I recently spent way too much time on a project. As a result, I practically neglected my children and was very grumpy toward my husband. Feeling the pain of frustrating my family made me assess my priorities again and try to bring everything back into balance.
Some people view balance as a proportional amount of time spent each day on one’s top priorities, but reality rarely works out that way. Balance in my life means that I am able to get the important tasks done, but also have time to rest and enjoy my family.
To maintain balance, I try to spend time each night thinking about and writing my priorities for the next day. If I fail to do this at night, I spend time first thing the next morning.
Setting my agenda first helps me to focus when the day starts rushing at me. Having a plan also means that I am less frustrated at the end of the day. Even though I may feel like I haven’t accomplished anything, I can see that I have.
Here are a few things that I strive to do every day:
Get Dressed- If you’re a stay at home mom, you know what I’m talking about. If you’re not, you are probably laughing your head off right now. In reality, there are some days when I’m really busy and I have no where to go, so I stay in my pjs. I find that I feel much better about myself, though, if I get dressed (I also get more accomplished).
Spend Time with God- Some days I spend a few minutes reading a Bible passage or listening to a worship CD; on other mornings I write or art journal. I also pray throughout the day, but the day goes much better for me if I have had some quiet time alone with God first thing.
Kiss My Husband- I am not a fan of the little peck that many couples do in a routine way as they go out the door. I want to passionately connect with my husband every day.
Hug My Children-You would think that being at home with my children during the day would mean that we are connecting on a regular basis, but honestly much of the time they are busy doing schoolwork on their own because they are older. I have to make a concerted effort to connect with them on a deeper level than just teaching a lesson or talking about what to eat for lunch.
I try to hug each of them daily and tell them I love them at least once. I also try to connect with them before bed. They love to climb in my bed for a snuggle and chat. It’s during these precious times that I find out about their problems, ideas and dreams.
Exercise- I like to walk when the weather is nice, but on rainy days I have my stand-by exercise DVD. I also recently started running, which is something I NEVER saw myself doing. (Update: recently I have not been running very much, but I still walk briskly for at least 30 minutes as many days as I can.)
Prepare Meals- I try to start dinner the night before by thawing anything I need for the next day. I also do a few minutes of dinner prep first thing in the morning, which saves me time later during “rush hour” when I am tired and my kids are starving!
Do Laundry- Laundry is one of my least favorite chores, so I prefer to spend a little bit of time every day doing a load rather than waiting for an avalanche on the weekend. I also get help because my oldest two children do their own laundry.
Write- I try to write something on my blog and other projects I am working on every day. Practice makes perfect, right?
There are some days, of course, that I don’t get to every priority. One of my priorities will inevitably be short changed as I focus on the important project of the moment, but over time I will bring everything back into focus as I daily assess what matters to me. Using my Goal Planner and The Peaceful Mom Weekly Planner really helps.
In the long run, focusing on my priorities daily means that I do what is most important over the course of my life and that is my long-term goal afterall–a life well-spent.
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