Monday, September 9, 2013

3 Things Moms Can Do to Sabotage Their Lives This Year

1.  Take on too many commitments.
Say yes to any and every opportunity that comes your way.  When someone asks you to babysit their kids, teach a Sunday School class, or do them a favor, don't consider how it might affect your schedule or your family.  Join a gym, a couple of Bible studies, and a Mom's Playgroup and answer the phone every single time it rings.  Get involved with lots of ministries, home business opportunities, lots of friends, and let your kids be in several extracurricular activities each.  If you homeschool, try to do every craft project mentioned in your teacher's manual and read every book that literature experts recommend for your child's age bracket.  Attend every playdate, home sales party, Girl's Night, and event you are invited to.
On the other hand....if you want to experience a smooth and peaceful day with your children.... careful with your time.
Only you and your spouse know how much is too much for you.  We all have different abilities and personalities,so you will have to determine how many activities and commitments you can have in your week.  In our rushed society, it's all too easy to get over-committed, whether it's with volunteer work, home businesses, playdates, sports and kid's activities, church committments, etc.  Moms often try to do too much because they earnestly want their children to have as many enriching opportunities as possible.  It's freeing to say "No" to things that are not in line with your top priorities.
2.  Don't have a food plan.
What's for dinner tonight?  Stand at the fridge at 5pm, banging your head on the door while wishing there was a Dinner Fairy whom you could summon daily.  Order pizza....again.  Dig random, weird, ice-crystal-covered things out of the freezer and try to throw them together and pass it off to picky kids as an edible casserole.  Sigh everytime the kids ask for another snack and tell them they can chew on some old celery that's hiding in the back drawer of the fridge.  Start your day frustrated because you forgot you were out of milk and now you aren't sure what to make the kids for breakfast.  Go the store every day or so, with cranky kids in tow and purchase whatever sounds good.  Hit up the fast food drive-throughs routinely and blow your grocery budget.  Feed the kids Cheerios for supper.
On the other hand...if you like your hair and don't want to end up pulling it all out.....
...plan ahead for meals and snacks. 
I know it's difficult to juggle all of the responsibilities that come with running a home and being a wife and mother.  It's a lot of work to plan menus, stick to your budget, and cook healthy meals.  But, not having a plan only sets you up for disaster, because like it or not, kids have to eat.....every day.....several times a day.  Having a plan allows you to shop less and feel confident that when dinnertime rolls around, you know what you are having and you have the ingredients on hand to make it.  Some moms like to plan meal ideas in their head, others use paper or their phone, and some just buy their favorite items in bulk and keep a well-stocked food supply so they can "wing-it" knowing they have plenty of ingredients on hand to make a healthy meal each day.  However you do it, the point is that you have some kind of a plan in place so you aren't caught off guard by the inevitability of your family's hunger.
3.  Don't de-clutter regularly.
Refuse to get rid of anything because it all holds sentimental value.  Keep every birthday gift your children have ever gotten.  Let your kids go yard-saling and thrift-shopping with you.  Don't get rid of toys, dress-ups, craft materials, etc. because after all, you might need those someday!  Only go through the kids' toys and clothing once or twice a year.  Let them keep beading kits in their rooms and take legos outside.  Make sure they have at least 20 outfits each in their closets.  Don't limit the number of books in your home, after all books are educational...the more the better!
On the other hand...if you value your sanity and don't want to end up on Hoarders someday....
...have less stuff.
I absolutely love the blog Becoming Minimalist.  I have gained so much insight from reading Joshua's articles and have been inspired to continually pare down our family's possessions.  When we went and stayed in a friend's condo for a few days this spring on vacation I was stunned at how little housework there was to do when we had a small place, only 3 outfits each, one dish/cup per person, and just a few toys.  Homeschooled kids are in the house all day long, and that means EXTRA mess.  Having less means less to clean up and maintain.  The more you have, the more you have to manage.  My kids know that they have fewer chores when they have fewer toys so they often beg me to put most of the toys away in the shed so they have less work each day.  Thanks to grandparents, hand-me-down bags, birthdays, Christmas, carnival goodies, VBS prizes, Happy Meals, birthday party favor bags, and the kids buying toys with their own earned money, I need to ROUTINELY work on de-cluttering.  A one-time purge just won't cut it.  Going through the house weekly or monthly and finding things to throw in the Yard Sale or Thrift Store box makes my life much easier.
While these three things aren't the only things moms can do to make life easier, they are a good place to start.  Guarding your time, planning your meals, and de-cluttering your stuff will go a long way toward helping you soar as a mom!


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