Lately the word “intention” has been weighing on my heart. I am an organized person, I schedule and routine my children and our days so we can make the most of our days. Despite my best efforts, some days I feel like things are so chaotic.
The word intention brings me back to reality; laundry can wait when Lexie wants me to sit and do puzzles with her. Cleaning up the dishes really can wait when Max is awake and only has 1.5 hours to play before his next nap.
Intention– does every minute (or at least most) of your day have intention? Do you follow God’s priorities for your day, and therefore essentially your life?
I struggle with this on a daily basis, but I told my mom a few weeks ago, my motto for this year is “Are my priorities for the day God’s priorities for today?”
It’s hard as a stay at home mom, or a mom in general, to split your time between keeping the house, raising the children, loving your spouse, and taking care of yourself.
My husband goes to work early and stays late, deals with so much, then comes home to us. I truly don’t want him to come home to chaos in the evenings. I don’t want him to come home to nasty floors from this mornings breakfast, or a pile of laundry to fold that is still on the couch from nap time, because someone decided to wake up before I could get it finished.
But some days, that is how it goes.
Being a stay at home/work from home/homeschooling parent doesn’t mean our home or lives are perfect; it also doesn’t mean I sit on the couch and watch soap operas while the kids eat Cheetos and drink juice all day. As of current, I’m soon to be looking into new house plans to enable me to have my own workspace as well as have more space for a new homeschooling environment, because currently the whole house gets used as a school and an office all within a day and it’s probably hindering focus and progression. Working from home does have its benefits, especially for me as a mum. It allows me to be there 24/7 for my children, even if I am working. You can learn more here about working from home.
I compare raising a home to teaching in a classroom, a lot. This is because in teaching we have what is called classroom management- basically it is how you run your classroom, keep the children on task, accomplish the day’s learning goals, and get your own work done. It encompasses all the daily routines, from calling roll, lining up for lunch, turning in papers, to ending the school day. As teachers, we (I say “we” although I do not currently teach in a classroom outside my home) spend most every minute of the day tending to our classroom. Cleaning up messes, paying attention to students, talking to parents and coworkers, preparing lessons; there is instructional time, independent work time, circle time, and lunch time.
As a stay at home/homeschooling wife and mom, my days aren’t much different than those of a school day. Because we implement a routine and schedule, my children know what to expect and when to expect it. Even Max, at 5 months old knows our routines; when he hears my nursing bra click, he knows its time for dinner. When he sees me get the wrap, he starts getting excited and kicking his legs because he knows mama is going to wear him; he knows when he wakes up his diaper gets changed and then … Oh boy! Time to eat! And after bottle, he expects to sit in his bumbo and get oatmeal. If mama gets side tracked and doesn’t put him in the bumbo right away, a fit does ensue.
Routines make up every day life and when you are managing a household with two+ small children all day, you live by routines. I depend on them, my babies depend on them, even J.Tom depends on them for helping with the kids; and we are a happier, well put together family because we have routines and schedules. My children are well adjusted, they know I’m not going to starve them because they know when its time to eat, they get fed. They also know when they are tired, mama is going to put them down for a restful sleep. This has led to us having a two year old that tells us when she is tired and ready for bed; she knows when she feels tired, because she has always had a decent bedtime, and has been put to bed when she was tired. Not 2-3 hours later when she is so over tired she is bouncing off the walls and cannot settle.
But despite my best efforts, some days the laundry gets folded, but left on the back of the couch until everyone is fed and has had their fill of Mama for however long that takes. Some days the dishes seem a mile high, bottles need to be washed, and dirty laundry is suddenly piled everywhere-the hallway, the bathroom, the kids’ rooms, and the laundry room. Oh my, Heaven forbid Lexie Raye’s gymnastics shirt not be clean on gymnastics day! But it happens.
Although things are just super crazy with the move (I won’t even begin to describe the state our home is in), I am trying to keep things as routine for everyone as I can. Lexie gets to face-time her daddy during breakfast and dinner every day, and that helps a lot with him being gone. We have our own way of getting things done during the weeks J.Tom is gone, and it works. But I am so looking forward to next week, when we will hopefully all be together under one roof, all the time. (this post was written during our move from AR to NE).
Every day I struggle with God’s priorities for me: I know they include Bible time for myself and for the kids, I know they include playing with my babies, keeping myself, JTom, and the littles healthy by preparing nutritious meals, and some days they include special trips to the library or the park. But knowing and doing are not the same thing.
I seriously stop myself during the day and ask, “what are my priorities here?” and I go from there.
Some days the decisions are harder than others, but mostly the answer is simple: what would God have me do to please Him?