Family

Thriving in the Chaos of Motherhood

July 15, 2016

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Confession time: I’ve never been someone who functions particularly well in a state of chaos. Raised primarily as an only-child, I’ve always been accustomed to a specific level and amount of quiet in my everyday. An introverted extrovert, I’ve always needed my own space to unwind and adored a quiet, tidy house at the end of the day.

And then motherhood happened, and maintaining my sense of balance, order and peace became a whole lot harder. If I’m being honest, the last couple months have left me frazzled. Work has been busy (a huge blessing!) and life has been full of summer commitments, cookouts, and weekends away (also wonderful) but my life feels off kilter.

There are a lot of things that are important to us as moms. I don’t “do it all” because of pride or because I want others to think I have it all together. I try to do it all because there are so many things that are important to me and I have a hard time giving any of them up. Things that make my short (long) list of important activities, in no particular order, are:

Time in God’s Word
Working out
Making meals for my family
Freelance/Beautycounter/Contract Work/Blogging
Spending intentional time with Ainsley and Joe
Time with friends
Maintaining a clean and organized home
Paying bills, staying on top of freelance bookkeeping
The list is bigger than this, but these are the things that come to mind…

Last night, in a state of stress and anxiety, I asked Joe, “Do I just need to lower my standards? Should I just be OK with chaos and disorder? What’s the answer?!”

Joe quickly pointed out that perhaps we weren’t using our time quite as wisely as we should be using our time. For example, instead of crashing on the couch after Ainsley goes to bed and watching three episodes of Suits (so good!) maybe one episode would suffice, using the rest of our time to do a little extra cleaning a few nights a week, working our quiet time into a more intentional space in the day, and getting up a little earlier to get that workout in, wasting less time on the black hole of the internet.

I love these ideas. And my heart’s desire is to implement them into our day. This isn’t a magic pill; I’m sure a little chaos will lurk as long as we have kids in the house, but my hope is that it will be greatly diminished by being a wise steward of the time we’re given.

So today, I got to work. Instead of pushing my workout until late in the afternoon, when I knew I would be rushing to get things together for a busy weekend away, I set the alarm for 4:45 and got my butt to the gym. Instead of browsing Facebook for 10 minutes before Ainsley woke for the day, I jumped in the shower and tossed in a load of her laundry. Small, simple changes that made my morning less chaotic.

To you other moms out there (especially moms with multiple kids) how do you manage the chaos and keep a sense of order in your day-to-day? I’m all ears!

Madison

 

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6 Comments

  • Reply Danae Marie July 15, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    I don’t have kids yet, but I am a full time High School teacher, am married, have a puppy, and have an hour long commute home due to traffic. I have found that using my time wisely is the key to keeping up with everything! Although sometimes making myself be productive all the time and thinking about what I need to do next is exhausting! But in the end it keeps the chaos under control!

  • Reply Katie @ Live Half Full July 15, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    I wrote a post earlier in the week about making time for the me, we and us in our family. It’s tough to find a balance and it’s tough when you get a free moment not to waste it!

  • Reply Julia July 15, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    I have an almost 5 month old and struggle with this daily. One solution I’ve found is to, like you said, stop wasting little pockets of time (tv, social media, etc.). That is a double-edged sword, though, and sometimes I end up multitasking too much and feel super frazzled. I also think: “Does X really need to be done NOW, or can it wait?” Lots of times the X thing can wait even if I think it “should” be done in that moment. Example: I get home, see a pile of dishes, start messing with them while playing with my son — when really, I can just play with E. The dishes will get done eventually, but he’s been at daycare all day and I miss him and need to reconnect. That’s the actual necessity. And… I do kinda think “lower your standards” to myself a lot. Having a short list of priorities is smart; I need to do that same exercise 🙂 Thanks for writing about this – you are not alone and I’m excited to read what others have to say, because this stuff is constantly on my mind. I don’t want to find balance (it’s not real) but I do want to have a baseline of peace and contentment and not feel like a chicken running around with my head cut off.

  • Reply Julia July 15, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Also, I read this post almost weekly: http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2015/01/05/the-thing-about-being-more-awesome.

  • Reply Anne McCormick July 18, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    You are already off to a good start with your own ideas. I would also suggest reading “I Know How She Does It” by Laura Vanderkam. All of her work is great but this book has good advice for all types of mothers. http://lauravanderkam.com/

  • Reply BigEater July 20, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    What a great post. Kids thrive on predictability so keep at it! All three of you will benefit.

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