9 Ways Busy Moms Can Find Time for Quiet in Their Day

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.06.19 PM

So, awhile back, I wrote a post on Why Moms Need a Time Out. Some of you loved the post, but others of you said something like, “I want to love this post, but I just don’t think it’s possible for me to find quiet in my day.”

And I want you moms to know this: I hear you. The last thing I wanted to do with that post was to burden or discourage you. Instead, I’d hoped to inspire you to make filling up yourself more of a priority so that you could be more energized to pour into your families.

Because here’s the thing: if we just give and give and give and give and we never take time to replenish our supply, we’re going to end up completely drained and exhausted.

One of my favorite times of each day is in the quiet morning hour before the house is awake. I spend time in God’s Word, I write in my Blessings Journal, and I often read a chapter or two from the current devotional/spiritually encouraging book I’m reading. This is my fuel and foundation for the day.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.05.08 PM

However, one of the reasons I’m able to get up before my family wakes up is because I’m not waking up multiple times in the night with babies and toddlers. I’m in a season of life where my three kids still go to bed fairly early and they (for the most part) sleep through the night.

A few years ago when I only had babies and toddlers, I was pretty much always behind on sleep and it wasn’t wise or healthy for me to wake up an hour before everyone else got up — because I needed every minute of sleep I could get.

So I get it that there are seasons of life when quiet is hard to come by and sleep is a premium. And I wanted to write a post for moms who are in this kind of season to give you some practical ideas and suggestions on how you can find time to refuel your soul — even when life is very, very full.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.06.01 PM

1. Make it a Priority.

It has well been said, “If something’s important to you, you’ll make it happen. If it’s not, you’ll make an excuse.”

We moms are really good and taking care of everyone else long before we’d ever consider investing in ourselves. I wholeheartedly believe that motherhood is supposed to be a selfless act, but not to the point of breakdown and burnout.

The first step in actually finding time to have quiet in your day is to understand why it’s a priority and how it can make a difference for you and your family. Once you get this, then you can guilt-lessly commit to finding a way to make it happen — even if it’s just five minutes every other day.

2. Keep it Simple

This is important to understand. Making time for quiet doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to find an hour-ling block of time in your day. If you wait for an open hour block, you’ll probably be waiting a very long time.

Instead, find ways to just soak up the little bits of quiet you have in the season you’re in. Pray while you’re cooking or nursing or changing diapers, listen to the Bible and uplifting music on your phone throughout the day, listen to podcasts while you’re cleaning, turn on music during your commute… sneak in moments here and there to refresh and encourage your heart!

“Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.”

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.05.29 PM

3. Streamline Your Life.

Take inventory of your current time usage. Are you wasting pockets of time watching TV, surfing Facebook, blog-hopping for no purpose, or volunteering for things that are just draining you?

Are you cramming your day full of things you don’t really enjoy just because you feel obligated or because you think staying busy will make you more fulfilled?

What are you spending time on that you don’t love right now? What’s taking a lot of your energy and effort and not bringing you any fulfillment? Is there a way you could eliminate, streamline, or delegate any of that to make more room for quiet?

4. Get Up a Little Earlier or Stay Up a Little Later.

Okay, so I hesitate to put this one on this list, but hear me out: Maybe you could get up 5-10 minutes before your family does so you could have just a tiny bit of time for quiet before the three-ring circus of the day begins?

Or maybe you could stay up 15-30 minutes after everyone goes to bed and invest some intentional time into doing something that fills you up? {Just promise not to get sidetracked onto something and then stay up way past your bedtime and end up completely dragging the next day! I’d recommend setting a timer and maybe telling your spouse or your friend in order to help you stay accountable and focused.}

If you’re not getting enough sleep at all, please go to bed early and stay in bed as long as possible. But if you feel like you might be able to spare 5-15 minutes of sleep without a problem, experiment with getting up early for a few weeks and then experiment with staying up late for a few weeks to see which end of the spectrum fuels you more and which allows you the best quiet.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.02.58 PM

5. Swap Babysitting With a Friend.

Perhaps you have another mom friend who’d love some kid-free quiet once a week. Ask her about the possibility of swapping babysitting once a week — where she’d watch your kids for an hour or two so you could have some quiet and then you’d watch her kids so that she could have some quiet.

This means a little bit more work while you’re babysitting, but it might be worth it for the quiet it buys you — free of charge.

6. Institute a Household Quiet Time.

If your kids are old enough to be in a pack-n-play or their room, you could institute an afternoon quiet time for everyone that lasts 30 minutes to an hour.

