"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Monday, October 12, 2015

Get your crap together

So much is said about how moms need to take time for themselves, do things they love, and just make sure they're taking periods of rest amidst all of the craziness of life with small children. And oh yeah, make sure you go on dates with your hubby and keep the romance alive.

I always understood why we needed to do that - to prevent burnout - and that it's important to have a life outside of all your motherly duties - since one day your kids won't be living in your house anymore. But how, I wondered, HOW IN THE WORLD do we make the time to do all of those things??

Well. I am now at the point where I'm actually reading more, getting back to crocheting again, baking from scratch more, AND I feel like Logan and I spend plenty of quality time together. And it's not because I'm less busy....far from it. I'm currently teaching CCD once a week, in charge of a major silent auction, in a volunteer committee at church, helping plan a baby shower, and part of a playgroup (and kind of halfway in charge of it)....while taking care of 2 small boys, one of which has finally started walking and is into all.the.things. So what's the difference, you ask?

Pardon my french, but....I actually have my crap together for once.

Yes, I still have days where all hell breaks loose and I feel like I'm gasping for air by the time 6pm rolls around. And yes, there are some days where dishes stay in my sink all day or I don't actually put away all of the clean and folded laundry. Tis' life, sometimes.

But for the most part, I feel generally on top of things and not as overwhelmed as I used to feel. I started seeing a glimpse of that once I started decluttering like crazy, finding a place for everything, and just getting rid of everything that was more stressful than serving a purpose.

I should also say that making prayer a priority is a huuuuuge factor as well. Somehow, if I make time to pray, God helps me to do whatever else I need to do that day. Because He loves us like that.

It's good to make goals and want to do all.the.things....but you also have to set yourself up for success. I can say all I want that I want to write a book and open an Etsy shop, but if I can't even stay on top of housework and my other obligations, there's no way I'll ever achieve those goals. Ya feel me?
Gratuitous pic of a walking boy who needs a haircut
So, what do I suggest? Where do you start? How do you get your crap (ahem) together? (This is what worked for me. Take what you will and leave the rest, mmkay? I'm not an expert. We're all in this together.)

  1.  Pray pray pray. Don't make excuses. Just do it!
  2. Declutter. Get rid of crap! You don't need it! This may take weeks - or months.
  3. Once you think you've decluttered enough, you'll notice even more that you could purge. Get to the point where you can keep things tidy without much work. Again...it might take weeks. We have a lot of crap.
  4. Focus on one habit at a time - start with the one that makes you feel great about life. For me, it was an empty sink. So I stayed on top of the dishes. Took weeks for me to grasp it, but it's finally stuck!
  5. Start taking some time to do something you love. I chose to read. Once those dishes are done and the kids are sleeping/occupied, take a few minutes to sit and indulge in a book. 5 minutes is all it takes.
  6. Add another habit to maintain (while keeping on top of the first one). The next one for me was laundry - one load a day, all cleaned, folded, and put away. Don't start another load unless the first one is done. Trust me on this.
  7. Add another "hobby" to your "me" time. I started crocheting again. Making pretty things makes me happy.
  8. repeat 6 and 7

I suppose it all really started at the very beginning of 2015 when I realized I needed to change my attitude about prayer. And then the decluttering commenced. Now, as we're in the last quarter of the year, I'm finally feeling like I get it. It's possible to be on top of things, even with small children. It doesn't happen overnight, that's for sure. But God blesses our efforts! Praise Him for that.

Of course there are seasons in life that we need to give ourselves even more grace than usual - pregnancy, newborn phase, or illness - and I have yet to put this all into practice during one of those seasons. BUT I really think that if we stick to the basics, we will be just fine. Let's hope so, anyway. ;)

"God provides for all the temporal needs of His creatures without even waiting until they ask Him for them, and He grants spiritual gifts to those who desire them." - Saint Thomas Aquinas

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