For the last few months, I have, off and on, felt as if I was “floundering” through my days, particularly in my role as a mom. It’s not that our days were bad. But … in my head, I picture “floundering” as me standing in one place, with all 4 limbs flailing wildly, but not actually moving forward. Moving, but not purposefully, and often directionless. To be a bit clearer on it all, I was feeling consistently overwhelmed about what was not getting done around the house, I was not being fully present with people or the tasks needed to be done because I was thinking about other things that needed to be done, nor did I feel that I was being as intentional in my time with my kids or enjoying them as I desired to.
Am I the only one who has felt like that as a mom? Are you all thinking I am a fruitcake right about now?
Well, I just might be that. A floundering fruitcake. But – that’s where I am right now, but recognizing that is a big thing so I can think through how to get to a place where I am no longer floundering.
I took the kids up to see a dear friend and her 3 kids last week. This friend is one who knows a lot of my “back story” if you will and who is the kind of friend who I can share deeply about anything with. The time I spent with her was truly refreshing on so many levels. One thing I most loved about those days were getting to observe how she loves her husband and kids and lives daily life well, as well asking questions and batting around ideas about just how to do each of those things better (and I’m not talking “better” for merely the sake of being better in our own minds, but for the sake of really living in the manner that God calls us to and that brings recognition to Him).
One thing we talked about is scheduling our weeks. I love schedules and yet can hate them, but the truth is – I function better within the constraints of a schedule. It really is freeing to me. I can more fully be where I’m at because I know there is already allotted space for the things that need to get done to be done. I can accomplish more of the things I want to because I have been proactive rather than reactive during my days. I can think about the direction in which I want to help guide our family and plan things that help accomplish that direction throughout our weeks. Make sense?
As I have been thinking through starting to create weekly schedules, I first started thinking about all that I wanted to fit into it including certain activities with the kids, time for each of the things I want to personally accomplish during my days, things including making meals and household tasks that need to be done, and the like. However, I then felt like I was to take a step back. If I didn’t know know why I was doing each of those things, I knew I would soon get overwhelmed and want to throw the whole thing out because I still didn’t know what the schedule was accomplishing. Instead, I started thinking through and brainstorm the different values I wanted to characterize our days. After nailing down a list of the top ten-ish values, I would then look through the list of activities I had already brainstormed and get rid of any that were not in line with my list of values, and then go on with making my schedule. I would then know that each thing I was doing was in line with what I really felt we as a family were supposed to be moving towards.
Are you thinking that I am making this more complicated than it needs to be? Well, I would rather over-think about the kinds of values I want to help build in our days, in my kids, into our home in general, and in the relationships with those around me than under-think it. Wouldn’t you?
Here is the list of 11 values I have come up with that I want to characterize our days:
- learning Truth and walking in it
- being others-focused
Now that I have that list in hand, I will move ahead and make out this week’s schedule accordingly. Although I’m not sure that I need to share my actual schedule, I thought it would be interesting to break down a few of the above values in some of my upcoming blog posts and really flesh out what each of them could look like practical terms.
How about you? What values would you have on your list? How do you go about making sure you are creating purposeful and direction-filled days rather than floundering? Please share … I’d love to hear from and learn from you!