Saturday, November 16, 2013

How do you DO it all?

The question was posed to me by someone who works with my husband. She elaborated by saying, "Everytime I see you, you're always doing something. How do you get everything done?"

The answer is simple: I don't.

I mean, I do get a lot done. (My Dad passed down his work ethic to me. At least he says so). I am also the posterchild for Hurried Woman Syndrome. I'm waiting for the medical folks to come and take my picture for it.

While we may only have one living child (hopefully, that will soon change!), between the three of us, there is a whole lot to do and so we run a pretty tight ship. I'm by no means an authority on how to get things done (I'm learning more every day though), here is what I've discovered during my marriage/motherhood adventure.

One: God comes first. I try to say a prayer and read a devotional before I even get out of bed. My copy of "He is Real" stays right by my bedside. If I don't do this for whatever reason, the rest of my day feels off.

Two: Realize you have limits and you are only human. I do burn the candle at both ends a lot of the time, but I also have one crash day a month where I am useless to everyone and everything. Last night, Gabe put Ella to bed and I slept. A few months ago, I may or may not have stayed in bed most of an entire Saturday while Gabe ran errands. It happens. My body needs rest.

Three: Plan stuff. I used to laugh at Moms who had their entire life in a planner. Now, I'm one of them.

Four: Keep up with planning stuff. I'm as guilty as the next girl for not doing this. But I have tried to keep this planner organized. To avoid getting confused, I fold the pages for days already gone by. Yes, I am confused by this simple stuff. Don't judge.

Five: Motivate yourself. I just discovered the Timer technique here, and it works. I set a timer for five minutes (or ten, or fifteen) and work at a set task. When the timer sounds, I set it again and move on to something else.

Six: Enlist help. If you have children, they can help with small things. If you have older children (my daughter is 7), they can chop vegetables, do some light cleaning, and even help with the laundry.

Seven: Don't sweat the small stuff. If you have ever been in my house, you know it's not fit for Better Homes and Gardens. My kitchen is slightly messy. But you know what? I have a happy family. Some things can take a backseat.

Eight: Cook using fresh ingredients, and prep early. It's better for your family in the long run.

Nine: While you are at it, eat dinner together. As busy as things are at our house, the dinner table is a good opportunity for us to SEE each other for once and to discuss things (like husband's work schedule, Ella's latest learning discovery) and keep each other updated on life in general.

Ten: Become best friends with your slow cooker. Seriously, Mr. Crockpot and I are tight. Also, it's easier to just serve something up rather than be between the stove and the table, missing out on time with your family.

Eleven: Take time for the little things. Watch a movie with your children. Take a walk with your family. Go cuddle with your husband. The house won't fall apart if you do that.

Twelve: Give thanks for what you've got. It goes a long way.

As I said, I am by no means an authority on how to get everything done, but this is a start :)

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