This is the first part to a six part series entitled “The 6 Keys to a Disorganized, Unproductive Day at Home.”
Photo by Ashley Goodwin
It’s said so often it’s almost cliché – if mama’s not doing well, the whole family won’t do well. We all know it’s important to do those little things to take care of ourselves, but when push comes to shove, how many of us really, truly make caring for ourselves a priority?
Neglecting yourself is the sixth key to being disorganized and unproductive because it’s so easy for us to blame outside circumstances on a chaotic home, when really, it’s us – the home managers – who are causing the conflict.
Sometimes it’s directly our influence, and sometimes it’s indirect – either way, our overall well-being affects our family and home a lot more than we realize.
We’re not physically up to par.
This is an obvious reason. When our bodies are depleted, we’re not running on all cylinders, and we suffer for it. I’m sure every one of us has experienced a day where we are so tired, it’s all we can do to keep our eyes open, yet we have ten things to do and five errands to run and guests are coming for dinner that night. No fun.
Neglecting Ourselves Physically – the Inside
Here are some common ways we put our bodies on the back burner:
• Not getting enough sleep
• Not drinking enough water
• Not exercising
• Eating too much sugar
• Eating too quickly
• Consuming too many calories
• Consuming too few calories
• Not getting enough fresh air (such as going outside)
Application Time: Pick one of these today, and solve the problem it presents. As for me, I plan to be in bed by 10 p.m. tonight. Oh, and of course, I’ll be exercising a smidge today.
Neglecting Ourselves Physically – the Outside
How are you doing with grooming yourself each day? I find myself much more productive if I’ve taken a shower, changed out of my jammies, at least somewhat done my hair and makeup, and performed those basic hygenic tasks that make me a civilized member of society.
Application Time: Even if the only people that will most likely see you are the under 5 crowd, getting fully ready for the day will energize you and help you stay productive. I dare you – dress like you’re going in to a casual workplace today. Then test your energy level.
Other side benefits to getting fully dressed for the day:
• No worries if an unexpected guest pops by or calls, saying they’re “in the neighborhood.”
• You can pick up and head out the door whenever it’s needed.
• Your husband gets a somewhat presentable wife when he gets home.
Our need for relationships goes unmet.
Are you getting adult time? I know there’s some “controversy” over whether getting time outside the house is really taking care of yourself, or whether it’s selfish. Yes, it can become selfish, and yes, there’s a fine line between getting out for some quiet and escaping responsibility. My guess is, though, that most moms with great intentions don’t struggle with getting out too much. I could be wrong.
Are you and your spouse going on dates? You should. If not, you’ll get discouraged pretty quickly about staying home with the kids and managing the home.
Do you have a relationship with at least one other woman, hopefully a fellow mom? Consider having coffee dates right at your dining room table. It helps to hear in a face-to-face conversation that you’re not alone.
If you’re a Christian, and therefore have a relationship with Jesus, then you need to spend time with him. Are you? He said that he is the vine and you are the branch; that you will not be fruitful unless you abide in him. Make this a priority. Let go of the cultural shackles that tells you this has to be a certain amount of time for it to be worth it. Five minutes hearing his voice is more than no time at all. And don’t forget – if you tune in appropriately, you can hear him while you do the dishes.
Application Time: Select one of these relationships – hopefully the one most on your back burner – and make a specific plan to spend time together. As in, pick up that phone, call your girlfriend, and put something on the calendar.
How else do you neglect yourself? Are you aching for some time to create, to recharge your batteries by sewing or gardening or painting or writing? Try and work that in this week.
Indeed, when Mom doesn’t take care of herself, the home and family aren’t up to par, either. And the irony is, many times we’re not taking care of ourselves because we’re trying to care of the home and family.
Think of the example you’re setting for your children when you meet your basic needs. Think of the light in your husband’s eyes if his wife feels better about herself. And think of accomplishing your daily routine when your cups are already filled.
When you do this, you’ve got what you need to pour yourself out and serve your family. A full cup is a great antidote to an disorganized, unproductive day.
Which of these areas resonated with you the most? Did an idea spark in your mind about how to take care of yourself just a bit better today? Write it out and put it somewhere prominently. And please share in the comments!