Continuing the conversation of Blessed but Stressed, Stressed but Blessed!
In 2009, I learned I needed to block my time but not just in tasks, but also energy. Began writing out all the things I needed (and wanted) to get done in a day from house care, family needs, kids schedules, hubby needs, to volunteering at the school and the church, even praying for others and my Quiet Time with God. You don't realize how much there is to do, until you do!
So, to see what my day really looked like, I created a calendar in a word doc and copy/pasted everything over in to it. This even included names of people I wanted to pray for each day. I realized it was impossible to get all the things done I wanted to as quickly as I wanted to when I also considered the energy required to complete certain things.
It was in this season, I also recognized my need for time off. Moms never really clock out. We can't. Even when we step outside the door to have coffee with a friend, it never fails someone is texting looking for the TV remote, their wallet, a missing paper or wants to know what's for dinner. Mom Guilt + No Boundaries meant I always watched my phone for messages and responded to them. Then, I realized I wasn't teaching honor. Not only did I need them to honor my time to rest, I wasn't honoring myself in the process either.
So, here are few things I did:
1.) 30-60 min Break in the afternoon.
I gave myself permission to rest. I began setting aside a time each day before the kids came home where I could give myself a time to take a break, guilt free and reset myself for the other half of my day. I let my family know my phone would be on silent mode with an alarm for me to know when my time was done and I would check messages at that time. Having this conversation is important. They will forget, and you will too sometimes. It's okay. We are always one choice away from course correction and grace!
2.) Rise Early .for a Coffee Date with God
I also started getting up before everyone else to give myself time to pray, meditate and prepare for the day. This was NOT my personal Bible Study time, just to be clear, I know some people can get their brains going first thing but I found the afternoon time a better time for me to do that type of thinking and absorbing.
3.) "Day Off"
It's true that a Mom's work is never done, but I needed a "Day Off" just like every other working adult. Thursdays became my Guilt Free Day Off. Let's be real, Moms never really have a day off, but to set aside a day to play is important for our hearts and souls. This topic could be a whole other blog! I will come back to this another day!
It took time to adjust. In the beginning you can't stop thinking about all the things you could be crossing off your list...all the things waiting for you when you get back. Once you learn to surrender to the day and you feel the refreshment, it becomes easier and enjoyable.
The blessings abounded when I started implementing these things. I felt like I had a plan. I felt like I was accomplishing everything I wanted and needed to get done. I didn't feel guilty for taking time for Me. I was not longer consumed by my days, instead, I consumed my days with intentions.
This allowed me to reset my heart, mind and soul. A depleted heart has nothing to give but fumes and eventually those fumes burn out the internal heart motor.
If this sounds familiar and you wish you could find you again, I see you! I was you. Maybe I will dig up those old templates to share, but in the meantime, I encourage you to write down every task personally and professionally you wish to or need to accomplish each day/week. Then, allot the time it will take you to accomplish the task. Next, consider the energy needed.
Seeing your days on the calendar not only helps you, but it also shows the family what is happening when. It helps them honor you and your time too when they see all that you do. I don't know if you've ever heard the words, " What did you do all day?!" Well, now you have a calendar / schedule for them to check out themselves!
Seeing all you plan for is a good visual for them to understand the need to give you ample time to help them with their needs and minimize the last minute emergencies because they for got to tell you something. I would encourage them to implement the same process for themselves.
I created a chore chart and calendar for the family too, I set up all our To Dos for us in the kitchen where teveryone could see what was happening each day from house things to school things and after school stuff! With 4 kids, it ws a lot to track and be mindful of.
They were able to see full picture of what was needed done in the house and how we all had a part in caring for it. Nothing was unfair. Everyone had a place to serve, contributing to the whole! Here's where you can create any system that works for YOU and your family.
Oh, printing out How To's with chores is also helpful and posting it in the place it makes most sense, like in the bathroom or bedroom for Cleaning the Room Instructions. I learned that from my friend Vickie! Brilliant!
I hope this helps you in your overwhelm. You don't need permission to take control of your time and energy or to run your home like a ministry / business / mission house.. It's something I found helpful to do, not because you are not a Super Mom, but because you are the COO, the Mom, the Care Taker of your home. Our homes are our workplace, our ministry, our training ground, our resting place. Let's structure it as so!
Here's the first part of Stressed but Blessed if you missed it!
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