Jennifer Maggio is considered a leading authority on single parents and womens issues. She is an award-winning author and speaker who draws from her own experiences through abuse, homelessness, and teen pregnancy to inspire audiences everywhere. She is founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries and writes for dozens of publications. She has been featured with hundreds of media outlets, including The 700 Club, Daystar Television, Moody Radio, Focus on the Family, and many more. For more information, visit thelifeofasinglemom.com.
How can I possibly accomplish everything on my to-do list and still keep my sanity?
How can I make time for family when work is so busy?
How can I sleep more restfully?
These are just a few of the questions that millions of us, as moms, ask ourselves on a daily basis. In a demanding, busy, lifestyle, we are all battling exhaustion and how to manage our time more effectively to be the best moms we can be. Here are a few things that I’ve discovered help me to keep some balance and keep my schedule in check:
You must have a plan. Once you have a plan in place, tweaks and adjustments can be made, as you deem appropriate. But the first step is actually having a plan! If you lack a plan, typicall you will accomplish the first thing that arises. The problem is that he first thing that arises isn’t necessarily the priority of the day. For example, you go into the storage closet at work to retrieve more printer paper. After digging for 5 minutes to locate it, you decide that the storage closet could really use some organizing, so you begin the enormous task of reorganization. Two hours later, you have made some progress in the storage closet, but your desk is piled high with more important priorities. While the closet needed some attention, there were other things that are more pressing. If we aren’t careful in planning, we will be pulled from task to task, never eally accomplishing anything, but tired, nevertheless. Plan first.
Implement family time. You absolutely must schedule time with your kids – quality time. If you are a mother with children still in the home, and most of you are, you must recognize immediately that this is merely a season of life, and in the blink of an eye, it will be gone. Parenting is a small season of your life and it is quickly fleeting, so take advantage of some family time. Failure to implement scheduled family time means that most of us carry the burden of guilt that we aren’t a good enough mom or that we are short-changing our children by having to work outside the home. Schedule the time and make it a quality experience for your children, so that when you are at work, you can present at work.
Have a more productive day versus a busy day. As previously mentioned, none of us struggle with too little to do. We are all being pulled with an endless list of tasks, but we must focus on production versus reaction. The quality of how you perform the work is often more important than the quantity of the work.
Have fun. Too many of us are going throughout are jobs, homes, relationships in a way that is busy, stressed, etc. And we are never really enjoying any moment. We’re at home worrying about the job and at the job worrying about home. Make it a point to actually enjoy what you are doing. Recall why you took the job or how much you enjoy your children. Choose to focus on the joys of parenthood versus the to-do list. Choose to focus on why your job makes a difference in your community or in the quality of lives of others versus the actual tasks. Sometimes, an impromptu dance party at the copy machine may be just what you need to lighten the load, get a few laughs from colleagues, and actual enjoy your day! Fun makes the managing of the rest of the day easier.
Rest. Statistics continually support that well-rested sleepers are more productive throughout their workday than those who struggle to get sound sleep. The number one cause of insomnia (barring medical issues) is a busy mind. We lie awake thinking of the 22 things that need to be accomplished tomorrow. Hebrews 4:9 says there is a “special rest waiting for the people of God.” Vs. 11 on that same chapter further challenges us to enter that rest. When we recognize that everything we have comes from God, every blessing, and that there is no challenge too big for Him, we’re able to truly rest in His peace. When we understand, fully, that he will not leave us to carry the tasks of our tomorrows alone, we can lay down the burdens of the day and get that sound sleep we need.
Jennifer Maggio is a national author and speaker, mom to three, wife of Jeff, and CEO/Founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She is chauffeur, chief dishwasher, carpool queen, and duct tape aficionado. But more importantly, she is passionate about teaching women how to find complete freedom in Christ. For more information, visit www.jennifermaggio.com.