You are balancing a lot, and the pressure to get it all done can feel insurmountable. It may seem that all the other mamas out there are getting it all done and still managing to look put together. I can’t speak for everyone else, but looks can be deceiving. I’ve said it before, but the to do list is never quite done and something has to give. Over time I have learned that there are two important things that help me get through it all and maintain my sanity.
The first thing I need more than anything is waking up before my family. As much as I’d love to sleep in or stay in bed reading, it’s not what helps me get my day going smoothly. Ideally I should wake up 30 to 60 minutes before my family, and most days it’s unfortunately closer to 30. Having that time to myself to get ready without my daughter pulling on me or “helping” me get ready is almost magical. It’s a great feeling to be ready for the day before my husband or daughter begin to stir. Any curves that may come my way are now much easier to dodge.
Next and most important thing I need is grace. Grace that I give myself and above all the grace of God. Each and every day I can be so hard on myself, but I remind myself that I’m loved and forgiven. This reminder is easier to find when I take time to read scripture and pray to start my day. It’s really easy to not make time for God, but when I do my day goes SO MUCH SMOOTHER. Lately, I even spend this quiet time win God before doing my make-up. I know that sounds crazy, but that time has become crucial for me.
What makes your day go by smoother may be different, but these two things have been game changers for me. You might not be able to do it all, but take time to figure out what will sustain you through what you can get done. I hope that no matter what you do give yourself grace.
A mama paddling along next to you
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I know that at this time of year, everyone has set or is scrambling to set their New Year’s resolutions. I also know that many have shared that they’re not one to set resolutions. Others have said that they don’t set resolutions, but say that they set intentions. I definitely think that last group is really doing the same as the first and just trying to call it something different. I am definitely one that would fall in the second group, because as I shared last week I just disappoint myself by not following through on them. At the end of 2014 learned about setting inspirational passwords, and I feel that has been more powerful than resolutions I could set.
These inspirational passwords are meant to be a word or phrase to help keep you focused on what’s most important or needed in your life. It’s critical that these passwords be used on accounts you will use all the time, such as at work or your phone. In 2015 I had two words that remained the most important for me, and they were grace and peace. Each of these words applied to a different aspect of my life, but were what I really needed to make it through the year.
I am someone who can be REALLY hard on themselves about almost everything. I can find something to criticize myself about in all aspects of my life. Nothing is off limits from my own self-judgement…my parenting, being a spouse, home maintenance, volunteer work, and my job. Looking at that list it doesn’t leave much room for grace, which I knew I so desperately needed to give myself.
Honest confession here, I can get very irritated with what I perceive to be a lack of effort by others or not doing what they should be doing. I may not be perfect at what I do, but I try to give it my best. I get widely frustrated with others not trying to do the same. People are not necessarily going to change because I think they should, but I can change my response. Rather than perpetuate this way of thinking, I knew I had to change the way I thought about people. To do this I needed to find peace in that moment of irritation and give them grace.
Being honest about my struggle last year is not an easy thing for this self-critical gal. But I can say that these inspirational passwords helped. This may seem a little woo-woo to some, and great to other. All I know is that they helped me, and I hope that they help you. I can say that grace was a great thing to give myself all year, and I will continue to give myself more grace this year. I won’t share my word(s) for 2016 now for obvious security reasons, but look forward to sharing with you later how it goes.