Over the next six weeks we'll have the opportunity to hear from some incredible moms around the blogosphere on techniques they use to help keep life "steady"--both for themselves and for their children.
I am thrilled and thankful for these busy women taking the time to share with us and know you're going to love hearing from them.
1. What is one important, practical step you take that helps you maintain a steady rhythm in your home and how does it make a difference to your days?
For me, simply giving some thought to what we're going to do the next day is a huge help. From what activities we'll do to what we'll eat, I find that if I have even a bit of an idea of what we're going to do it really helps start the day off right.
2. What is a personality weakness that motherhood has made more obvious to you and how have you tried to overcome that weakness for the sake of your children?
Oh this one is easy--there are two: patience and control.
Before kids I would have told you emphatically that patience was my middle name and that I most definitely was not a control freak. Now that I have kids ... oh dear. I still struggle with these after nearly three years of being a mom.
When the kids, innocently enough, test my patience I ask myself "While yes, I could do "whatever" more quickly, more efficiently and with far less mess, what would that be teaching my boys?" So when it takes one of my sons ten minutes to put on boots I try (really hard) to let it take ten minutes and remind myself that he's learning. After all this is what it's all about.
Control - After having kids I quickly learned that I was no longer in control and I was no longer able to get things done on my schedule. To be honest I'm still struggling with this one but I am getting better. :)
3. We all have those days--where all our good plans and intentions crumble around us, the children are miserable, and we are exhausted. On a really rough day, what techniques do you use to try and turn the mood around and redeem the day in your home?
This is tough and it's really difficult not to just give in and go down with your day. When this happens I have to stop and give myself a little pep-talk to get my head in a good space.
I think of things to do that will fill the day with activities we don't usually do. This way there is a lot more interest, things to explore and tolerance from my kids.
I know when the kids wake up clearly cranky taking them to the zoo is not my initial thought but if I picture what it will be like once we're there (the fresh air, sunshine, animals, discovery center, picnic lunch etc ...) it actually gets me motivated to get out of the house quicker.
4. With two children at home and two blogs to write for, how do you make time for yourself? And how can other busy moms find time for themselves when it appears that there is no free time?
This is the question I get asked most often and I really don't think I'm doing anything all that extraordinary. I'm just a regular girl trying my best to keep it together and keep things moving merrily along at home.
I try to structure my day around things I actually enjoy doing. When you do things that bring you a sense of fulfillment and joy you can't wait to get started. I don't watch TV and I have very few commitments outside of my home and immediate family. This actually leaves quite a bit of free time, relative to when I would plunk myself down in front of the TV and veg for hours on end.
My advice to other busy moms is to just stop, take a look at what you're doing and where your time is being spent. Give yourself permission to re-evaluate your priorities.
It's absolutely okay to stop doing something that once brought you joy but no longer does. People and circumstances change and it's easier to just go with the flow instead of fighting it.
**How would you answer question number one? What practical step do you take to keep a steady rhythm in your home?**
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Jamie is founder of this spot called Steady Mom, editor of the blog Simple Homeschool, mama to three cute kids born on three different continents, and author of Steady Days: A Journey Toward Intentional, Professional Motherhood.