Faith, Family, Guest Blogger, Lifestyle, Spiritual, Wellness

7 Simple Steps Towards Time Management {For the Busy Mama}

Have you realized that things look a bit different since joining motherhood?

I sweep my house when it’s convenient. Like when someone is coming over or when I am already sweeping up a glitter mess.

My wardrobe is less than spectacular. It’s something between comfort, black and  one pair of jeans that fit me at the moment.

My workouts hit maybe 3 per week and they consist of maybe 15 minutes each, compared to the hour or two hour long workouts that could have made the cover of Shape years ago.

My hair used to be done. Most days I’m lucky to brush it, get it in a ponytail, or braid it. Thanks an “or,” not an “and” there, too….

I realized something I know every other mom has realized. Since becoming a mom, time management has become important. Since becoming a single, working mom, time management is survival. I learned working 11 + hours outside of the home for a period of my life and now working a few hours a day at home and also homeschooling, that time management is key.

So, how can you get it all done?

You have to do everything you don’t want to do. You have to do everything you have not been doing.
Schedule. Your. Time.

Trust me mamas, I am preaching to myself here. I want to say you can wing it everyday and get everything done. But, that’s hiding from reality. And we aren’t hiders. We are seekers of valuable, purposeful time with our families.

  1. Make Faith a Priority.
    If you’ve ever had the goal of scheduling “Bible time,” you know it doesn’t just happen. You find every excuse in the book to use the time for other well-meaning tasks, and the kids are less than enthused to sit and listen. You need to make this a priority {remember, this is an example} and set a daily time to learn about and practice your faith. It could be as simple as one Bible story in the morning, or over dinner. Whatever you do, make sure the family understands that we won’t be doing anything else until this is accomplished.
  2. Make Yourself a Priority
    You’ve heard and disregarded the old adage that you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself. And mama, it’s true. The second priority in your day has to be you. Whatever fills you up – exercising, reading, journaling – schedule it. Even if it’s 30 minutes a day before the kids wake up or after they go to bed. It’s okay if you want to do a number of things and can only fit one in during each time of your life. Just do one, and enjoy it fully.
  3. Set Realistic Expectations.
    Don’t make a 7-point lesson plan on the busiest days of your week. Don’t expect a three course meal when you have swim lessons until 4 p.m. Be realistic with your expectations and yourself. Planning your week out will allow you to see the busy days and to push more onto the lighter days.
  4. Pick One Goal per Day.
    You can only do so much. And some days, that means that getting the house-food-work done won’t all happen. Each day, pick one thing that is your focus. This is a good place to start if you feel totally unmanaged. Maybe it’s saying “hi” to the new neighbor, calling the lady from church, or playing a game with your youngest child. Whatever it is, write it down and treat it like a real “to-do” on your list.
  5. Write It Out.
    No good plan stays inside your head. Spend Sundays writing out your home/cooking/cleaning plan, your schooling plan, and your daily goals. Write them down where everyone can see them, and stick to them as best you can.
  6. Get Commitment from the Crew.
    Remember how everyone can see it? Talk it over with your family and see if their schedule fits what you are planning. It’s okay to move things around or bump them to another time.  Work in their daily goals – you’ll be surprised what your kids will think of.
  7. Be Gracious.
    Don’t get upset when you don’t get something done. These are factual, time chunks you’re talking about and you can only fit so many pegs into the holes. Push something to tomorrow, know when to quit. You did your best, and you will do your best again tomorrow.

 

We want to get it all done. The healthy food, the clean house, the bedtime snuggles {with the kids and the hubby}, the three rounds of Candyland, real, fun learning, and time for ourselves. That simply isn’t possible, and we end each day feeling totally defeated.  Having a set schedule will leave you feeling successful and accomplished most days, and you will find that you do really accomplish more. You will forget less, and be able to squeeze in more important things, as well.

And When We Don’t Get it All Done

It happens. Something tough goes down and your whole planned day is blown. You prioritize your schedule in the coming days to get it done. You are gracious with yourself and move things around. You don’t take it personal and you can’t get emotional about it. Show your children what it looks like to accept a defeat, be positive, and make the most out of it. You skip out of ruining the rest of the day and treat yourself to a long bath or your husband to a massage with no guilt.

 

I know it’s hard mama. I know you want time to read, workout, and just enjoy your life. During the busy years of motherhood, that can seem like a long lost dream. Plan your best and have joy and grace when it doesn’t work out. You will find that you have more time than you think, are okay leaving the laundry for one day, and focus more on what matters: your family {and yourself!}

 

A special thanks to our guest poster Danielle Olson, lifestyle naturalist and blogger over at Well You Wellness. Danielle describes herself as a “a home-birthing, organic & non-GMO cooking (and gardening!), chicken-raising, typical crunchy mama.” You can find her making health and wellness products which can be purchased from her Etsy Shop, and don’t forget to connect with her on Facebook!

 

 

Until next time, well livin’ y’all!

 

 

 

*If you would like to be a Guest on With the Huddleston’s, submit your inquiry to blog@withthehuddlestons.com

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