A Mom's Back to the _Grind_ Gude-1Are you totally frantic getting things ready for back to school and nervous about the chaos that is about to start in the new school year?  Yep, I’ve been there.  Those first couple of years the boys played football it was a little crazy and I remember feeling so out of control all the time.  We didn’t have any family time and I just didn’t like it.  I felt tense and felt like things were just off balance. I want to share a couple of things that have helped our family be less chaotic.

First of all, figure out YOUR priorities as a mom.  What do your priorities have to do with the chaos of your family?  Once you know your priorities as a mom, you are able to choose to do things that create less chaos.  For example, when my kids were young, I wanted to be the room mom.  I remember one year I was the room mom and I had to go to a meeting to learn how to make the craft for the Christmas party.  I realized right then I didn’t HAVE to be the room mom.  I was the room mom for my benefit, not my child’s.  I realized that if I was a helper at the party, it meant as much as if I was the “room mom” for my child.  There were other moms out there who REALLY wanted to be the room mom.  It was their “Oh, my gosh!  I really want to be the room mom”.  That was not how it felt to me or my priority list.  My priority was not to be a room mom, but to be present in my child’s life.  I could be the helper at the parties which made me “present” & use the rest of my time more wisely.

Secondly, create a list of things you would like to do with your time.   Star those things that are on your “really really really want to do” things and cross out the rest.  Pray over that list of starred items.  Choose what you can allow in your schedule without being that “crazy mom who screams at her kids all the time because she’s so busy”.  I did this last year.  I wrote out ALL the things I wanted to do then I picked a few things on my list that I wanted to do that Fall.  I wanted to be in a bible study, be active with my son’s football team, and host Moms in Prayer every other week.   After I started the bible study, I was asked to make cookies each week for my son’s football team.  That was going to take about 3 or more hours per week on top of feeding the players on Friday afternoon.    I was starting to feel that stressed feeling and getting uptight at all I had to do.  So, I decided to quit the bible study (gasp!).  I’m not a “quitter” but I felt like I needed to.  Instead, I used that time I would have been at bible study, cooking oatmeal cookies and praying over those cookies for the boys would enjoy them.  It was still spending time with God but it just looked a little different and more meaningful time than ever!

Lastly, find out the timing of your priorities.  Here’s an example:  I really want to play tennis.  This year, I decided to take drills but not to be in a tennis league.  Why?  Because I know it would take too much of my time.  I’ll join the league when either Will graduates from college or Jake graduates college.  Why?  Because my time is limited with them and I can always play tennis (in fact, I may need a new hobby when they are away at college.)

If you have a house that is less chaotic and more calm, then you are going to have a happier house.  And, truthfully, as Moms, we have control over the chaos in our house.  What we say “yes” to, dictates that chaos.

I have had to find out what kind of balance looks like in our house.  My life priorities are:  seeking God in everything I do, building a great marriage, being actively involved in my kids’ lives, running a household, being a present member of my extended family, and managing a successful business that changes lives. By knowing these priorities, my choices with my time are much clearer and our house is much less chaotic.  I am by no means perfect and am still working at finding the balance but I’m much closer than where I was before.