This will look differently for different families. It might mean that everyone takes a nap or rest time. It could mean that the kids watch a DVD for 30 minutes. It could mean that the kids get to play quietly in their rooms with a special basket of toys or a Busy Bag.

One thing that we’ve done sometimes is to have a Reading Time, where everyone reads quietly in the same room. This allows me to get some reading done and soak up a little bit of quiet, too.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.02.46 PM

7. Leave the Kids With Dad.

When our girls were little and Jesse was working really long hours and we had no family or babysitters nearby, I knew I needed to get out of the house by myself for at least an hour or two every week. So Jesse decided that Saturday mornings were Mom’s Mornings Out.

I’d go to Panera down the street and enjoy a bagel and a cup of tea and just read, plan my week, and get some blogging done. This one or two-hour block of time made all the difference in the world for me — and it gave Jesse some focused time with the girls in the middle of a very busy work schedule.

8. Hire a Sitter or Mother’s Helper.

This option might not be financially feasible, but I still wanted to mention it. Consider if there’s wiggle room in your budget to have a sitter or mother’s helper come over for an hour or two ever week.

Oftentimes, a young teen girl will only charge around $10-$12 per hour (or even less!) and paying her to help out so you can run to the store, work on an organizing project, or even take a shower, can feel almost life-changing and every bit worth the extra expense.

9. Get Creative.

There are so many other outside the box ideas to consider such as:

  • Putting your kids in a double stroller and going for a walk (it might not be completely quiet, but it could be a refreshing change of pace).
  • Taking your kids to the park and watching them play while you sit on a swing or park bench.
  • Reading aloud with your kids while they play with LEGOs or Play-doh (again, not completely quiet, but it’s still quieting to my soul to read aloud).
  • Popping in a DVD for 20 minutes while you sit in the other room and read and savor a cup of coffee.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.03.12 PM

Remember, even 5 or 15 minutes can make a big difference. Don’t keep living life barely surviving. Take time to nourish and feed your soul and refresh your spirit and body.

What ideas do YOU have for making time for quiet even when life is really full? I’d love to hear!

 

Share This:

“I wanted to quit, but I didn’t give up.”

unnamed

Yesterday, I mentioned that the same day Jesse and I ran the Tough Mudder Race, our girls also ran the Mini Mudder with Jesse’s younger brother, Jon.

Let me tell you, this kid’s race was no joke! It was a mile long and filled with many different obstacles…

unnamed  unnamed    unnamed

unnamed unnamed unnamed unnamed unnamed unnamedunnamedunnamedunnamed

It was pretty grueling and I’m so proud of them for not quitting and making it to the finish line. Kaitlynn told us at the end, “I really wanted to give up, but I didn’t let myself quit.”

Their faces show the fulfillment the experienced at the end for sticking it out, persevering, and not giving up.

Share This:

10 Goals For This Week + a peek at our new homeschool curriculum/schedule

So, it was a rather eventful weekend (more on that in a post later today!) and I am crazy sore from it, so I decided to skip my usual Monday morning Cleaning Project post and am just taking it super easy today.

We’re winding down our 2014-2015 school year and getting ready to gear up for our 2015-2016 school year. Since we travel multiple times during the school year and we find it works better to have a steady routine and rhythm going all year long, we usually don’t take much of a summer break.

We do have a more relaxed school schedule in the summer, but we still stick with most of the studies and projects like usual — mostly because we love learning and reading together so we might as well just keep going. :)

10 Goals for This Week

When this box came in the mail this past weekend was like a homeschool mom’s Christmas!

Jesse and I spent way too long looking at curriculum options and discussing/planning this next year. We had so much fun thinking of what would be best for our kids and what would work best for this season of our lives.

We finally landed on Sonlight Core D for me to teach all three kids together in the mornings and Jesse’s going to teach Math, Language Arts, and Science in the afternoons (we’re using Monarch Online for those subjects). This is our first year to do Sonlight and I am stoked about it!

I’m also completely spoiled because Jesse and I are splitting the homeschooling responsibilities this year. He took over some of the homeschooling this past year and loved it so much that he wanted to continue co-homeschooling.

I love that the kids get to spend so much one-on-one and one-on-three time with him as a result and that he’s so invested in their education. I know that this set-up wouldn’t work for a lot of families and situations, but it is such a great fit for our family right now.

