Haley, over at Carrots for Michaelmas posted her one word late this year. I’m going to jump on board. I think it’s a great idea to give yourself focus for your year, and it’s something that my team leaders in my work-from-home business suggest doing as well!
So my word for this year is: Balance.
See, I have this tendency to focus on one thing at a time…like all day. I don’t really do very well doing a little housework, a little school work, a little work in my office, and make dinner every day. But what we get is a whole lot of imbalance. I do a lot of cleaning up one or two days, then have three days where we get really intense with school and get a lot of fun stuff done. Then I have a few days where I just work on my computer for hours on end, sighing and saying, “Just a minute!” to my children’s every request. I get annoyed when they, you know, want to eat something for the 5th time that day and it’s only 10:30am!
I feel like my husband and kids get my “leftover” time too much when we live life this way. It’s just not working for us anymore. It was okay when it was just Nikki and I at home all day, but with three more kiddos who have needs…we just can’t keep up this way.
But I also don’t want to feel super rigid on some Spartan schedule. I need time to be creative.
So here’s what balance is going to look like for me:
1. A regular wake-up time every day (which I think is necessarily preceded by a regular bed time. Oh how I hate the words “bed time.” Love sleep. Hate bed time. What is that?).
2. Scheduled office time, school time, creative time & cleaning time.
Office time may take different shapes from day to day, but I’ve started out my preliminary schedule with an hour a day (during nap time!) when I can be focused in my office.
School time She’s in Kindergarten, so really when we are focused and getting through it all, school really only takes about an hour a day. (I used to be worried about how little time it took, but a teacher friend of mine told me that about 90% of school time for elementary teachers is really just classroom management. 10% is instruction. So if they’re at school from, say, 8-4 minus lunch and recess, they might be in class only 6 hours or 360 minutes. Which means that even if you said 20% of the time was actual instruction – or an hour and twelve minutes, we would not be too far-off with an hour a day.)
Cleaning time…ugh! I gave myself one room to focus on each day of the week. But I scheduled way more time that I would need for that room so if I’m done early, I can read a book or do something else that I want/need to do.
I’m going to try out this method, but if it doesn’t work, I may try Flylady again…
(A huge help with my time balance has been the freezer meals. Other than whipping up some pizzas or grilled cheese, I have not had to slave in the kitchen since before John Benedict was born. Lots of people graciously brought us meals that carried us through JB’s first month. Then as the end of those meals was getting closer, I decided to check out those Pinterest pins about freezer meals a little more closely & did my first set myself in September. Those meals lasted us up through our move until around the end of October, and I’ve been doing it ever since!)
3. Prayer. Trying to be more consistent with prayer/talking with God. I have been trying to incorporate this into my hours a day doing dishes. I’m usually there in the kitchen by myself, so it seems like a perfect time to be at the prayer alter (aka, my kitchen sink!). This also means that instead of skipping out on my mom’s bible study when things are getting hectic at home, I make it a priority to be there and get the extra support and refreshment I need. As I mentioned in the previous post, there is a church just down the street from us that has perpetual adoration. The weather has been prohibitive so far, but I want to add at least one day a week this year to take the kids to adoration.
4. Balance with money – I tend to be careful about how we spend our money, but with the home projects we have planned, I will need to be even more-so. But money matters are VERY stressful to me sometimes as I count down the days to pay-day. I need to re-balance my attitude with money. Since I am typically the one who pays the bills every month, does the shopping, etc. I have a pretty good handle on how much we have and where it’s going. Michael, because he’s not doing these things, is not so much. And a lot of times, in the past, I’m trying to shield him from the worry, so I don’t tell him if money is going to be really tight the next two weeks, and we have to watch our spending. This year, I am working hard on communicating our financial situation with him regularly so that we’re on the same page. I even tell him if there’s a bill I’m worried about. And talking helps so much! And then I don’t have to worry about him suggesting we buy some big-ticket item and me having to come up with all kinds of reasons (other than the real one!) for why we shouldn’t.
Finally, I’d like to share my saint for the year. Jennifer at Conversion Diary has a Saint’s Name Generator to help you choose your patron saint for the year – to be your special friend! My saint was Saint Gerard Majella. He is the patron saint of pregnant mothers. I’m so excited that I already have a Saint Gerard medal. He possessed the gift of bi-location (so I’ll be asking for help with my multi-tasking! Haha!). I have several close friends expecting this year, so I want to make it my special mission to help in any way I can, even if only in prayer.
- “The Most Blessed Sacrament is Christ made invisible. The poor sick person is Christ again made visible.” – Saint Gerard Majella