Laundry, dishes, lunches, snacks, vacuuming, grocery shopping, menu planning, family chauffeur, nurse, family CEO…oh ya, and then possibly an outside of the home job on top of that! We are amazing! And tired…
According to a Welch’s research study survey in 2018, mothers work an average of 98 hours a week! That’s equivalent to 2.5 full time jobs! It said calculated the average clock in was 6:23am and clock out was 8:31pm. The study was only conducted for mothers with kids ages 5-12 (I’m curious if younger ages would show more work… or perhaps just less sleep 😆).
Finding the balance of what and when to do certain things is hard! I’d love to give you some tips on what I find helpful to be productive and thrive as a mom!
1. Plan Night Before
There are a few benefits by planning the night before as opposed to planning in the morning, or planning for the week ahead. I think the most important is that you will not be interrupted by a kid as they will (hopefully) fast asleep. Secondly, it gives you a change to evaluate how your day is going to look- do you need to get up earlier tomorrow to accomplish everything or is it a more relaxed day that you could perhaps fit in some girl time.
2. Pick 3 Things as Priority
I recently completed an e-course called Radical Growth by Havilah Cunnington, and in it she mentions a discipline that she does every night. I have done this now for a few months and absolutely love it!
Instead of writing out a list of to-do’s for the next day, which can get overwhelmingly long, pick three things that are your priority for the day. I have found this to be extremely helpful and productive! I usually pick one work-related thing, one family-related thing, and one spiritual-related thing. By doing this, I make sure that I’m not just focused on work or my household to-do’s and I purposefully leave room for doing a puzzle with my four year old, etc.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t have that long to do list! It just means that there are 3 things that take priority.
3. Write it Down
This may seem unnecessary but I can tell you it certainly is! When you wake up first thing in the morning frazzled because your youngest woke up early than normal and you weren’t able to grab your coffee first thing… then you get distracted with what needs to get done and the day goes on like the days before. Writing your priorities down will help you build and establish the habit.
I enter my three things on my phone in the little Note widget so that it’s there right on my home screen when I turn it on…which is usually one of the first things I look at when I wake up. It reminds me to focus and remember that I planned out important things for the day.
4. Ask God’s Input
This is an area that I struggle to remember. I like to feel in control and so I like über planning! I tend to think that because I have everything scheduled and in its place, that I’m stewarding what God has giving me responsibility over and then that’s it. I often forget that I’m not the one in control. To help with that, when I plan out my 3 priorities I ask God to reveal to me what he’d like me to focus on. I ask and then sit back and listen. Surprisingly, he often brings to mind things that I had forgotten or not realized. For example, the family-related one I usually think of pouring into my kids, but he’ll remind me that I haven’t poured into my husband in awhile. Something so simple! By giving God the time to help me plan, it reminds me that I’m not in this alone.