never have that.” True. You have to make time for yourself. Get out your calendar and block off time for yourself. Whether it’s to do a hobby you love, work out, read, or just be where no one is calling your name. You cannot serve your family out of an empty well. You have got to take time to refill your well.

Time with your spouse

For those of you who are married, I you have to have time alone with your spouse. Regular date nights will feed your marriage. Someday all those little birds will fly the nest. It would be nice to still know the person you’re married to when it’s just the two of you.

Dates don’t have to be expensive. A cup of coffee, an ice cream, a walk all count as dates. What matters is that the two of you have time to connect. A strong marriage reassures your children and gives them comfort and security.

Time with God

Being a mom to boys is exhausting and difficult, fun and crazy. They are quite different creatures from girls. Being a mom to girls brings its own challenges with emotions and identity. We need to regularly go to God with our hopes, fears, dreams, and questions. He is their Maker. He gave them to us. And He loves them more than we do. Let Him refresh your soul and guide you in raising your children.

Hopefully, you’ve found a few useful ideas to try out during this series. Raising young men and women is an adventure, and we need all the help we can get from each other!

 

 

 

The Beauty of Routine

I’ve always thought routine was important. Even back when I was in grade school, during free time I’d be writing out my “Schedules of Time” trying to figure out how much time I had for reading and playing the in orange groves while still doing my homework and chores.
When I started working at home I wondered what would be the best routine for me. I’ve read many articles over the years about the best time of the day to do certain tasks. I also had to think about when my family would be home, when dinner needed to get into the oven, what kids I needed to run where.
Tame the Email Monster
I originally started the day by checking my email and seeing what needed to be done. The problem was I often got derailed and several hours later found that I hadn’t gotten to my to-do list for the day.
Then I read this article from Business Insider http://www.businessinsider.com/6-things-the-most-productive-people-do-every-day-2014-6on things productive people do everyday. One was to NOT start your day by checking your email. I’ve been implementing this for a couple of weeks now and I actually find it very freeing. I do my “big rocks” (more on that later) then check my email, knowing that I have a time limit where I need to be moving on to my to-do list items.
So once I tamed my email I thought about what I needed to do each day to make me feel productive, even if I did get derailed.
Place the Big Rocks
I have six kids at home, teens and tweens. It’s summertime so they sleep late. I’m a morning person and I like quiet to do my reflective work. So I asked, “What are my most valuable skills? Where do I bring the most value to my clients?” and finally, “What do I need to do to create an environment that cultivates those things?”
I don’t have all the answers. I don’t even have most of them. But I did decide that I needed to do my time in the Word, my exercises, and my creative time before noon. Those are my “big rocks” and I can get most of them done before the monsters—uh, kids—wake up.
Routine is Coffee’s Friend
The article above reinforced to me the value of routine. It frees your brain from having to think about what needs to be done next. It allows you to walk around like a zombie in the morning and still get something done before the coffee kicks in.

The best routine is one that works for you with your energy levels and life situation. There is no one-routine-fits-all I’m still experimenting with what makes sense for me, but I’m happy with what I’ve discovered so far.

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