Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How Do I Do It? Well...

Apparently, when you have three kids under three, people assume your house should be a mess, you should look like you haven't combed your hair in weeks, and that you've filled out papers for admission to the psych ward... So when people see my house is in order and tidy, that I shower daily and am generally happy and not stressed, they wonder how I do it..

Here's your answer: Prioritization. Moderation. Support.

In order for you to have order in your life, you must first prioritize everything in it. Start with who you are and what you are called to be. I am a Christian and a firm believer that God is pretty clear about what every woman should be (Proverbs 31), so that is my foundation. I prioritize based on that..  These are a few questions you can ask yourself:
  • Is this something I need or want to do in order to help me be the wife and/or mother I'm called to be?
  • Will ______ get in the way of me fulfilling my wifely and/or motherly duties? 
  • Am I putting __________ before my husband and/or children?

It may not be a fun process, but I would encourage you to go through this with your husband. He is the leader of your home and as a wife, you need to respect and submit to him if he thinks you should or shouldn't be doing certain things

(Note: If this seems hard to do, I'd suggest reading "Reforming Marriage" and/or "The Excellent Wife." They really dig into what it means to be a Godly wife and what that looks like.)

Moderation and Prioritization go hand-in-hand. With each child, I've learned there is a time to be organized and a planner, and there is a time to adapt and be flexible. I make a list every week of all the things that need to be done and for the most part, I try to get those done (the planner). But when life's unexpected's come into play, you need to be OKAY with not finishing your list. Whether it is as serious as a child being hospitalized or as minimal as a spontaneous trip to the zoo, you have to be happy with not checking off all the boxes for the day (the adapter). Also, you cannot let your day be so full of tasks that it is at the expense of spending time with your husband and/or children. You need to examine your life in order to find time to take care of your family as well as enjoy time with them. Here are a couple of suggestions:
  • Have a "cut-off point" at the end of the day where you no longer do house work, but spend time with your family
  • Split the tasks across the week so you have flexibility in your day (do laundry a couple times a week so it isn't so overwhelming once a week, clean the bathrooms one day and vacuum another, plan your meals and pull your coupons one day and grocery shop another, etc)
Lastly is Support. I am blessed beyond words to have family and friends around me that are willing to help with my kids so my husband and I can have a date night once a week or I can go to the store every Tuesday without the kids. If there are people around you willing to do that, LET THEM. You will find that stepping away from your children every once in awhile helps you get through the tough times that much easier because you had time to breathe and appreciate who they are, regardless of their mistakes. If you don't have that external support, really work with your husband to find a place where he can support you going and doing things while he helps with the kids (make sure you come from a place of submission and respect rather than selfishness). If the two of you are on the same page, there is more grace, love and understanding that you need in order to be joyful on a daily basis, despite not having much time to do things for yourself.

Wow, that was a chapter of a book. I could probably write an entire book on this and maybe will one day, but for now, this is a nugget from me to you! Hope there was something in there that encouraged you!