Today I am linking up with the ladies from The Blended Blog and then later in the week I will be linking with Shay and Erika. Finding balance between being a wife, mom, and working is a challenge for me. Finding that extra moment for “me” time is also extremely difficult but somehow I get it in.
This quote is so true. I am such a pleaser and love being active in my school and community, but sometimes I just have to say “no”. Working out of the house full time takes up a large majority of my day, let alone the stress and joy as well as all the emotions that follow me home from my teaching job. I have really had to focus on balance and finding time for my family, friends, and myself. Here is how I try to find balance for it all…
Get a planner. I love a paper planner, there is something about writing in my important dates and times that helps commit it to memory, but I also love looking through it. I know a lot of people who use a digital planner as well. At work I use a digital planner through Outlook and it works great for work meetings.
I schedule everything from workouts to date nights, to meetings and appointments in my Life Planner. I use the three sections for morning/afternoon/night and this works well for me. This way I can see what I have before and after school each day.
Create a routine. My “me” time happens in the morning and then right after I get home from work on a typical day. This has not always been the case, when my kids were younger pretty much every second was devoted to them. Now that they have become more independent I can spend a little more time doing the things that I like.
For example, I wake up early enough to squeeze in a little time to myself. I like waking up this early because not only can I get a lot accomplished like my Bible reading, devotional reading, blog work, laundry, unloading the dishwasher, but it is quiet and peaceful and I feel more put together before waking the kids up. I also like the moment of peace and quiet because for the rest of the day I am in a flurry of five and six year olds 🙂
Another bonus of having older kids, they come home, and are able to get their own snacks like granola bars, crackers, fruit, muffins, etc. While they are decompressing, they can watch TV or jump on the trampoline, I usually get on the treadmill. This has become such a decompressing part of my day. For at least 30 minutes I get in some good time with music and decompress my thoughts.
I try to kill two birds with one stone. Most days right after school, Maddi and Guy come to my classroom and get their homework done while I work at getting things ready for the next day. This works out well so when we get home they have only their reading homework left and we do this later at night. This works well because when they get home they want to eat a snack and play while I get my workout in.
Leave work at work. When I first started teaching I would bring home a big bag full of work to do at home. Lessons needed to be planned, lamination needed to be cut, things needed to be put together. You know what I learned in the first two years of teaching? That nothing will ever be caught up. I would spend all weekend at home working on school stuff. I quit bringing home work. I leave it at school and
don’t try not to think about it. The most important thing for me to clear my mind is to have the next day completely planned (I like to have all copies made at least a week in advance) and my desk cleared off. I do think this would be one of the hardest parts of being a stay-at-home mom. You are constantly at your job site. Nothing is ever caught up. I respect you all so much. I love my job, but it is really important to me that I leave my work at work and when I am home I focus on my family.
Set timers. You guys, this is such a funny thing for our house. We are not competitive people but if you set a timer it is all out battle. I set a timer for a lot of things and we MOVE. We set a timer for reading/sight word practice/multiplcation practice/picking up our house/screen time/etc.. My kids don’t argue with a timer. It is wonderful and allows us to complete a lot of things in a short amount of time leaving room for other fun things. “Let’s clean your room for 10 minutes and then we will go play catch after”. Usually, the room is cleaned before the timer.
Clean when you can. I have a A Busy Person’s Guide to Cleaning. I try to fit in cleaning into random parts of the day and as long as I clean a little each day I feel pretty good about it. For instance, if Guy is in the bathtub, I try to clean the bathroom. If the kids are doing art projects at the table, I try to clean the kitchen. And I swear that timer helps us all clean better :).
Grace, lots of grace. I know that I am not going to get everything that I want to get done in a day done. I know that I am going to wake up with the best of intentions and come up short. I think it is really important to set goals but be flexible in when and how you reach them. Doing your best each day with kindness is what really counts. Giving myself grace when it comes to balancing work and home life, as well as finding that “me time” and not feeling guilty about that is really important.
What do you do for your “me time”? How do you balance home and work? If you are a stay at home mom, how do you manage this? I hope you have a wonderful Monday.