Housekeeper, wife, daughter, friend, mom, teacher, artist, cook, child of God, sister, decorator, laundress....how to juggle all of this?!?
I have been praying and seeking the Lord on this subject and have come to a few conclusions.
#1 The best thing I can possibly do is to get up one hour earlier than the children to have a time of prayer and Bible reading (and then shower and get ready). I know this does not work for everyone because your kids get up too early, or for other reasons. But this has changed my life in a HUGE way. I am NOT a morning person. I literally have to drag myself from bed and cannot open my eyes still for a few minutes after that. A blessing that I have is Dave. He gets up around the same time and he teases me awake or prods me out of bed.
The discomfort lasts about 5 or 10 minutes THEN I am happy. Happy that I have this GIFT of time!!! I sit at the kitchen table, look out at the world and marvel at our Great and Loving and Merciful God! I think about all the many things I have to pray about and things that I have to thank Him for and I wish at that point that I had gotten up even earlier! This time with God is usually 30-45 minutes. And I confess that probably a third of that time is spent staring out the window and not getting much done....but it is still worth every second.
Then the luxury of getting into the shower, knowing that the kids are safe in their beds. To face the children and the day with clean hair, clean clothes, and the make-up on is priceless.
I have to say that I am blessed to have a toddler who is on a good schedule. We are pretty firm about bed times and nap times and with all three kids this has resulted in knowing how to plan and schedule our day. Our 2 1/2 year old gets up at 7:30, naps from 1-3, and goes in bed between 7:30 and 8:00. If we are at church late, or stay out late, she does OK and will just take a little longer nap the day after.
We had a struggle for a bit with our now almost 7 year old, until we put the digital clock in his room and taught him to understand and read 7:30 (I think we started this when he was 3 or almost 4). Otherwise he would be up, noisy and chaotic at 6am every single morning. And I would live at the funny farm.
I remember the earlier years when the boys were little and I would try to sleep until the last possible moment. It was awful! I would literally get MAD at them when they woke up because I WANTED MORE SLEEP!!!!! I wish someone would have told me to go to bed at a decent hour (which for me is 10:30, I function very well on 8 hrs of sleep), and get up before the boys (put a gate on their door if necessary so they could learn to play in there until mommy was ready.
I remember the days of putting a baby in bed with me and trying to persuade him to go back to sleep so mommy could rest just a little more! (it didn't work)
Anyway, all I can say is thanks to the Lord for this decision to get up early. Being a stay at home mom is a real job, and now that I see it that way, it makes sense that I get up and prepare and be ready for the kids. It is not fair to them to have a dirty, disheveled mom who snaps at them and is not ready for them (I am convicted by what I wrote, because I do snap at them a lot for other things....)
Anyway, this is just my personal outlook on the whole matter- I know of some families who stay up later, sleep later, take showers at different times, read their Bible later on in the day and this is a great plan for them. But for me I have found what works for us. I have found the way to start my day. My energy level is better too, but that is also due to the treadmill after lunch when the kids have nap and/or quiet time.
This post got a little long- so I will finish my thoughts on the juggling later. What are your thoughts on times to get up, how to start your day, or juggling the many duties and jobs? I would love to hear what you do.