I received a message from a dear and wise sister in Christ seeking counsel (from several women) on balancing life after you have more than one child. I deliberated for way too long and finally wrote this morning. I decided to repost some of my motherly musings here as well.
These are a few of the practical things that have helped me in life with multiple children. They are numbered, but that doesn’t necessarily indicate their significance … just the order in which they came out of my head.
1) CHANGE IN ROUTINE AND HOUSEKEEPING
Start wrapping your mind around a smaller routine and possibly a less clean house. This sounds a little harsh, but the load and time needed for each task increases exponentially with each child. Getting anything done (including getting dressed!) is a MAJOR accomplishment and should be celebrated as such.
2) MENU PLAN
If you don’t menu plan, consider trying it. Eliminating the “What’s for dinner?” stress is big, especially if you have a little, little one (late afternoon/evening is often a really crabby time of day).
Crockpot. ‘nuf said. I don’t know how people feel about soups/stews, etc, but I find myself using my crockpot a lo-hot these days. I fix it while Chase takes his morning nap and Aidan and Darcy either play or watch a DVD. That way, no matter what turn my day takes, there’s a real dinner.
Seek accountability regarding time in the Word. It seems crazy to even consider a Bible study or an accountability group at this point in life, but I can’t think of a time when I’ve needed the Lord more than I do right now — and needed the knowledge that other women are waiting to hear what the Lord is teaching me from the Word. [wonderful, amazing idea: check out the Good Morning Girls concept here! ]
5) MOMMY FELLOWSHIP
Find other moms. Whether through your church or in your neighborhood, avail yourself of fellowship times and play dates. I don’t know about you, but it is always such an encouragement for me to talk with other moms and realize that what I’m going through is what we all go through. It’s also a great and practical way to pick up advice and parenting tips.
6) MOMMY TIME
If your husband’s work schedule allows, plan for “Mommy Time”. This can be as often as once a week, or as little as once a month — just get away! Have your hubby watch the kids, and even if it’s only 60 minutes in-between a baby’s feedings, do some grocery shopping, grab your Bible study and head to the local Starbuck’s, even take a walk or run!
7) BEWARE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES & BLOGS
Say what? You’re posting a blog in which you tell people to ignore/beware Facebook and blogs?! Yep! Facebook and the like can be a great networking tool, but I feel that, all too often, I’m found wanting when I read what other people are doing. There are a few truly blessed super women that I know, but speaking from personal experience, it’s really easy to post the great recipes or exciting things I’m doing with my kids … what people CAN’T see (thank you, Jesus!) is that it’s 10:00AM and I’m still in my old sweatpants, oh, and I think my carpet is growing things because it hasn’t been cleaned in … I forget how long… These venues of communication can too often easily encourage the good, but not always the REAL. …well, or rather, the real, but not always the whole picture.
Beyond the practical points —
Entrust your days and even moments to the Lord. What you’re doing as a mom is the most noble thing. Never lose sight of the daily opportunity we’re given to point our children to the cross. If you tell your kids about Jesus and His love, if you discipline them wisely and train them with every ounce you’ve got, well then, it matters not one bit if you’re still in PJs at the end of the day and eating PBJ sandwiches for dinner.
Signed, Another Mom In the Trenches
** I’d love to hear from other moms! What are practical and biblical things that keep you going as you parent??**