Goals from two weeks ago:

Marriage/Mothering/Homemaking Goals

1. Take Silas on a special one-on-one outing for his birthday.

2. Write a love note to Jesse.

10 Goals For This WeekBirthday outing with Silas

3. Go through Kathrynne and Silas’ clothes & get rid of what no longer fits them.

Personal Goals

4. Exercise at least 3 times.

5. Finish reading at least one book.

6. Listen to at least two inspiring audios/podcasts while working/driving.

Local Ministry/Hospitality/Friendship Goals

7. Get caught up on thank you note writing.

8. Finish reading a friend’s manuscript & writing an endorsement for it.

Business Goals

9. Outline/write 3 substantive blog posts for next week.

10. Finish tweaking my presentations/slides for the Arlington Homeschool Conference this weekend.

10 Goals For This Week

At the Arlington Homeschool conference

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Mothering/Homemaking Goals

1. Start our new homeschool routine/curriculum.

2. Write a love note to Jesse.

3. Get caught back up on the laundry (I’d been doing SO good with this — until I went out of town for 5 days! Determined to get back on top of this again!)

Personal Goals

4. Exercise at least 3 times.

5. Finish reading at least one book.

6. Listen to at least two inspiring audios/podcasts while working/driving.

7. Go to bed by 10:30 p.m. every night.

Local Ministry/Hospitality/Friendship Goals

8. Have a coffee date with a new friend.

Business Goals

9. Record a short video for a project.

10. Get all details finalized for the Make Over Your Mornings Course Launch.

What are your goals for this week? I’d love to have you share your progress on last week’s goals and your goals for this coming week in the comments. Of, if you’ve blogged about it, leave your direct link below. Let’s cheer each other on to live purposeful and productive lives! You can download a free customizable weekly goal-planning sheet here.


Share This:

What My 10-Year-Old Daughter is Teaching Me About Courage & Confidence

What My 10-Year-Old Is Teaching Me About Courage & Confidence

Dear Kathrynne,

You don’t often show up in pictures or stories on this blog because when I ask for your permission to post things about you, you usually ask that I don’t share them. And that is completely okay. I respect that and want to honor you in that regard.

However, I am so thankful that you gave me permission to write this post. Because it’s something I’ve wanted to share for a long time.

Thank you for how you constantly challenge me to be myself. To not worry about what other people think. To let my personality on the inside shine out on the outside.

What My 10-Year-Old is Teaching Me About Courage & Confidence

As your mom, I couldn’t be prouder of you. Maybe our tastes in clothing are completely different. Maybe there are moments when I wish that you cared just a little bit more about what you wear. But then I realize, that’s my pride — and that’s me caring more about what other people think than about letting you be who God created you to be.

I’m so glad that you care so much more about people’s hearts and about reaching out and helping people than you do about what people think about you. I’m so glad that you are confident in your own unique style and personality. I love how you rock those gym shorts, t-shirts, and tennis shoes like nobody’s business.

I am so inspired by your desire to attract friends who really care about you as a person and who want to love you for who you really are than about trying to change who you are in order to have other people like you.

What My 10-Year-Old is Teaching Me About Courage & ConfidenceScreen Shot 2015-05-16 at 10.24.22 PM

Thank you for how you continually encourage me to be true to who I am. To blog authentically. To live authentically.

Thank you for how you challenge me to stop caring what other people think and to be all that God has created me to be. Your courage and confidence as a person has motivated me to “come out of my shell” little bit by little bit.

You’ve challenged me to post more of the real-life stuff. To let people into our home and life — even when it’s messy and chaotic. To be okay that who I really am is not necessarily going to be exactly who people want me to be — but it’s going to be true and true is always better than fake.

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 10.25.50 PM

I’ve seen you step outside of your comfort zone in big ways this past year. You’ve joined the swim team, you’ve poured hours and hours into swim practice, you’ve worked hard to improve your strokes, and you’ve faced your fear of competing in front of large crowds.

Other people had no idea that you were sick to your stomach about having to step up on those starting blocks and dive into the water, but I knew. And my heart wanted to burst when I saw you hold your head up high, dive in, and attack the water.

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 10.25.12 PM

Moving away from your home and relatives and friends was very hard for you. But you bravely faced many new things — a new neighborhood, new church, new routines, new friends, and a new lifestyle.

You’ve experienced loneliness. We’ve cried together over what we left behind. And then you’ve dried your tears, punched fear in the face, and met new family after new family and went into new situation after new situation.

It hasn’t been a smooth ride for you, nor us. But you’ve trusted God through it, talked openly with us about your fears and hurts and sadness, and pressed forward — embracing the newness and choosing to live fully right where you are.

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 10.24.48 PM

Thank you for how you love well, care deeply, and give generously. I couldn’t be more proud to be your mom.

You are one-of-a-kind and God has some great adventures for you in your future. Keep charging ahead with brave resolve, contagious courage, and unshakeable confidence.

I love you, sweet girl. You’ve forever changed my life.

Love,

Your Grateful Mom

Share This: