Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Balancing Time as a Mother

"A mother's purpose is to care, prepare, To nurture and to strengthen all her children.  She teaches children to obey, to pray, To love and serve in the family.  God gave us families to help us become what he wants us to be.  This is how he shares his love, For a family is of God" (Family Is of God by Matthew Neeley)

This is the primary song we have been learning for the past month.  It's a beautiful song with a poignant message for mothers, fathers, as well as their children.  For the last few weeks I've been milling ideas in my head about how should I as a mother balance my time with the necessary things.  Sometimes in my life I feel more balanced then other times.  There is so much that can be done, how do we decide what are the right things to do.  In the past 8 years I have found that no matter how hard you work you will never get done with everything that you want or need to get done.  This can make mothers very discouraged.  But the longer I try to get it all done the more I'm convinced that it all can't be done.  In reflecting at the end of the day it helps me to think of one thing that happened and say, "It was good enough.  My day was not perfect but it sure was great because I did this and this and this.  I will never be perfect, and my house will never be completely clean and organized, and there will always be another project or nose to wipe." 
What is the most important?  That is up to you to decide.  Once you figure that out it makes it easier to choose to do the right things.  The right things are the things you deem the most important to you and your family.  I also think as years and months go by, things may become more important, so you adjust.  
For me a clean house is important but not more important then my husband, children, my responsibilities as a member of my church.  In knowing this it helps me make a little schedule of my time that I try to follow throughout the week.  
Some days if all I do is read my scriptures, take care of my children and husband, and maybe get a shower in I call that day a success.  Honestly having four children can be a huge responsibility. Especially when one or two are sick or having some behavioral issues.  I'm grateful for wonderful church leaders who help us by reminding us what is most important.   I appreciated President Perry's remarks in the Feb. Ensign.  He talking about balancing our time.  I especially liked this part:

"President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) outlined the responsibilities we should consider when allocating and balancing our time to achieve success:
  • • A responsibility to our families.

  • • A responsibility to our employers.

  • • A responsibility to the Lord’s work.

  • • A responsibility to ourselves.

    This was particularly interesting to me. President Hinckley noted that we must allot time for rest, exercise, recreation, study, meditation, and temple worship in order to be balanced in our lives."

    One thing I find that the world often says in self help magazines and articles that you need to take care of yourself.  I wholeheartedly agree but I think you can get carried away.  I notice that the Prophets council puts our family, work, and the Lord first.  I honestly believe this is not a coincidence.  I know for me when I'm serving others and the Lord, other things fall into place and I am so much happier. 

    But I also have seen others (including myself) who give and give and give and don't take the necessary time for yourself and collapse in exhaustion.  Everyone is different in what they need:  For me I need time to exercise before my kids get up.  Because this is a priority for me, Devin and I work together to make that happen.  With a nursing baby, it can be challenging but we work through it.   I also enjoy some quiet time while my kids are napping to do e-mail, blog, read a book, or even sometimes take a nap myself!  

    I remember when I only had one baby and I use to long to get out of the house.  Even just to grocery shop.  Now in my life, 8 years later, I get excited when I look on the calendar and see nothing down.  I get to stay home all day and not have to go anywhere!?  

    Being a young mother only comes once.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity and I hope I make the right choices today.  I would love some of your ideas in how you keep a balanced life as a mother.

1 comment:

Sandra said...

I'm sure as our kids get older things will become more crazy. I've noticed that a schedule helps our kids. They know what will be next. For example after we read scriptures we pray and after that we have breakfast and so on. Have fun on Saturday, let me know how it goes.