Recently, I have seen several posts on Facebook homeschooling groups from moms wondering how to balance between caring for the home, homeschooling, family, and caring for one’s self. This is a common issue in today's world. Many moms who do not homeschool struggle with these same issues of balancing caring for the home, family, work, and caring for one's self. Some are dealing with little children messes. Some are dealing with big children messes. Some are dealing with chronic illness, as well. Struggling for balance, to have a clean home, be with family, and replenishing ourselves leaves many moms overwhelmed.
Many moms ask, "Where do you find time to do it all?" I know you have heard it before. “We all have 24 hours a day.” Well, you can do it all, just not all the time. It is not about balancing. Balancing brings to mind things of the same weight. But all things that call for our attention and not equal. We have to prioritize what really is important to us.
In the Luke 10, story of Mary and Martha, Jesus said, "But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."
To me, it was not so much that Martha was serving. What was "needful" was what Mary had chosen that good part and we can too! What had Mary chosen? Mary chose to sit at Jesus' feet and learn from Him while He was there to minister to them.
We can "choose" that "good part." We can kneel at His feet (so to speak), learn from Him, and gain strength from Him, as we read the scriptures and pray first thing in the morning, before the demands of the day. I feel it gives me perspective and helps me be able to sort through the multitudes of things the day has to offer, so I can choose better.
How do I balance? I prefer the words rhythm and harmony. I do not like the word balance, because balancing can imply all things are of equal weight.
My youngest just turned 19 and is taking one bridge year at home before college. However, when my children were young, I did not have Facebook. At that time we had a computer and a TV on lock, we rarely used them.
One can fake themselves out on Facebook. One can limit themselves to, let’s say, two posts in a day. But if the post generate a lot of response and one chooses to respond or like people's comments, one can become distracted and can be on our phone, I-pad or laptop all day. But in our minds we were only on to make two posts.
One simple way to find more time is to tame our social media use.
KEEP A SCREEN TIME LOG
My suggestion is, to log how many posts and responses to posts you do in a day on Facebook and other social media. It could be very sobering. You can do it as you go. If you do, every time you are tempted, you might think twice. Or you can go to your personal home page, click on "View Activity Log" (up on the right bottom side of your banner at the top of Facebook page). Then count your Facebook interactions. What is your total? When was your first post and when was your last contact?
If our time with our family, homeschooling, or care for our home is being bumped by electronic use, we may need to tame it. If we lack good habits and good routines, we need to work on getting them. We are creatures of habit and those habits are either good or bad. Why not work on habits that help us create our desired life? If we fail, we just need to keep getting up and trying again.
Having less, by thinning what we have, can be helpful. But there will still be frustration if you do not train your children to put things away. Training children to pick up and put away can diminish a lot of chaos.
Waiting until something has to be done will leave you forever overwhelmed. It will seem like those things are an annoyance, because they interrupt your life. But to work on those things early, such as meal prep and laundry will leave you with clean un-rumpled clothes when you need them and meals will be served before you are starving and everyone going crazy.
Set some personal rules:
- No checking email until after homeschool.
- Turn off the notifications during the routines of the morning and homeschooling.
- Place your phone in your bedroom and look the door. Your children do not need it either.
- If you need connection with other women, give your children a 90 minute quiet time. Use some of that for connecting.
- When talking to people face to face, leave your phone in your pocket and do not look at notifications.
- Leave screens away from the dining table and interact there.
- Shut off your phone ringer while you sleep.
Less is More!
- Screen time,because you are in charge of your device and not hostage to it.
- Mess, because children get trained to put things away.
- Dinner time craziness, because you planned early. If we are smart Martha's we plan ahead so we can spend time without family and guests.
- Belongings to care for, because you have streamlined and got rid of extra stuff.
- Struggle with laundry because we keep it in rotation instead of stock piling.
This means more time to homeschool, more time with the family.
You can do this!
Enjoy the journey!
NOTE: This was revised and updated 18 February 2019, originally posted 5 February 2018. Above is this week's Newsletter, if you prefer to recieve the weekly Newsletter in your email please sign up below. Along with this newsletter you will find news of upcoming webinars, recieve access links to the current week's webinars, and site news!