Balance In The Chaos of Family Life: Is It Even Possible?

chaos family balance

The Search for Balance

Family life is so chaotic, especially this time of year, but we are committed to learning how to balance “it all”.

My husband is a dad, Special Ed teacher, Grad student, singer, and runner.  I am a mom, blogger, artist, and walker. I also occasionally meet friends for coffee…by myself.  My husband and I go on dates from time to time, and sometimes have someone over for dinner. Our home is constantly one mess after another but it is simple to reset (due to organizing systems I have set in place) even though we have two kids and a dog.

In other words, we are busy. And though we don’t have it all figured out, I wanted to share some things we have found that help us achieve some kind of balance.

How We Do It

First of all, we embrace a “a progress not perfection” mindset. For example, if it’s 8 pm and it’s time for me to blog and the dishes weren’t done yet, oh well. That was all I could do today. I truly work on not beating myself up about it. Honestly, it’s a great lesson in humility.

Image result for litany of humility

I Put the Big Rocks in First

Here’s a story I heard at mass about how we should use our time, talents, and treasure. I learned you have to put the big rocks in more. What I mean by this is, we prioritize.  When I think about my next course of action, I try to think in terms of reality and not what my schedule says, (this is so hard for me) and do the next right thing based on my circumstances. So many things in life are important, but they are not urgent every single day. This quote helps me to  have peace when I didn’t accomplish as much as I set out to:

“Let God tend to the hopeless-looking things…You can’t get everything done in a day, nor can you get any part of it done as well as you’d like it; so, like the rest of us, you putter at your job with a normal amount of energy, for a reasonable amount of time, and go to bed with the humiliating yet exhilarating knowledge that you are only a child of God and not God.” – Fr. Walter Farrell, O.P.

 

I Check My Emotional State

If little things are starting to bother me that my husband, children, or even dog do, it’s probably a red herring for the real problem: I’m in need of self-care. It could mean I need to eat something, take a nap, drink some water, call a friend, do some exercise, or do something creative. Usually, if I stop and think about what I need, and take action, I feel much more in balance. In fact, that’s the best way to know you have balance – check how you are feeling.

I Keep a Schedule

I have a Mother’s Rule, my daily schedule which I update on a regular basis. I view it as a guideline of which to live out my goals for my faith, myself, my husband, my children, and my work. I block out my time and leave plenty of margin for activities like meal times or bed times. I want you to know that I normally don’t complete every single thing on my schedule. I fail every single day. But that only makes me rely on God more. I am only human, after all. And life happens. And sometimes I get distracted.

I Reflect

I try to reflect on how I am doing in my vocation on a regular basis. Besides going to confession and doing an examination of conscience, I also think in practical ways how I could have been more productive or attentive on any given day and apply that to the next day.

 

I’m Learning to Surrender to My Husband

This might be one of the most important things that keeps everything in balance. I have to stop myself from trying to be super-woman and doing everything and controlling everything. I have to say “I can’t” and let my husband see my vulnerability and receive his help and gifts graciously. This is very hard for me, but this book has been life-giving for our marriage and family.

We Believe Our Marriage Comes First

If my children interrupt me, or my husband, when we are talking, we try to teach them to wait and say “excuse me”. We want them to know how to respect us and the bond we share. I set aside time each day to be available for my husband. Am I perfect about it? No, but as with any goal I have, I am more likely to get closer to it when I put it on my schedule. I try to write my husband a love letter every Sunday and we go on a date night at least once a month, we are blessed to have in-laws who are willing to do that for us.

We Use Technology to Help us Reach Our Goals

Sometimes my kids watch more T.V. than I prefer, but it is for the sake of my sanity. The rest of the time I do my best to involve them in chores and other activities. It’s all a matter of balance. I have an app on my phone that reminds me of certain habits I am working on. It helps me stay accountable to my goals and not forget to keep in touch with friends and family.

