Last weekend I went through this moment where I ALMOST wanted to quit my blog all together. Just one of those times where you think, is this really worth my time?
It's funny, because my blog is all about finding balance, but in fact blogging, has put me completely OFF balance. All my thoughts were centered around my blog, and all these idea's I wanted to share, and then of course there are the many other things I want to do like read other blogs, read books, watch the shows I like, study up on my German, learn to play the piano, spend time with my kids, work out, keep my house clean and organized, make healthy dinners, run all my errands, have family night, study the scriptures, develop a new talent, teach my children good values, get my visiting teaching done each month, keep up on all the dishes and laundry, take pictures and video tape special moments in my kids lives, find time for service, and of course finding time to SLEEP. If I didn't need to "sleep" I could probably fit all these things in, but um, I don't think that would go over well if I cut sleep off my list of things to do :)
I guess it's possible to be TOO ambitious.
So, I've just decided to cut back a bit, perhaps only 2 posts a week will be better for my own sanity. There's just sooo many things I want to do in life, and being a mom doesn't allow you to follow all those ambitions right away. I need to switch my focus and be happy and content with the success of motherhood. I need to stop adding to my list of things I WANT to do, because it only makes my mind go crazy trying to figure out how on earth I'm going to fit it all into one day or week. I mean seriously, these are all important things to me, but I feel like I need to cut some things out. Should it be my blog?
I was questioning it over the weekend and thought that maybe it was sucking too much of my time.
So I decided to figure out what I can ACTUALLY do, and not expect too much of myself. We "cannot run faster than we have strength". It will all come in time, and I can't DO IT ALL. Patience is not one of my strengths. When I want something, I want it NOW!
We are all on our own paths and searching for answers as to what we are supposed to be doing in order to fulfill our plan. How can we be sure that we're DOING the things God would have us do?
I guess it's all a matter of trial and error. Being open to letting the spirit guide us in the right direction and recognizing those unsettling feelings that are telling us when we are falling off track.
My friend Crystal (yes, we have the same name), and I were talking the other day and she was telling me about the Duggar Family's book called 20 and Counting. I'm sure you're all familiar with them, one of the biggest families ever! So, anyway, I was instantly curious to read this book, went straight home and ordered it on Amazon. I always wondered HOW this mom did it. How can she be pregnant all the time, take care of that many children, homeschooling them all, AND write a book about it??????
So when the book finally arrived I skimmed through and found the chapter I was most
interested in. The one that talks about their daily schedule and organizing tips. Since then have read a lot of the book, and found myself all motivated to be like her. I was like, yah, I'm going to have LOTS of kids, homeschool them all, and have 3 hour scripture study with the family each day. Oh, yes, I was motivated and ready to take on motherhood...............................
Well, that idea lasted about an hour.
Actually my husband helped me see things a little more clearly. We were on our date night and I was talking about the book and how I wanted to be like Michelle Duggar.
He said, "um, I don't want to be rude, but....... you could never be like that".
He's like, this women doesn't get her hair done, she doesn't have a gym membership, she doesn't do girl's night outs, and um, yeah, the list went on and on. I was like, okay, okay, I GET IT! I'm just not capable of that, well, maybe capable, but just not willing :)
So, I've taken some ideas from the book and have formulated my own schedule in hopes to help me manage my time a little better. I've already picked someone for this weeks FAB Friday, and she will also be sharing a little about this topic.
My New Schedule
I found this cute idea from Heather's blog. I have my schedule written down on my notebook, which I have with me at ALL times, can't live without it. And of course the schedule usually changes each day and I'm seriously not THAT obsessed with sticking to it exact :) Anyway, then I have Lily's schedule which she has really enjoyed. This helps her know what our plans our for the day, and our schedules coincide.
- Getting up
- Eating Breakfast, Vitamins
- Getting Dressed
- Break time/Mommy cleans house
- Play with mommy (choose activity)
- Lunch time
- Play date, gym, school, or run errands
- Snack time
- Quiet time/Olly's nap
- Do school work with Lily, and let her help make dinner
- Eat dinner
- Family time
- Bath time, brush teeth
- Bedtime stories, practice some German words with Lily
9:00 Breakfast, vitamins, get dressed, brush teeth
10:00 Clean house, catch up on Laundry, dishes, make beds, and pick up a little.
11:00 Play with kids, or do a little craft or activity with Lily.
1:00 Play date/ run errands/ or Go to the gym (I bring my lap top to the gym and spend a little time catching up on emails , and blog reading while the kids or in the kids center before I go work out).
4:00 Lily has quiet time and Olly naps while I work on my list of things I need to do, things around the house, responding to emails, or blog.
5:00 Start dinner and do some school workbooks with Lily
6:00 Dinner and clean up
7:00 Family time
8:00 Baths, Books, German (I'm trying to make use of the language I learned on my mission. By practicing a little with Lily, it also helps me freshen up on it)
9:00 This is my time to work on my blog, read other blogs, and reply to emails, while Lily watches a movie
10:00 Get Kids in Bed, and read my book or watch some of my favorite shows with my hubby.
11:00 Lights out
I've been experimenting with this over the past week, and it seems to be working out much better for me. I've never been a big fan of sticking to a TIME schedule, I usually just make a list, and go from there. I've found that I become obsessed with FINISHING something so I can check it off my list, sometimes ONE thing on my list can take half the day. I've been spending WAY to much time online, finishing a blog post, reading emails, responding, and also reading other blogs and leaving comments.
So, now I have time limits.
I'm reading this new book called Magnificent Mind At Any Age. I am seriously LOVING it! I'm learning so much about the brain and how amazing it really is. I plan to share lots more on this book because I have SO many thoughts I'd like to add.
As I was reading last night, this paragraph really stood out to me, and it TOTALLY applies.
"Drowsiness, tiredness, and an increasing inability to focus reached startling levels in the trials of eleven hundred people, who also demonstrated that e-mail in particular have an addictive, drug like quality.
The most damage (to IQ) is done, according to the survey, by almost complete lack of discipline in handling e-mails. Dr. Wilson and his colleagues found a compulsion to reply to each new message, leading to constant changes of direction, which inevitably tired and slowed down the brain.
Constantly checking e-mails, IMs, voice mails, and the Internet is stressful, but it is also addictive as one is always waiting for the next good e-mail, IM, or voice message to hit, like waiting for the next blackjack in the card game 21. The anticipation of something good keeps us checking something routinely. It also distracts us from staying focused on the person or task at hand. Checking these messaging systems is an important way to communicate, but it is better to set aside specific times each day to work on them and leave them alone the rest of the time."
This book was SO written just for me, haha. Lily is always saying, mom, stop playing on your phone, and grabs it out of my hands. That's some good feedback right there. My goal is to stick to time limits, and to stop constantly checking my email throughout the day.
I ran into an old friend the other day, and we got to talking. I was wondering why she wasn't on facebook, twitter, blogger, ect. She was like, I don't even have Internet at my house.
WHAT?????? That's absurd!!!!!! Who doesn't have internet in their home!!!!
Later I was thinking about this, and was almost a little jealous... I said ALMOST.
I was like, WOW, think of all the extra time I would have if I wasn't spending so much of it online.
Well, I'm not sure that canceling my internet service is the answer for me.
I think this plan will offer the best of both worlds. I still get that fix of connecting with all my online friends, while still enjoying normal REAL life experiences.