Please join me in welcoming my friend, author Katie M. Reid to the blog as my guest today! Also, there is an affiliate link at the end, so when you make a purchase, a few cents go toward my ministry at no extra charge to you! Thank you!
There are many pressures on mothers these days.
Pressures to: feed our kids the freshest and healthiest ingredients, choose the best schooling option , decorate our home with the latest trends, sport a toned body, and be attentive to our families while staking our claim in the marketplace…and the list goes on and on.
Keeping things balanced can feel like an uphill climb for busy moms.
When I hear the word “balance” it makes me think of my one and only gymnastics meet, where I fell off the beam multiples times. I tried to perform perfectly—with flawless poise—but toppled under the pressure. The same can happen to us, if we approach balance as something we need to perfect.
It’s impossible to give equal attention to everything on my plate, but I can ask God to help me see who, and what, needs my attention at present. When I think of all there is to do, it is overwhelming, but when I focus on what’s next, it feels more doable. When we receive God’s grace and extend it to others (remembering we are humans not machines) we learn to work from a place of peace instead of striving, knowing that it’s not all up to us to keep the world in tact. We can’t do it all, but we can do the next thing well. I want to faithfully steward that which God has entrusted to me. But I need His strength and help to do that—to be faithful with what, and who, is mine to care for.
It can be overwhelming to think of balancing all the plates that we juggle as busy moms. But when we ask God to help us steward well, taking one moment at a time—we’ll feel less intimidated by this notion of balance.
As a modern-Martha who has five children (ages 2-14) here are a few secrets that help our family find a sense of calm in the middle of busy schedules.
1.Set limits on the amount of activities your child is involved in.
We try not to have each child do more than one extra-curricular activity during a season. We want them to try new things but not wear themselves out either. Just because our culture over-commits kids on a regular basis, doesn’t mean you have to freely adopt that model. Your family may have a higher (or lower) capacity for busyness than ours does, so ask yourself, “What is realistic, based on the needs of our family as a whole? “
2. Protect down-time.
Just as God modeled a day of rest for us, we are designed to need sleep and down- time in order to recharge and prepare for what is next.Our family tries to protect one day each week (usually Sundays) where we don’t do much but go to church, nap, hang out, read books, and play outside. This down-time helps us recharge for the rest of the week. Full disclosure, our kids sometimes complain about this down-time, but we are committed to teach them the importance of recuperation and setting boundaries, even amidst busyness. We believe it will serve them well, both now and in the future.
3. Utilize the power of delegation.
Our family is a team, we each try to do our part to keep things running. When one member is really busy, we try to lighten that person’s load so they are freed to focus on what they need to get done. When we learn to ask for help, and are realistic with our time, energy, and ability, we demonstrate maturity. Delegation is not weak, it is wise. If your kids think you are a superhero, who never sets limits, has downtime, or asks for assistance, an unrealistic picture is painted of what it means to be a healthy human. But, there is good news! Even when we blow it, or fall off the balance beam, God’s grace and love are readily available to pick us back up.
2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Of these three tips (setting limits, protecting down-time, and delegating), ask God to show you which one would be helpful to do more of, in your family. Then implement that calming secret as you steward your family, and your schedule, with less stress and more peace.
Katie M. Reid is a wife and mom to five loud and wonderful children (ages 2-14). Katie is a national speaker and the author of, Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done . She has been published articles with: Focus on the Family,MOPS, TODAY’s Parenting Blog, For Every Mom, and many other sites. Katie and her husband, Adam, host a weekly live show for couples called, “ Stop! Hammock Time .” Subscribe to Katie's blog to receive on-going encouragement: katiemreid.com and purchase Made Like Martha here.