We Prioritize Every Family Member’s Health, Not Just Our Children’s

My husband and I have set up our home life in such a way that each of us can have some dedicated, uninterrupted time on a regular basis. This is for our mental and emotional health. For our physical health, I usually take walks with my kids or dance around with them. I try to keep track of what I eat on myfitnesspal. I don’t skip meals unless intentionally (i.e. intermittent fasting). I consider it my duty and responsibility to stay sound in mind and body for the sake of serving them. My husband goes on a run during his work day. I meal plan and do Walmart grocery pickup.  We take care of our spiritual health by praying, attending mass, and making it to confession as often as we can. We sleep trained our children so we would all be able to have adequate sleep. I take a quiet time each afternoon alongside my children. All of these things together help us manage the stress of such a busy life.

We Are Always Growing

My husband and I don’t stay stuck in a rut. While I am definitely the self-help junkie of the two of us, he is definitely committed to growing as a person. I’m always reading books, working towards goals, tweaking my routine.

I Protect My Peace

I say “no” based on the commitments I have in my schedule. I know what those commitments are because I have a schedule. I have already discerned that I cannot forgo quiet time without bankrupting myself emotionally. I say “I can’t”. (For example, I can’t do the dishes when I have a headache.) I let myself take breaks. After dinner, I go directly to the bathroom and take a shower. That way I get one before I am too tired to do it. I don’t ask my husband to watch the kids. I just say “I’m going to take a shower”. He’s smart. He realizes that means he will be watching them. And guess what? Everything is okay without me.

We Nurture Friendships

Recently, both my husband and I have set up a recurring meetings with one of our closest friends, he sees his friend on Wednesdays after we put the kids to bed, and I see my friend on Thursdays. We are also slowly becoming more hospitable and opening our home more often to friends and family for visits. I make a habit of reaching out to my friends, just to say hi and see how they are, even if it isn’t reciprocated 100% equally. The way I see it, if I miss them it’s my responsibility to say hi and not wait around for them to do so. I also accept that if I want to have a vibrant social calendar, I need to be prepared to be the one doing the inviting 99 % of the time, it’s just reality. We are all so busy and it is so hard to be intentional. I can’t make people invite me, but I can invite them! It’s not so much about what you get from social interactions as it is what you give.

We Do “Special Time”

We try to spend one-on-one time with each of our kids. It could be simple like just reading a book together, or going on an ice cream date. The idea is that each of our children gets some individualized attention so they know how special and precious they are. Do we do this everyday? No, but since it’s on our radar it happens more often than if it wasn’t a goal to begin with.

Even though we are busy, we feel as though we do have a sense of balance

So as you see, the way we make all of things work is both being blessed but also through being intentional. You can have it all, but you have to let go of perfectionism and you have to understand that all the things you want to have in your life may not happen every single day, but over time. You have to accept that most of the time, you will be off track and life will be a roller coaster ride with ups and downs, but when you have your goals set, you will still be going the right direction, and you will still be making progress.

Self-Care: Mind, Body, and Soul – in the Midst of Serving Others

self-care

I learned some new lessons in self-care last week and I was reminded of how much I need it. Last week was a whirlwind of my birthday, Halloween, everyone catching colds and a mouse in the house. The latter resulted in about 5 additional loads of laundry and sanitizing every imaginable surface. Needless to say, I am emotionally drained. (Reality check: I have limits and I need breaks.) So, Saturday night I told my husband that I was going out for the morning. My Sunday plans were:

  • Go to mass
  • Spend time in adoration
  • Send some thank you messages and call my Grandma
  • Work on my blog
  • Enjoy a cup of coffee while it’s still hot
  • Check out Starbucks’ Holiday setup (really? That’s it guys? )

All of these things are 10,000 times harder to do when I have kids and a dog in tow. Because:

You should practice self-care because it is essential to serve long term and maintain healthy relationships. As a wife and mom of two young children and a puppy, I am one busy lady. If I am not intentional with my time, I will go days and weeks without a single moment to myself. And it’s not healthy. I become very ornery and overwhelmed when I don’t take time for a breather. And this message isn’t just for moms. It’s for caregivers of any sort. I think all Christians need to get really good at self-care because if you are a truly committed Christian, you’re never really going to be done serving. (Even if your children have grown up and moved out.)

