If you happen to read my last blog post, “Confessions of a Crabby Worn Out Mom” you know that I was in a real FUNK and needed to get some time for myself in order to evaluate my priorities and where I was expending my energy. I was just plain worn out and having a really hard time being good at any of my roles as a Family Manager.
You can certainly read how I got to this point in that post and see if you can relate, but I wanted to share with you some ideas that I think can really help Busy Moms refocus, refresh and set their priorities back in order. I almost feel like it is similar to the bear coming out of hibernation – isn’t that funny? But the winter can have some an interesting effect on everyone, especially for moms and those who allow themselves to fall into the dull, mundane and energy sucking role of Family Manager – unless you are intentional to make things different.
So I escaped last Friday to a hotel in order to be still, listen, pray and re-evaluate where I wanted my energy to be expended. I came out of it with a new look, a focus that is clear and something really important – HOPE. Hope that I can become better than what I have been and that I am always a work in process.
Here are some things I discovered and ideas I had that I would like to share:
- Get away for an overnight or at the least day
This one can be hard for a lot of moms; some may say it is impossible. Well, my motto in everything – BE CREATIVE! For me, it was fairly easy to get away for an overnight, I didn’t have extensive childcare issues (only having to arrange care for the dogs!) and I was able to have some extra funds to get a nice hotel room on Priceline and make it my little retreat. If you desire to get away overnight and your budget won’t allow it right now, start pinching where ever you can in order to save up to make it happen. It won’t happen all on its own, it will take some work – but I can tell you in the end it will be worth it. If you absolutely cannot get away overnight, pick an afternoon where you can go out to a park and sit and relax, read and journal, pack a lunch and enjoy the peace without being mom. Use what you have and make the best of it, we are moms, right? Resourceful is our middle name.
- Look at where you are spending your time
This was a huge area that I needed to examine on my little retreat. I had found I was under so much stress because I was expecting too much of myself in all the roles I was trying to fill. That meant I wasn’t doing a very good job at any of them! I decided I had time during my day that was simply lost – eaten up by needless activity, a lot having to do with computers, email and procrastination! By truly looking at this and realizing this was an area I needed to restructure, I was able to set a routine for my days now that hopefully will keep me out of some of the old patterns I was in. I am only allowing myself on the computer when I have certain tasks outlined to do, rather than just endless perusing. I complete those tasks and then move on! I also set the time I go to the gym to work out, rather than just thinking it will just “happen”. We all know how that goes, it never does!
- Do you have a clear understanding of your values and priorities?
If you aren’t clear on what you value in your daily life and what are your priorities I think we can often feel like we just are floating along. I took some time and got real clear again on what I valued, what I knew I wanted to spend my energy on and how it was reflected on the outside. It is one thing to say that I value spending time relaxing with my children, but if the actual “spending time with my children” is never observable in my daily life how does that look? Or to say that I value family dinnertime together, yet overbook my schedule and do not plan in advance to prepare meals for my family and we end up running through a fast-food drive through. Take some time and write down what you value and what is important to you.
- Find scripture or encouraging quotes
This is always a favorite of mine, going through books, the bible and other sources to find encouraging quotes and scripture that I can jot down on small cards and keep handy when I need a pick me up. I can honestly say that having easy access to some of these is what will calm me down and re-center me when I am in the midst of a tough day. Some of my friends know how much I cherish this type of encouragement and I often find things in the mail or little gifts sent to me with encouraging verses and quotes!
- Restructure your days
I found that I had fallen into a pattern of not really having true structure to my day. As a work from home mom, it is really easy to group my day all together and have no real definition on when I am “working” and when I am “being mom”. I found that I tried to multi-task and was getting really bad at it. I had also let my daily morning quite time slip and was sleeping in and not allowing my time to be ready to start my day with the entire family. (I am a morning person, but I do need to have some coffee before I jump into my day!) I have been reading “Steady Days – A Journey Toward Intentional Motherhood” by Jamie C. Martin and she talks about having a steady routine in your children’s day. Now my children are no longer small and at home during the day, but I found that her same ideas could be put into practice with my own time during the day. So I have taken and set up routines for my days – it is kinda like having an expectation for my day and it takes a lot less planning and thinking when I already have done the deciding. It just seems to flow. I would consider how you can change your days to make them more efficient and enjoyable.
- Set some goals
Having a focus and something to shoot for always keeps me moving forward. When I stop setting goals and looking ahead things can get pretty boring and too routine. If you need to take a look at your life and set some goals to refocus yourself, now is the time! Make some short term and long term goals. You can set goals in your personal life, spiritual life, physical life or in your business/family life. Take the time to write them down and make a commitment to move forward. I know when I have something to work towards, it makes things a lot more fun and enjoyable – plus you know that you have accomplished something when you have gauge to view from.
- Buy a new outfit!
So I am not such a big shopper, I don’t even like to go to the mall – but there is nothing better to celebrate a new look at life and a new vision when you are wearing a new outfit! So whether it is a new complete outfit or just a new spring top, get something that will be fun and make you look real good!
For other wonderful ideas to rejuvenate for the spring, check out my fellow Life Skills Network folks:
Rejuvenating Your Home, Organizing Your Way
Rejuvenating Your Budget, The Wisdom Journal
5 Steps to Rejuvenate Your New Year’s Resolutions, My Super-Charged Life
Rejuvenate Your Finances, My Dollar Plan