After my most recent request to hear from YOU (my readers) about what you wanted me to write about most, I got a significant amount of requests to blog about balance and how I balance my life as a wife, stay-at-home mom, business owner, etc. So here I am, doing my best to process my life a midst the crazy and give you a valuable/comprehensible list of tips I find helpful for me.
Let me first preface this by saying that, one, I am NO expert and I don't claim to be. My life is far from perfect, I mess up daily, and have little to no idea what I am doing most days. So there's that. Second, each and every one of us women is so incredibly different and I, in no way want my readers to compare their lives to mine and think they should be doing more or less. We only can handle what we can handle and that has to be something that you can identify about yourself. I myself, tend to be someone that likes to stay busy and can handle a lot of activity at once. But like I said, and hope you remember while you're reading, everyone is different but you are still doing an amazing job!
14 Ways I Balance Life As A: Wife, Mother, Entrepreneur, Blogger, etc
1. Get Up With Your Kids (or before)
I know everyone is in different stages of their parenting so I get sleeping in with your kid(s) and there is no shame in that. I still do it! If I'm feeling extra ambitious I'll try to get up before my kids so that I can have a little more "me" time. During this time I like to "soak" in some worship music, read my bible, and just talk with Jesus. I feel like as moms we put this unspoken expectation on ourselves that in order to be a good mom we have to get up before our kids...but just stop.
2. Dress To Impress
I literally try to "dress to impress" everyday, even if I'm not leaving the house (which we stay-at-home moms don't often do). This might be a little controversial with some moms but to me, it honestly makes me feel better about myself when I can slab a little makeup on, straighten/curl my hair and wear something that's comfy but also makes me feel cute (aka leggings). Try it for a week and see how you feel! Plus, your husband will also notice! :)
3. Set Daily Goals
If you like to check things off your list like I do then make a list each morning while your kids eat breakfast. I like to write down drab things (like doing the laundry) and pointless things (like calling the pharmacy), just so I can "check" them off my list. It literally gives me such a sense of gratification.
4. Be Okay With Breaking Those Goals/Be Realistic
As good as it is to make daily goals, you have to make sure that you are realistic about them as well. We all know that as moms life is NEVER consistent, each day is different and things always arise. If you are going to make goals for yourself you have to be equally willing to break those goals and be ok with it. In general, just be honest with how much YOU can truly accomplish. Many times I over work myself and then end up feeling unsuccessful, and unproductive. Be ok to just "roll with the punches" sometimes.
5. Stay Intentional
I know how distracting life is at home sometimes. It gets boring, old, depressing even. It's so easy to pick up my phone and scroll through my Instagram, Facebook, emails, etc and pay my attention somewhere else. In fact, I struggle with this CONSTANTLY...it's probably one of my biggest weaknesses. I often have to put my phone in a room that I know is going to be inconvenient to travel to so that I won't be distracted by it. I also try to prioritize my need for it as well (i.e. how important is that email to me right now? Does it require a response this very minute?). Your kids are also a great reminder to how much time you spend on your devices. They'll let you know!
6. Don’t Over-exhaust Yourself With Tasks (have one MAIN goal and try to stick to it)
This goes back to #4. You only can do what you can do in a day. Don't over complicate it and discourage yourself. Laundry is sometimes the ONLY task I have on my list for that day because it's a freakin' HUGE task. If I can wash, dry, fold, and put away every load of laundry in one day I feel like superwoman...but the truth is, there is ALWAYS a load left for me in the drier the next day.
7. Meal Plan/ Implement Freezer Meals
This is something I used to be really good at and have since done on and off but LOVE the idea nonetheless. It's always a little daunting for me to sit down and try to meal plan out the entire week but truth is, when it's done I feel like I just accomplished something HUGE! Freezer meals are also a HIT! Especially post-baby! And who doesn't love the crock-pot?
8. Hire A Babysitter
This is my saving grace! I am lucky enough to have family that is willing and able to watch my kids at a moments notice but even if I didn't I would make this a priority because truth is, it's more life giving then you even realize. Even if you can only afford to get away for an hour at a time, that time is precious and you NEED to make time for YOU. I try to get the kids out of the house at least once every other week and sometimes I'm lucky enough to have them gone one time EVERY week. That being said, you need to do what only you can do/afford.
9. Family Dinners (always)
I don't cook every night, we often have left-overs or a frozen pizza, but we always make sure to sit around the table together, whatever that looks like. We decided early on that we would make dinners a priority and that phones were NEVER allowed to join us at the table.
10. Create A Daytime/Nighttime Routine
Guy and I are such schedule oriented people anyways that this was pretty natural for us, but having a daytime and nighttime routine for our kids has allowed us the time to work on business priorities, as well as, have alone time together in the evenings. We may seem like drill sargents setting such strict nap schedules and putting our kids to sleep by 7:30 PM but honestly this has breathed more life into us than I can even explain. Plus, we've found our kids thrive on a schedule so it's a win-win for both parties!
11. Make Time For Church & Small Group
When we joined our church about 3 1/2 years ago we decided to get as involved as we possibly could. Aside from going to church on Sunday mornings, we got involved with a weekly small group that meets every Tuesday and allows us to have a couple hours of uninterrupted adult time where we learn from and grow with other families and couples in our church. I also dove head first into a moms group at my church that met every other week and allowed me the much needed girls time my heart so desired.
This goes back to #4 and #6, and even more than than that, you need to do what gives YOU life but also make sure that Jesus is a midst that decision and or lifestyle. I know I've done things in life because I thought it was going to be good for me but in the long run I wasn't doing it for the right reasons and found myself empty, unsatisfied, and unhappy. Not only that, but when working from home I often have to remind myself of my main priority (I am a wife/mom first and an entrepreneur second). If I find that it's taking too much quality time away from my family, I know I need to reassess my priorities and get a better system in place.
13. Communicate & Work Together
I think Guy and I do a pretty good job of setting expectations for our day/week. We are in constant communication about what we are doing that day and in a way, it keeps us accountable to each other. Plus, it forces us to work together. Whether it be a DIY project, taking care of the kids, giving each other a much needed break, or making time for one another, we do our best to communicate where we need each other the most.
14. Stay Faith Focused
Life is never what I expect it to be. I try my best to "balance" my busy life but that isn't always enough. In fact, nothing is ever enough if we try to do it on our own. Life is just simply overwhelming on it's own. I have to daily put my faith in Jesus first. When I'm overwhelmed I come to Him, when I'm lonely, I come to Him, when I'm afraid, tired, angry, I come to Him. It's in that place with Him that I can truly find balance. That place is going to look different for everyone, I remember when I was nursing (all the time) my only Jesus time was during that time that I was nursing and I had to become ok with that. Don't compare your time with someone else's but give what you can give and the Father will completely honor that.