My Definition of Self-Care

Things you do, uninterrupted, that nurture your mind, body, and soul. Sometimes they are spiritual like spending time in prayer or adoration, sometimes they take discipline like exercise, sometimes they are social like visiting a close friend, and other times they are pure pleasure like taking a nice hot bath, getting a pedicure, smelling flowers or savoring dark chocolate. It’s doing things that remind you, you are are a diverse human being who is more than just a mom, caregiver, grandparent, etc. You may also be a sister, daughter, artist, seamstress, avid reader, etc. All parts of you need nurturing and attention.

Times When Self-Care May Not Be Possible

You just had a newborn. Someone is sick. You are going through a very difficult season where someone needs care around the clock. This is okay and normal. But please, constantly evaluate whether or not it is time to thrive again and if there is help available. Assess and reassess your life to try to find pockets of time for rest.

Signs You Need to Practice Self-Care

The simplest way to know if you need self-care is ask yourself, do you feel happy? If not, it’s time. Here are some other signs:

  • Exhaustion has taken over.
  • You feel lonely.
  • You’re angry.
  • You are snapping at those in your care constantly.
  • You just can’t deal, even with small things like putting your kids shoes on.
  • Little things your husband (or other people living with you) does like breathe and exist are irritating you
  • Another mess or bang makes you want to scream

Why You Can Do It And Still Be a Good Christian

I think as Christians we think if we are strong we will serve at all times no matter what and never take a break – because we are called to a life of service and sacrifice, right? But we must not forget we are human. And we have human needs. Here are some examples to give you permission to practice self-care as a Christian:

  • Jesus drank wine, took a nap in a storm, and went off by himself to pray.
  • Saint Teresa of Calcutta spent 4+ hours in prayer and solitude.
  • Monks and nuns around the world spend time in recreation daily and have time to socialize and relax daily.

Importance of a Self-Care Sabbath

I got the idea of a “self-care sabbath” from the book, a Mother’s Rule of Life. The idea is to take time away from care-giving and refresh your soul through prayer, and solitude and even some activities you enjoy. It can be for the whole day or just 4 hours. It’s completely up to you and your unique life circumstances.

Everyday Self-Care

It’s important to know, though, you don’t need to wait until the weekend to practice self-care! You can find ways to make it work in your daily routine.

  • Take a nap.
  • Wake up early and spend time in the quiet or do something creative
  • Slip away after dinner and take a bath
  • Pack everyone up and take a walk so you can get some exercise.

A Special Message to Wives

I can already hear the wives reading this saying, “but my husband won’t let me do that”. Ladies, you don’t ask, you tell. Your husband is not your boss or your father. He is your partner. If he has a serious need, you need to trust he will let you know. All you have to do is communicate what you are going to do, and do it.

But he doesn’t know how to take care of our kids

The kids will be fine. They might eat cookies for breakfast but they won’t go hungry. They might have mismatched clothes, but oh well. Let him father them in his own way. They will probably all be so glad you are taking time away so you aren’t snapping at them left and right. You want what’s best for them, that’s what keeps you from leaving, but sometimes what’s best for them is to be away from you believe it or not! Because they need time with their Dad. And your name doesn’t start with a “G”. Yep, that’s right. You aren’t God and you can’t control everything. So do everyone a favor and take a break.

My husband still won’t step up

What if you try to follow my advice and it still doesn’t work? It sounds like your husband may have some more serious issues and that’s not good and I hope you will seek counseling. But I have a feeling most of the ladies out there haven’t tried this because they fear they are not being a good wife. I think all of us Christians can agree our number one job is to help our husbands and children get to heaven, Amen? Well let me ask you something: what is most likely to help them get to heaven? Doing everything for them and running yourself ragged or teaching them that everyone has needs, including you, and thereby teach them to step up to the plate, to support you and sacrifice and grow spiritually? I’d say it’s the latter, folks.

Additional Resources

Some great videos:

There’s a part in the video below perfectly exemplifies how I can get with my kids when I need self-care. (When she talks about telling her kids to go play with their toys.) Besides that, it’s just hilarious!

The video below is Jennifer Fulwiler speaking about balancing service to family and personal passions.

Some great articles on self-care:

Some excellent books:

And here’s a cute mug I designed!

We women are highly capable creatures. Just because we can do everything, doesn’t mean we should. Our happiness matters too!

