It is the time of year where my daughter is in dance. One son is playing soccer, and the other is playing basketball. I am coaching track after school. My husband has football workouts after school. Evenings are filled with dinner, homework, practice and clean-up. Weekends are filled with games, track meets, birthday parties, and other events. Some seasons are just busy.
I cannot wish away busy. I cannot think away busy. I cannot ignore busy. I must acknowledge busy and manage the time accordingly. My kids are growing up before my eyes. My husband, my parents, my sister, my students and my friends are all growing up before my eyes. How do I make the most of my time when it seems like every moment is filled to the brim with something to do – somewhere to be?
How do you manage your time as a mom when you have no white space in your calendar?
1. Acknowledge that your life does not match the picture you had in mind.
You had an idea of what life should look like. You thought motherhood was family dinners, prayers, church, and bedtimes stories. You envisioned game nights and family cheering sections at sports tournaments. You hoped for romantic date nights and Pinterest projects gone right. You scrolled your social media and personally witnessed the mommy and me photo shoots, the Christmas pajamas, and the children playing together peacefully. You watched moms piece together perfect “go-to” looks from their minimalist wardrobes.
Part of your busy is a direct result of you working to make the picture a reality. But which parts of that picture are real? Which parts of that picture are important? Which parts are completely unrealistic?
Adjust your picture. Part of managing your time is eliminating the excess.
My house is clean enough to eat off the floors some days, and others just clean enough for my beautiful family to live.
Some days I create the time and energy for endless fun and creative projects. Other days I use that same time to rest. Balance is knowing that you cannot get it all done in one day. Balance, instead, is achieved over time.
Your picture will lie to you. Your picture will tell you that something is missing. It will tell you that you need all of it right now. Managing time consists of determining which parts of your picture require immediate attention, which parts can be saved for later, and which part need to be eliminated all together.
2. Pray over your to-do list.
This implies making a to-do list (which is a tough one for me). Write out every single item you would like to get done today, this week, this month, etc. Get it all out! Then pray over it.
Start your day in prayer. Pray throughout the day. Ask God to guide each and every decision along the way – from the baby decisions to the big boy decisions. Ask Him to guide you about what needs to be done right now, what can wait until tomorrow, and what does not need to get done EVER.
He cares about your to-do list. He cares about your day to day. He cares about how you manage your time. (Ruthie at ruthiegray.mom has so much insight on this topic if you would like to hop over and visit her.)
Busy is a real thing. Overwhelmed is a real thing. Exhaustion is real. Stress is real. Anxiety is real. Part of managing your time includes resting. Your body, mind, and spirit need rest.
Pushing through is necessary some days. Sometimes you have to just do it. You have to get the job done. Other days, you have to stop. Your body will shut down if you do not. Your mind and spirit will shut down if you do not. You begin to waste time if you do not.
In managing your time, know when to be super mom (as my friend Marva) calls it, but also know when mommy needs a moment for her own peace of mind and for the peace of mind of the rest of her household.
How do you manage your time during the busy season?
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