Friday, July 11, 2008

Where to Start

I'm struggling so hard right now to be the wife and mother that God intended me
to be but I feel like a total failure. My world is so out of control that the
idea of getting back on track overwhelms me. I don't know where to start.

This is part of a comment I received on my post about being a fulfilled homemaker. The comment's author struggles with being both a working mother and still trying to find time to make her home a place of beauty and refuge for her family.

I think we all struggle with that time issue. Whether you work outside the home or not, we all feel the pressure of too little time and too much to do. Of course, it's much more prounounced when you have a job outside the home.

So today I want to offer just a little bit of advice that I found helpful. This comes from Linda Dillow's book, Creative Counterpart. I did a study on this book several years ago with a group of women from my church back in Miami and really got a lot out of it.

The most helpful tip I found in the book is to make a list of your priorities and then set a goal for each week for each priority. For instance, maybe your priorities look like this:

  • God
  • Husband
  • Children
  • Job
  • Home
  • Self
  • Church
  • Friends

It doesn't even matter the order at this point - just jot down the things which are important to you and place demands on your time and which you want to work on. Then you would set a mini-goal for the week for each catagory like this:

  • God - Finish reading the book of James
  • Husband - plan a nice date
  • Children - have a movie and popcorn night
  • Job - finish the Johnson project
  • Home - paint Suzie's room
  • Self - give myself a manicure
  • Church - volunteer in the nursery
  • Friends - catch up on my email backlog

Then take a weekly calendar and sit down and figure out when you can squeeze these things in. Write them on your calendar. I suggest doing this every week. Soon enough you will begin to see the fruits of your labor. Since you have broken your goals into things that you can accomplish in a week, it doesn't seem overwhelming.

I think too often we as women see the big picture...and get intimidated by it. Our homes become one big mass of clutter, our relationships tend to fall by the wayside, we don't take care of ourselves. It seems as though there is just too much to do, so we don't do anything because we don't know where to start.

If we break things down into manageble goals, it becomes easier, we find a sense of accomplishment and we get back on track to being the wife, mother, homemaker and woman that we want to be.

* * * * * * * *

(I've been thinking of doing an online study of the book Creative Counterpart. Would anyone be interested in doing it with me? We could do a chapter a week. Let me know.)


Karen said...

I totally agree that we get lost in the big picture. (and then we give up!) I'd love to read through creative counterpoint with you. Let me know more details!


ValleyGirl said...

Sounds like great advice and yet another book I'll be adding to my ever-expanding Amazon wish list!!!

I'm participating in a 12-week online Bible study that just started this week, so until that's over, I won't be joining another one, but I would definitely read each post!! I always enjoy your posts about homemaking.

Mary said...

So...I probably shouldn't be posting comments when I'm having a pity party for myself. Lori, I certainly didn't mean to insinuate that you were putting down working moms. Putting myself down because I'm not home taking care of my house and family is something I do quite well all on my own.

You hit the nail on the head when you said that women often get trapped in looking at the big picture, finding themselves overwhelmed and not even knowing where to start. That's exactly where I am. There is so much that needs to be done and I'm doing well to get the bare minimum done each week.

Thank you for the hints on prioritizing your goals. I've read through several books and have never seen it put that way. I would LOVE to do the study of Creative Counterpart. Just let me know when you plan to start.

Thanks for taking the time to help a stressed out mom!

Leeann said...

I like the idea of making a list like that. It seems very manageable. I may give it a try!


Hadias said...

I was stopping by to see if you were interested in joining an on-line book club but low and behold, you are in the process of possibly starting a reading/study group.

Anyhow, the invitation to read is still open. The book are free and accessible on-line. Please stop by my blog if you'd like to join.

This was a great topic. I know how much of a struggle it can be to yearn to be at home. The step to coming home starts with a yearning. With prayer and planning it can be accomplished.


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