So, now you have been given permission to take a break

Even though it feels impossible to practice self-care when you have so many responsibilities, it is so necessary to make time for it so you can keep going. No one can do that for you. It is a choice you have to make.

Make Your Schedule as a Mom and Grace for when Life Happens

two nuns looking up praying

What you’ll find

In this post, I am going to tell you all about how to make your schedule as a mom. It will be completely tailored to your life- something for moms who work outside and inside the home. (Mine is from the perspective of a work-from-home mom) . You’ll also learn how to approach your schedule when life happens – you know the drill – your kids get sick, the dog throws up on every blanket you  own, you have unexpected company, etc. You will take stock of all of your responsibilities but also take into account time for prayer and time to do things you enjoy.

Take a look at your life

What does your daily life look like right now? Do you dread waking up in the morning because the demands of the day just seem insurmountable? Find yourself yelling at your kids most of the time and snapping at your husband? Feel like you are working SO hard but you never get anywhere? Well, my friends, it doesn’t have to stay that way!

The solution

What you need is to make your schedule as a mom. This will help you keep track of all of your responsibilities and get the important things done and at the same time keep your sanity.

A fabulous book

My life changed dramatically when I read this book , “A Mother’s Rule of Life“. It’s about a stay-at-home , homeschooling mom, who is tired of feeling overwhelmed and stressed out all of the time. She went searching for peace. She was inspired by the simple schedule of religious orders, like the Missionaries of Charity, and how they led productive lives but spent great amounts of time in prayer. When the bell rang for the next block on the schedule, they didn’t hurry trying to finish everything up , they practiced obedience – “okay God, I guess that’s all you wanted me to do today.” (Man, could I use some of that kind of acceptance in my life!) Their goal wasn’t efficiency, it was to serve and to do it peacefully. Because, the old saying, you can’t give what you don’t have, right?

Let’s get started, make your schedule as a mom

  1. Buy a Mother’s Rule of Life. Seriously. You won’t regret it.
  2. Decide on a wake up time and bed time.
  3. Count how many hours you have in a day.
  4. Decide how much time to spend in prayer.
  5. Write down how much time you need for grooming and bathing.
  6. Include time needed for activities you enjoy like reading, drawing, writing.
  7. Include a few break times, 15 minutes each.
  8. Don’t forget time with your husband or social time with those you care about.
  9. Include time with your kids.
  10. Include time for chores
  11. Input meal times (cooking and cleanup) and bed time routines. Overestimate how much time you think you need. This allows margin.
  12. Include time for working. This may be before your kids wake up or you may go to work inside the home.

Now is the time you see if you have any time left over. You probably don’t! This is good though! This is validation that you have so much to take care of and you aren’t just lazy! If you have any leftover time, decide where it should go and if you don’t, decide where you have to cut. If we want to lead a peaceful life, we have to be very discerning about how we use our time.

My mother’s rule

5:30 – 7 :00 AM – Pray, get dressed, drink coffee, work on blog, put makeup on

7:00 – 8:30 AM – Breakfast , say grace, & cleanup & morning chores

8:30-9:00 AM – Kids dressed

9:00 – 9:10 AM- 10 minute break for me

9:10 – 9:40 AM – Put laundry in the dryer and walk the dog

9:40 -9:50 AM – Ab workout

9:50 – 11:50 AM – Outing/errand

11:50 – 12:00 PM – 10 minute break for me

12:00- 1:30 PM – Lunch, say grace, cleanup, laundry put away, story time

1:30 – 2:30 PM – Quiet time me and my son while my daughter naps. I read, blog, draw, or watch You Tube.

2:30 – 3:30 PM – I call this Admin time. It’s for meal planning, week planning, budget planning, etc. If I don’t need to do these things its more quiet time.

3:30-4:30 PM – Kids outside play while I do my afternoon tidy and cleanup routine.

4:30 – 6:00 PM – Make dinner, say grace, cleanup, night cleaning routine

6:00 – 8:00 PM – I shower,  then my kids take a bath, and we have family time, story time and then the kids go to bed.

8:00-9:00 PM – Time to chill with my husband and watch a show or talk or have some other quality time.

