Friday, October 12, 2012

Stuck in a Rut (See Free Chart Download)

Motherhood is wonderful in many ways, and I am so thankful that I get to spend much of my time with my children at home.  But, sometimes I feel like I do the same things every day…
Cook breakfast – get kids dressed – do the dishes – get lunch ready – fold the laundry -Get kids down for nap – wash some clothes – get dinner started – read books to the kids – eat dinner – do the dishes – get kids ready for bed

It feels like that’s all I do sometimes!  When we begin to feel overwhelmed by the mundane, it makes the time we have with our children seem not so special.  I don’t want to wish the time I do have with my children away because I am tired of doing the same things all the time. 

How do we overcome this attitude so we don’t miss out on the priceless treasure of having young children? 

I think we have to be more purposeful with our time.  We need to make a plan each week and each day so that we have a purpose.  If we don’t do this, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, where we feel like we have to do the same things everyday.  We lose our creativity and our joy.  Instead of teaching our children how to make the most of each day God has given us, we allow our circumstances to put a cloud over our day. It’s time to remind ourselves that we need to make the most of our time and use each day as an opportunity for growth – for ourselves and our children!

Proverbs 21:5 reminds us of the importance of good planning. Good planning ensures that we don’t waste our time but that we have purposefully sought to make the most of the time we have been given. 
"Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty."
 Ephesians 5:15-17 also reminds us that we should make the most of every opportunity:
“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.  Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”
I have created a little chart for myself to help me be more purposeful with my time.  Jobs like cleaning the house and planning a menu for the week may not seem like fun tasks, but if we don’t make them a priority, then it all piles up on us at once.  We begin to feel guilty that we always come home to a dirty house, and we struggle with knowing that our children are not eating nutritional meals.  By planning out what we will clean and what we will cook, we can overcome this obstacle.

But, it’s also important to have some “Me Time” as well.  This time can help rejuvenate us by letting us get a break from all of the house work and dirty diapers!  While this time is important, we need to set up some boundaries for this time as well.  It’s easy to have every intention of getting house work done during the children’s naps, but as soon as the computer or television is turned on, we suddenly feel entitled to spend all of the free time on ourselves and nothing else is accomplished.  So, set a time limit for yourself each day.

I have 10 different categories on my chart.  You can download the chart with the headings that I have provided or print off the blank chart and put in your own categories.  These charts could be used weekly or daily.  Laminate or frame the charts and write on them with a dry-erase marker, or print out as many as you need.  My categories/explanations are listed below:

At the top of the chart, there is a place to write out a memory verse. Challenge yourself to spend time reading and reciting it each day and let it be your prayer for the week. 

Meal Time: Write out your menu for the day or week. 

Cleaning: Write down your cleaning goals for the day.  A great guide for cleaning your home in only 30 minutes per day can be found here .

Errands: This would include things like doctor’s appointments, going to the grocery store, dropping off dry-cleaning, etc.

Activities: This would be any extra activities such as a play-date, MOPS meeting, soccer practice, church event, etc.

Challenge: This is something in your life where you need to be challenged.  For example, it may be to work out 3 times per week or to cut refined sugar out of your diet, or to run 2 miles, etc. 

Me Time: This is your break away from life – a time to feel rejuvenated.  It could include getting a pedicure, reading a book, having coffee with a friend, or checking your email.  It is important to set a time limit on this!

Kid Time: Write down something special you can do with your children where they have your undivided attention.  Going to the library, working puzzles together, or going to the park are some examples. 

Bible: Write down what you plan to read out of your Bible each day.  If this is a struggle for you, also write down when you will do this to help you better follow-through. 

Marriage: What is a way you can improve your marriage?  Plan a date night, take a walk together, watch a movie.  Life can get crazy sometimes, so make a plan for your marriage to be a top priority in your life. 

Helping Others: What is a way you can help someone else out?  Maybe you can pick up a friend’s child from school so they can go to a doctor’s appointment.  Or, make some cookies for your neighbors.  By making it a part of our schedule, we teach our minds to think of others more.

Download the free charts here:

See an example of my completed chart here. 

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