For all you parents out there who feel like you are drowning in all there is to do. For you who are trying to figure out what to prioritize from the could do, should do, and must do. Here is some practical parent advice!
Ever feel you are drowning as a mom? I do!
There are so many things to get done, so many things I should do, and so many people that depend on me. but I cannot do it all. I just end up feeling like this picture.
Like I’m drowning.
So recently I sat down with a cup of coffee and my thoughts to try to find a solution. Because, let’s face it, when I feel like I am drowning I’m not at my best. I am not giving any of my to do list my full attention. I am not the wife, mom, daughter, friend, and teacher I want to be.
Tips for Busy Moms
Here is what I came up with. I hope this can offer some hope, clarity, and ideas for all you other moms out there who like me are drowning.
#1 – I cannot do it all
I know this isn’t very “pc” to say. I mean aren’t we women suppose to be super moms? Aren’t we suppose to be able to do it all?
I feel like media tells women we are suppose to have power careers, be nurturing mothers, hanging out with the girlfriends, have a an out-of-good-housekeeping looking house, and be stellar shape wearing the latest fashion.
Well I’m going to be honest with you; You can’t. I mean you can “do” it all (meaning women have the ability to be all those things), but you cannot possibly do them all at the same time in your life. We must pick and choose what our priorities are and then come to peace with the fact that we will have to let the others go or fade into the background.
#2 – I don’t want to do it all!
I could try to do everything and run around like a chicken with my head cut off, but honestly I don’t want to. The older I get the more I realize that time is precious.
I don’t want more money, clothes, a better physique, or a picture perfect house – I want more time! I want time with those that I love to slow down and enjoy the moment. I want to build memories. And I want to do what brings me joy.
So why am I wasting time on so many things that I don’t really want to do?
#3 – Making Priorities
Everyone’s priorities may look a little different, and that’s okay. God made each of us special and unique. He wired us differently to serve different purposes.
But with how God wired me and the realities of my life (i.e. I don’t have to be the breadwinner), here are my top 5 priorities in order from the most important on down:
- Time with God – Too often this gets shoved to the backburner. I know God will always be there when I’m ready to “fit him in”. I know it is a sad way to think of the most important person in my life, but if I’m being honest that’s my pattern. Sure I read the Bible to my kids, teach Sunday School, go to church, pray before meals, point my kids to trouble in the hard times, and help my kids memorize scripture – but my personal time with God is not my highest priority. My marriage would be in trouble if I treated my husband as casually and callously as I’m treating my Lord and Savior. I vow to make this my #1 priority!
- Loving my Husband – My husband is my best friend. I know I can always count on him. Maybe its because of that that I take him for granted. I promised to love, honor, and respect him in sickness and health for all the days of my life. I need to intentionally love him, serve him, and show him I care each and every day.
- Loving on my Kids – Sounds crazy since the kids are always under foot but sometimes in the business of activities and getting things done I can forget to just love on them. My time with these precious treasures living in my house is short. They won’t remember if the dishes were all done or if they could spell all their words right at the right time. They will remember how well I loved them, treasured them, and took time for them. I need to spend time each day individually with each of my children telling them I love them, showing them I love them, and doing something with them.
- Prioritizing Others – I know this sounds general, but to me it has to be. I need to make sure that I am not living in a bubble. I may not be a missionary or have the gift of evangelism, but I have the privilege and responsibility of being a light to those God puts in my life. To me this means using my gifts in our local church, taking time to spread a little joy with those I run into during the day, investing in relationships with neighbors, and always being willing to be the kind of friend you can count on.
- Taking care of my Body – Now hear me on this. I am not talking about having abs of steel or going gung ho and only eating tofu. I am talking about being better about eating nutritious food that will nourish my body. Making exercise a part of our life. Not because of how I look. But because I want to be healthy enough to care for my family, I want to be full of life to pour out on those around me, and I want to set a good example for my kids.
There are plenty of other things that I enjoy doing and feel are important. I enjoy blogging, family vacations, taking pictures, watching TV, spending time outside, gardening, playing board games, and so much more. But if I have to boil it down to my top priorities they just don’t cut it. They make me happy, they can be a means to an end like a job provides for our financial needs and activities can provide an opportunity to connect with my kids or husband. But in and of themselves they are not the most important.
When my last day comes I will not try to squeeze them in. They won’t matter.
All that really matters to me is God, my husband, my kids, people, and being healthy enough to enjoy it all.
So for me that means saying no, limiting our commitments, being okay with not having it all together, and maybe (gasp) being late to some things.
I challenge you.
Think about what really matters. Then write a list of the 5 most important things in your life down on a note card. Each and every day take a look at your list and don’t let a day go by with out making time for what is REALLY important!