9:00 – 9:30 PM – I wind down for bed.

How I Occupy My Kids

My goal is to occupy my kids without screens. To have them play quietly when I need dedicated time.

But life happens. And sometimes life happens A LOT (pregnancy, illness, emergencies, sleep deprivation, newborns, mothering multiple young children, or some other hard or serious circumstance) .

What I’m trying to say is, the TV is a tool in a mom’s toolkit guys. As long as it’s not being used to excess, the content is appropriate, and isn’t there as a substitute of other important activities, I think it’s okay. With that said, my kids watch quite a bit of TV, probably more than the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says they should – but AAP doesn’t know me. They don’t know about what my needs are and our family’s unique circumstances. They don’t know that my kids also help me around the house, play with toys, play with me, bake with me, play with the dog, make messes, play in the dirt, go to the park, go on play dates, read books, roughhouse with my husband, visit family, etc. Sometimes I need to have things a little quieter for my sanity.

Only you know the needs of your family, and you shouldn’t feel guilty when your kids watch more TV than you like if you have a serious reason to do so.

When you are off track

You are going to get off track. And trust me, it’s going to be most of the time.  (It is for me.) So, when it happens, just get back on track as soon as the next block starts. Sometimes this may mean there are dishes left in the sink. Remember, the goal is peace not efficiency. But if this keeps happening over and over again, for months on end, it’s time to adjust and re-evaluate your rule.

Maintenance

Plan to evaluate your schedule once every three months or as needed. Three months seems like a good plan to me, though, because by then with my two little ones, my life tends to look quite a bit different.

Conclusion

If your life is spiraling out of control, take heart! No matter what season you are in, you can take control and get the important things done. So go make your schedule as a mom! If you already have one, please let me know in the comments below!

 

There’s Nothing Wrong With You

In your life have you ever felt like there’s something wrong with you? Because, you know, there must be because why else would you be so sensitive ?

Maybe growing up no one validated your feelings. You’d say you felt sad and they’d say that you shouldn’t feel that way or maybe they just would tell you to be quiet. Maybe in your adult life you expressed some deep dark feelings in hope of some compassion and understanding and you were shot down by “oh well I’ve never felt that way” or “that’s just the way life is” . Or maybe you have been vulnerable about some challenges you’ve been having only to have someone lie and act like they have no challenges or worse judge you outright. (I recently told someone my kids were sick and instead of saying poor things or something of the like they said “why? Again?”) Or maybe when you talk about your feelings the ones you love are quick to tell you that you are overreacting or saying you should see things from the other persons point of view when really all you need is to be allowed to feel your feelings and naturally you will come around on your own.

What did this do to you? It made you feel ashamed. Ashamed to have feelings. Ashamed to have needs. Ashamed to be human. It made you feel different. It made you feel like there’s something wrong with you.

It also made you feel vulnerable and like you can’t trust anyone. And that it’s okay for others to mistreat you, because if your family, the people who are supposed to love and protect you, allow for you to be hurt, then it must be okay.

I’m here to tell you there’s nothing wrong with you. Anyone who’s ever made you feel that way was acting out of fear and not out of love. The loving thing to do is to have empathy and hear someone’s feelings and not make them feel wrong to have them. We can’t control how we feel but we can control what we do.

It’s not normal and healthy for someone to disregard your feelings, to put you down, to say you are too sensitive, to tell you to get over it. They are rolling over you like a bulldozer. The healthy interaction that needs to take place is both parties sharing feelings openly and listening intently to how each person feels in a nonjudgmental, non-accusatory way. Three books that can help with this are :


Why Are You So Worried and Stressed Out?

What is the cause of your stress/anxiety? Have you ever stopped to really think about it?

Conventional wisdom tells us to “take a break” or “relax” when we are feeling this way. This advice may be sound if the reason you are feeling this way is due to overworking .

But what if it’s not?

What if you are experiencing a lot of stress because of:

  1. Not eating regularly
  2. Not exercising
  3. Not sleeping enough
  4. Too much entertainment (and not enough time taking care of responsibilities)
  5. Procrastinating
  6. Not being able to let go of control
  7. Comparing yourself to others

These are some other things that can cause stress. So how can you get some peace? Focus on what you can do and let God do the rest!

