Discipline, schedules, and focus tend to drown in the all consuming waves of motherhood if we are not intentional and prioritize them.
So, how do we do it?
How can we live a disciplined lifestyle as a mom of young kids?
How can we ride the waves instead of drown in them?
This is a question I have wrestled with myself. I definitely have not mastered it, but here are just a few nuggets I have learned in the midst of my crazy but amazing life with my three little ones attached to me. When I do them, they work!
2. Evaluate your season. Obviously, you probably are not going to be able to meet the same number of goals and be fast and efficient reaching them when you just had a baby compared to when you did not have children. When setting expectations for yourself, think about how old your children are & how many children you have and even other major life events currently taking place.
3. With grace in one hand and your current season in the other, set goals. Set short term and long term goals. Write them down. After you have written them all down, scale them back if you have too many or they are not specific enough. For example, if you are trying to lose post-baby weight, do not write lose 30 pounds in 6 months as one your goals. Get specific. How are you planning to lose that weight? A better goal might be something like this: Wake up at 6 am 5 days/week to exercise on my elliptical machine or run in the neighborhood.
4. Live with Intention & Make a realistic schedule. Yes, I know I said it. You might be saying, a schedule! How can I do that with small kids? I know, I know. Remember your friend Grace in your left hand? Your schedule might be a bit fluid but still very necessary if you expect to be disciplined and get anything done. I have a schedule for myself that is divided up into 30 minutes time slots. I have found that my schedule actually gives me freedom and helps me not feel overwhelmed. It allows me to see that there is time for everything and to focus on one thing at a time rather than everything at once.
For example, my kids and I do chores every Mon and Friday from 3:30-4:30pm. I know this is when we will do them, so I do not have to worry about vacuuming, folding laundry, or cleaning the toilets until those times. I have time allotted for me to work on my at home business, home school my kids, work on writing projects, exercise, spend time with Jesus, & invest in my marriage & kids. I would never make it without my scheudle, and I adjust it to my current season.
5. Seize the Morning. Ditch the late night. It is a proven fact that people are more successful and disciplined in the morning. Your mind and body are not so tired and burnt out. At the end of a long day with my kids, sometimes I just want to lay on the couch and veg. There isn’t anything wrong with that necessarily, but it comes at a cost for me if I do it often. If I stay up late, I will be tired in the morning when my kids are ready to learn. I am what my kids call a “grouchy pants.” I also don’t keep my schedule or meet my goals, because I just run out of time.
On the other hand, if I ditch the night time veg, go to bed on time (for me is 9:30 pm) and wake up early (for me is 5:15 ish), I can exercise, spend time with Jesus, shower, get dressed, and be ready for my kids with a smile on my face. I am awake the same number of hours every day, but I am able to use my mornings more efficiently than I can the extra hours at night. Again, Grace is in one hand and your current season is in the other. (By the way, I give myself a little more freedom on the weekends to stay up a little later.)
6. Give yourself exciting reasons to wake up in the morning. Yes, you love your kids and husband, but again I am just being honest. Some days, I feel like I am stuck in the movie, Ground Hog Day. It is the same thing every day. I have to have things that are exciting that cause me to use my brain, challenge me, and make me smile. Find a hobby, read a good book, or even start an at-home business. Give yourself something to look forward to for you. It just helps break up the mundane & better able you to give yourself to your family when you prioritize “you time.”
Again, I have certainly not mastered any of the above, but I am actively working on them daily. There are a lot of things I have to fit in my days, and if I do not live the hours intentionally, I fail miserably. I will rarely meet my goals and discipline drags behind me like a worn out little boy.
What are ways that you can be more disciplined in your life?
Do you have goals you want to meet, but you feel like you do not have any time to get to them?
I seriously know the struggle. If I can do it, you can do it too. Live life BIG with intention.
Have a blessed day,
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