I'm Ba-aack! A Word on Time Management {Or How I Cope without It}

Where has the last two weeks gone?!

I had a carefully mapped out schedule of posts I was excited about writing for this month that obviously has not yet happened. So where has the last two weeks gone?

My sister had a baby. (Yay!) I suppose that's been the main distraction as we joined in their joy over the occasion and enjoyed the company of family. My husband got me a new phone and I've been distracted with some pretty sweet apps. I started the Home Cure. And, I've finally realized, I'm still coping with and adjusting to our recent move. (Four months ago can still be considered "recent," right?)

Someone asked how I find the time to "do it myself" (a comment on my post about why I DIY), and the answer probably goes something like, "I don't have the time." Which is obvious considering how distracted I've been the last couple weeks. But that question got me to thinking about time management and how my view of it has changed since I've become a mom. Well, more specifically, it's done the most evolving since I've become a mother of {TWO}.

Here's what came to mind about time management as a mom, or rather, how I cope without it:

Over the last three years, my views have changed on my priorities and what's truly most important. For instance, a clean house used to top my values list. Now, I accept a moderately clean house as long as the people in the house are well-cared for.

Of expectations. Of false beliefs. Of valuing what other people think. Of items on the "to do" list that really don't matter. I can't do and be all things for all people at all times. Letting go has been my biggest sanity saver... when I'm actually able to do it.

I find great satisfaction of making a list and checking off items as they're completed. This used to work for me, until the lists continued to grow as the checking of completed items slowed. A day could go by and I'd barely complete a single task on the list. So I had to start noticing the things that I was accomplishing, especially the things that don't make it to the list. You know, those reevaluated priorities. Or what we sometimes call "little things in life" like being present for our family that is actually a bigger deal than I hear anyone admit. I try to pay attention to what I am accomplishing for my family, rather than getting hung up on the less important things that I'm not accomplishing.

When I start a big DIY or cleaning/organizing project, only essentials of everyday living can interrupt (i.e., daily cleaning can wait until tomorrow). Is this a healthy way of getting something done? Maybe, maybe not. But this is one of the main reason's I am able to DIY. Otherwise I'd have uncompleted projects, get frustrated with the whole process and give up on it. Once it's started, I work on it until it's done. This might mean I have a project covering my desk for three days straight (like the butterfly mobile I'm working on for Brylee's room). I work on it in between getting the essentials done, and soon the project is complete and I return to the everyday.

Sometimes I'll get to the end of the day and feel anything but balanced. Especially if I've spent a better part of the day focusing on a DIY project. The house is a mess and it's my fault and Brylee watched "too much" TV or I didn't enjoy one-on-one time with Daniel after the kids were in bed. This is where my perspective of balance has changed tremendously. Rather than balance being something I accomplish everyday (working in the right amount of cleaning and play time and writing), balance is something I try to accomplish in life. If I spent too much time working on a single task today, tomorrow I get caught up with cleaning and spending more quality time with the family to make up for it.

When it comes to schedule and routine, I tend to be anything but flexible so this is probably the biggest area motherhood has evolved me. Kids thrive on routine, so we definitely try to stick to one in regards to naps, meals and bedtime. But I'm learning to roll with changes in routine and even letting go of the detailed routines I used to keep for myself.

No matter how alone I (we?) sometimes feel, we're not in this alone. We have a partner or friends or family, or all of the above at various times, that are able and willing to help with something. This means Daniel putting the kids to bed, friends watching the kids while Daniel and I go on a date, or family helping complete a larger project so it can get done more quickly. I am not so good at asking for help, but the times that I do, I reap tremendous rewards {completed projects, a breath of fresh air, feeling of community}.


I wish I had tried and true recommendations for having it all and doing it all with multiple kids in 24 hours. The truth is there is often an area of my life more or less "lacking" in various times of my life. But reevaluating what's truly important, letting go of the unnecessaries, acknowledging what I do for my family, focusing on one project at a time, balancing life instead of the day, being flexible and asking for help--these are all ways that I cope.