You can :

  • Set a daily schedule with regular meal times and learn about what your nutritional needs are.
  • Be realistic and commit to trying to exercise everyday. Keep it simple, walking is enough. And don’t beat yourself if you miss a day. Just get back up and try again.
  • Give yourself a bed time and awake time. Try to stick to it but give yourself grace when life happens.
  • Make a list of which things your ideal day includes. Chances are it will have a lot of hard things like exercise and reading books and maintaining your environment and cooking healthy meals etc. and probably not include copious amounts of screen time (phone, T.V., games, etc) A.K.A. You are probably wasting a lot of time on these things. Some screen time isn’t bad- it can be good – but not when it gets excessive. It will zap your time and energy and you will feel like you wasted your day.
  • Read The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. It will help you stop procrastinating and do all the above things. I think more people suffer because of procrastination than because of working too hard. Just sayin’. The basic idea of the book is you count down “5,4,3,2,1” and you take physical action. It’s truly life-changing.
  • Aside from controlling the above things , a lot of life is out of your control and thank God. I’m so glad it’s not all up to me because I’d definitely screw it up! You gotta learn to let go & let God, people. Do what you can do and let God do what only He can do.
  • A priest at mass once gave this advice- stop comparing yourself to others, focus on your gifts and have gratitude for them and bless other people and build them up whenever you feel jealous and you are caught in the comparison trap. This will surely bring you some peace.

And on that note, may peace be with you!

19 Ways to Have a Successful Marriage

why-love-is-a-good-drug-for-mind-and-body-ftr

True love isn’t something you “fall in to” it is something you do, day in, day out , through sickness and in health. A marriage succeeds because of love – caring more for the other’s happiness. (This, however, doesn’t mean you don’t talk about your feelings. This is also of utmost importance.) It isn’t because either spouse is perfect, it’s because both have the desire to do the work. Over the years I have collected words of wisdom on marriage from various sources, and they have helped guide me in times of uncertainty:

  1. Never go to bed on your anger.
  2. It’s not about 50/50 or who gives more. It’s about both of you giving as much as you can.
  3. Accept that marriage is sacrifice.
  4. Love without expecting in return.
  5. Surprise each other.
  6. Give gifts to each other for no reason, even if its small.
  7. Be each other’s number one fan.
  8. Answer the question “Who are you nicest to?” if its not your spouse, something’s wrong.
  9. Ask yourself every day “what have I done for my marriage today?”
  10. Set healthy boundaries in your marriage.
  11. Put God first, then each other.
  12. Energize yourselves so you can energize each other.
  13. If you are hurt, upset, say so – in a non-accusatory way. Don’t try to have peace at any price – you will end up resenting your spouse. We all have feelings and we all hurt those we love because we are imperfect beings.
  14. Love is a cycle – Romance – Disillusionment – Choose to Love – True Joy
  15. Seek to outdo each other in generosity.
  16. Seek first to understand.
  17. Make time for each other (even when you have kids!)
  18. Try replacing your name with Love and ask yourself if the same message applies! “Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.”-1 Corinthians 13
  19. And I also always remember the lyrics to the Amy Grant song, “House of Love”-when something this strong gets a hold on you the odds are ninety-nine to one its got a hold on him too…”11646f10c2cd639d160e551079a25e66

7 Things I Had to Accept to Wake Up Early

I’m not a morning person.

But I have goals, and I have kids. And I feel so much better when I am the first one to wake up. So I decided to start waking up at 5:30 A.M. to be dressed, have my makeup on, prayers said and to work on my blog for a bit before my kids wakeup.

