Finding Balance — 25 Days to a Happier Home — Day 18

happy home

Trying to juggle housework, cooking, laundry, home-schooling, church and extracurricular activities can be a daunting task. But, if we fail to find the right balance, we could be preventing our home from becoming a happier place.

Do you desire a happier home?

Today your challenge is to: Find balance.

Your kids and hubby need to hear you say yes, but sometimes you have to tell others on the outside that you simply cannot sign up to be the girl scout’s leader this year. It’s just not worth the sanity of your family. Face it. The perfect mom that we all have in our minds is not attainable for most of us.

In most of our minds, we picture the perfect mom as follows:

Always smiling.
Takes cookies and brownies to every school event.
Is involved in every ministry at church.
Has an immaculate house.
Has super-talented kids that excel in sports, music and academics.
Frequently hosts parties at her home with all the trimmings!
Has time to shop and find all the best deals in town.
Perfect hair, nails, make-up and super-slim from all the time she spends working out.

Wow. No wonder we feel like losers at the end of the day.

Those expectations in your heart and mind are simply not fair. Everyone is at a different stage in her life. New mommies barely have enough time to throw their hair up in a clip, much less have time to invest in carting kids from one soccer game to the next.

You have to give yourself realistic expectations — and stick to them. That doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve a lot in a given day. On the contrary, you can still have a full plate, while saying “no” to some less important things.

Guilt plagued me when I first became a mom. There were many things I did before joining the mommy club that were now not very feasible. I could still keep a clean home, cook home-made meals and iron all my husband’s clothes for school and work. But other activities had to stop — even when I got put on a guilt trip. Cross-stitching and home-made banana pies for friends and family slowed down. I had a new little life that depended on me for his every need! I had to say no to directing fellowships as well as teaching piano. There was no extra time for those things. They would have to wait.

When my kids grew older, then a new responsibility was laid upon my shoulders — home-schooling. A mom who tries to keep up with all her previous activities and successfully homeschool is asking for a nervous breakdown. Something has to go. In the beginning, home-schooling one child was not too difficult. Two was still fun. But when you add three or four kids to the bunch, it gets brain and time- consuming. Cut yourself some slack and re-think and re-evaluate your schedule and commitments.

For me, I decided to make a few changes. One was to start school during the toddlers naptime. that way my older kids had my full attention. The morning hours were focused on getting the house clean, cooking and spending quality time with the kids. That left the afternoon to focus on schoolwork. We worked until dinner. Another change was my evening routine. Immediately after dinner, I enlisted the kids to all clean up for 30 minutes. With many hands helping, we were able to tidy our home so we have a fresh start the next morning.

Seasons of life change. Be flexible and seek to find the right balance for each season in your life. There will be time later to devote to extra activities. As your kids grow older, you will begin to see that your time is even more flexible. you do not have to wait for your kids to leave home to jump back into service and fun activities outside your home.

To find the right balance, consider evaluating your responsibilities and the time you allot to them every single day. How much time do you really devote to the following necessary duties of a wife and mom?

Time spent in prayer and Bible study
Preparing home-made meals for your family
Laundry
Fun time with kids
Training time with kids
Housework
Home-schooling (if you are a home educator.)
Grocery shopping
Weekly Church services

Grab a piece of paper and sketch out an estimate of time you spend in the above categories. Are you spending sufficient time ministering to your family or are you barely scraping by? Are there some other things not listed that you could let go until you reach a slower pace of life?

If you can barely squeeze those basic necessities in, you need to cut back on things outside your home.

Perhaps it’s not commitments outside your home that drain your time and energy. Maybe it’s the internet, time out with friends or just “me” time. All those things can be beneficial, but when they begin stealing your necessary time away from your home duties, that is when you have to cut back.

If you tend to get lost on social media or shopping online, set a timer. At the end of the allotted time, stop and get back to your duties of the home. When a mom’s perspective gets out of whack, the whole family suffers.

How does your family suffer if you can’t find balance?

No clean clothes to wear.
Slipshod, unhealthy meals.
Unkempt home.
Stress from disorganization.
No family closeness.
Limited family time.
Lack of routine.

Pick and choose how you should spend your time. If you’re a new mom, you have less than most of us other moms. If your kids are older, you can begin branching back out into ministries outside your home that require more time. In fact, your kids may be old enough to help around the house and join in on baking brownies for a school event.

Whatever your situation is, learn to keep your family first. A happy home cannot be developed if home-life is on the back burner. There are many time-stealers out there. Be aware and take care to protect and promote the special treasure of your home!

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Don’t miss the other days of the 25 Day Challenge!

Day 1 Happier Home Challenge
Day 2 Happier Home Challenge
Day 3 Happier Home Challenge
Day 4 Happier Home Challenge
Day 5 Happier Home Challenge
Day 6 Happier Home Challenge
Day 7 Happier Home Challenge
Day 8 Happier Home Challenge
Day 9 Happier Home Challenge
Day 10 Happier Home Challenge
Day 11 Happier Home Challenge
Day 12 Happier Home Challenge
Day 13 Happier Home Challenge
Day 14 Happier Home Challenge
Day 15 Happier Home Challenge

About Alison

You can find Alison encouraging moms on Google+, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Follow her there to keep up with all the latest momspiration!

Comments

  1. I am so glad to have found your blog! I don’t have children, but I still appreciate your emphasis here. You’re exactly right, if our focus shifts from the things that really matter, our family suffers. Following you on Bloglovin’!

  2. Hi Alison! A friend showed me your blog, and I’ve enjoyed reading several of your posts this morning. :) As a homeschooling family, I also love the fact that you mentioned the need to cut back on other activities when you start homeschooling. I think that’s a huge mistake that many new homeschooling families make. We can’t keep up with everything! I love you blog and found it very encouraging!

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