Monday, August 4, 2008

Juggling

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.

12 comments:

Sarah said...

I really love your outlook on life. I'm always smiling after I visit your blog. :)

Keri said...

Thanks for this post. Since Caleb has been off his meds and we all get to sleep through the night for the last 3 months, I sleep until he does in the morning. I have just been considering maybe it would be a good idea for me to get up before him for all of the reasons you mentioned. The problem I have is, he sleeps until 7 or 8. I don't mind getting up at 7, but I hate to think of getting up as early as 6 - I'm not a morning person either. Anyway, will keep thinking about this - but glad to hear it works well for you!

Lisa said...

I love that you are getting up to spend time with God. Our pastor in Florida always encouraged us to do this and I could never pull myself out of bed. But to actually have a few minutes to be still and think before the day starts would be wonderful! I might just give this a try.

The Rose Fam said...

Ouch Sara!!! You are so precious and your outlook is sooo right! This summer I am all OFF my schedule and I don't like being out of my routine! This is something I have been so convicted about lately! I feel the Lord is speaking right through you to me! I am NOT a morning person. I hate getting up early, but I WANT to be an earlybird! I know that days are much better when you have started them out right! Once again...you have motivated me! Thanks! I'm off to set my alarm clock!

ByHISgoodGRACE said...

Oh my gosh Sara, this is exactly what is happening in my life--I recently made the decision to start getting up before the kids as well! I hope I can stick to the commitment.
Thanks for sharing--it's so funny what you said about staying in bed til the last moment and trying to get a baby to fall back asleep with you! I could have written that.

ko said...

WOw! This has been one of my many struggles....I used to get up early and do my prayer devotion time..I have slacked and I am showing it! Thanks so much for being truthful and honest! God spoke to me through you today and I have been blessed.

kyley

Lacy said...

Hey Sara- I am friends with Rose Family and I am with her! Off schedule. I have been very bad this summer and thrive off of a scedule more than I thought. I have been up early some, but for me I need more. I like to run, then quiet time, shower, then kids up for school...then all out the door at 7:30. That will resume in 3 weeks. I am going to start tomorrow though. You have just confirmed what I know my heart is telling me.

sweetlittlelife said...

I just came across your blog tonight after hopping from blog to blog and I have spent the evening looking at your previous posts! I have had so much fun reading and seeing all of your creative ideas! I will be a regular visitor from now on!

gypsy@Hebrews11:13 said...

Great post! I'm with you on the set quiet times and bedtimes. I can't function well unless I have 8 hours of sleep, either. I try to get up at least 30 minutes before the boys, so usually around 5:30 or 6. SOMEDAY I will be able to sleep until 7am I hope. Or maybe I'm just fooling myself:) My prayer time with God in the mornings is the BEST way to start my day- if for some reason I miss it, I'm grumpy. You are such a great mom and inspiration!

Pam said...

I completely agree with you. If I don't get up early, and shower, dress to my shoes, put on makeup, and read my Bible, the day is pretty much shot. Everything takes 10 times longer to do when the kids are up, if it is even possible. I find it takes an unbelievable amount of discipline to go to bed early so that I can get up early. After the kids to to bed, I just want to sit and recover.

Jen said...

I also have decided to do this. I used to do it when I went to away to work. So why not now. It definately helps me to have a better day and go easy on the kids! I totally agree with you.

Gretchen said...

Sar,

Congrats, girl! I can't tell you how much better my life is when I get up at the scheduled time I'd like. Over the summer I got off my 5am club big time, but now I am disciplining myself back on it. Thanks for all the good feedback on how much better it is once you have kids, because it helps me now to think that I might be training myself for someday when I might have kiddos of my own. I REALLY like to have at least 2-3 hours every morning before I need to be anywhere (work, church). That only leaves some Saturdays free for a bit of a lie-in (7-8). Mornings are so much more productive than late nights when I tend to squander my precious time!

As for what time you have your kids get up, that is great advice you're giving. So many parents do a disservice to their children and make their own lives miserable by not trying to regulate a schedule. Big kudos for you, chick! I have a friend with 5 boys, and she has them stay in bed until 8 each morning. They can listen to a book on tape (CD player right by the bed) or quietly play in bed if they wake up before then. Brilliant! She gets up at 5:30 and thus has 2 and half hours pre-boys to be alone with her husband, God, and get things done around the house. I am so thankful for examples like you and her who give me hope that you can be intentional with your time and effort and truly enjoy yourself in this stage of life! It's not all complaining. THANKS, sister!