Sounds simple right? Wrong. That’s where resistance kicks in. First of all, I like to be up at night, I don’t really get sleepy at night. It’s also my only time during the day for time with my husband. I also tend to snooze my alarm. Here are the things I had to accept to start making my early morning a reality:

  1. I will survive without watching T.V. every single night. Guys, seriously. I was genuinely concerned that I wouldn’t be living my life to the fullest without an episode of “Midsomer Murders” or whatever show that I’m binge watching.
  2. Connecting with my husband each night doesn’t mean I need to be up until 11 P.M. In my mind, I created this law that to have a healthy marriage, we had to spend several hours together every night.
  3. I don’t need to stay up late, I only think I do. Another mental block I had, that if I am going to be refreshed for the next day, I need to stay up late and read or watch T.V. for a few hours.
  4. I need to be in bed by 9 P.M. so I have time to unwind, read and get sleepy. I may not have 2 hours to read a book, but I have 10 minutes!
  5. I have to get up immediately when my alarm goes off, and keep it far from where I’m sleeping. No snoozing allowed!
  6. I need to be very disciplined about when my kids get to bed so I can have quiet time with my husband before I go to bed. Otherwise, it won’t happen before I have to go to bed.
  7. I need to put my phone away when my kids go to bed so I can be present with my husband.  If I don’t, we won’t be able to have a real connection.

In other words, if I can wake up early and make progress toward my goals even though I’m naturally like this:

tired the princess and the frog GIF

so can you!

 

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

Society tells you it’s good to be popular, rich, famous, go to prestigious universities and receive high honors and accolades, have highly successful careers , etc.

But really? Does all this matter in the grand scheme of things? Not according to the dying. Here are their top 10 regrets:

What if we lived our lives with these things in mind? What if we prioritized relationships , service to others, self care, love and honesty above what other people may think of us? What if we stopped killing ourselves making money to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t even like? What if we didn’t live afraid?

To live this way is highly controversial. You will be judged for it. People will think you are a loser, stupid, lazy, not trying hard enough. You will get teased and laughed at. You will be humiliated. You will be cast out and ignored and ridiculed. But you know who has experienced all of that pain and completely understands?

Jesus.

So have your wealth. Have your fame. Have your approval. Have your excesses and riches and stuff and achievements. What will a life of living intentionally look like for you? I will be living my life lavished by the blessings of peace in my home, peace in my relationships, I will make my fortune in quiet moments before everyone wakes up, meaningful conversations , love letters, holding chubby little hands and bedtime stories, the pride of providing a clean and safe home for my family, providing good food to eat , long walks, books read, hours writing, time creating, time to be. Time to love, time to spend, time to waste. Time to stop and have gratitude. Time to be surrounded by the people who really love me and really care. And I will bask in the magic of laughter and kisses and tiny hugs , and rejoice in the magnificence of spills and messes to clean up because thank God I have a family.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Frustration Is Not What You Want

You can’t always get what you want. It’s true, but man is it frustrating. Do you ever choose not to sleep so you can get something done? Do you ever spend a whole day without relaxation in order to live up to ridiculous expectations you place on yourself?

Acceptance

Lately I find myself very frustrated because of my perfectionist tendencies. I find it very hard to accept that when I’m doing one thing, I can’t be doing something else. I can’t be in two places at once.

It is very hard to accept things as they are and not try to fit everything to my own desires.

When I try to do this I end up running around like a chicken with my head cut off all day, never stopping to enjoy a moment and getting so caught up with things that don’t matter anyway! If I died right now, would I have wanted to spend more time with my family or detailing my bathroom? It helps me to slow down and just do one thing at a time. When I do this, I notice I don’t get as much done but what I do get done, I do well and I feel peaceful inside. It also helps to ask for God’s help in accomplishing something. It may not get done the way you want it or when you want it but it will happen in God’s time. That’s where the Serenity Prayer comes in and really helps put things in perspective.

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I have also decided to set boundaries with household tasks. I’ve decided no housework will happen from when my husband get homes till the babies go to bed. This has set an example to my family that rest is important. I tend to be overly ambitious with my to do lists and routines.

But as a good friend of mine always says, “you can’t live your whole life in one day!” Ha! How true that is. So yeah, you can’t always get what you want but as the song says , “you’ll find, you get what you need.” We have to remember what we want (getting our whole list accomplished) isn’t always what is in our best interest, and God created us to need rest and time to enjoy with family and it’s something we have to accept.

Resources

This video and book have helped me put things into perspective:

21 Ways To Finding Peace and Happiness by Joyce Meyer

How to Effectively Plan , Manage Your Time, and Change Your Life

In a Funk? Here is What You Need to Do To Get Out of it

Help for Balancing Your Life