Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Goals and Routines: What Works for Flo

Flo shares a practical way that she balances all her mom tasks.

What I Can Do Well

If you are a mom with all young children, you know how overwhelming all the responsibilities resting on you can feel.
Chief cook and pastry chef
Nurse, pharmacist, and medical adviser
Flowerbed and garden planter, water and fertilizer supervisor
Birthday rememberer (my friends, and all the children’s friends)
Executive housekeeping officer
Mail and bookkeeping master
The above items list only physical obligations, not even touching the abstract responsibilities that come with the role of wife and mom: teacher, nurturer, friend, neighbor, and more. How can I meet the demands required for this life I’m blessed to live?

I run from defrosting the freezer—frost up to here!—to creating a bank deposit to emptying my son’s too-full clothes drawer, berating myself for not taking the outgrown clothes to the attic two months ago. Taking clothes to the attic makes me cross, because I see all the coats, clothes, and camping gear swirled together. Should I tackle the mess in the attic for a few minutes since I’m up here anyway? Or ignore the wreck and continue deep cleaning the boys’ room?

I hate working as hard as possible and still feeling perpetually behind. Attempting varied tasks in as many directions leaves me feeling scattered and exhausted, not to mention inefficient and unproductive.

I’m not a good mom when I feel too busy to enjoy the children. And this is the life I dreamed of: taking care of little people and raising them with the man I love. If I don’t enjoy the moment now, when will I? Certainly not when the children are grown and gone, no longer requesting to be read The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

And then I found this advice, words that gave me permission to say no to necessary work without guilt: Of all the work you are responsible for, do well at one thing today

One thing? One feels far easier than everything. One allows me to say no to many things and focus on what is most important today. This is how I have narrowed my everyday household responsibilities to 4 items:
  1. Cooking and baking
  2. General cleaning and laundry
  3. Deep cleaning and organizing
  4. Office work—anything at my desk
I can choose to work on one thing and not stress about the myriad other tasks waiting. When I return books to the bookshelves in the office and see the mail on my desk needing to be processed, I don’t need to drop everything and clean off my desk. Deskwork waits for Tuesday, which I try keep free of errands and appointments so I can give my full attention to mail and writing projects and books.

Deep cleaning is not assigned to a particular day of the week, but tackled on a specific day of my choice. When I am deep cleaning the living room, supper will likely be a simple chicken and rice casserole; it’s not the day for a four-course meal. Laundry and cleaning are most likely to get done Monday and Friday. Saturday I like to prepare food for Sunday, choosing kitchen work above any other responsibilities.

Two things I chose not to put on my responsibilities list are “wife” and “mom.” Regardless of what other responsibilities I fill, I want to give my husband and children priority every day—it’s the ultimate accomplishment if I may do it well.  
-Florence Fox - Michigan

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for sharing this encouraging post...just what I needed for this busy stage of life.


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