One of the most key components to becoming an intentional, missional mother is to decide how you are going to spend your time. The whole idea is that we would be mothers with purpose, and if we are going to be mothers with purpose then we must have a design for our day. I find that it is so easy to wander through my days, following every little distraction down the rabbit hole. Before I know it, the day is almost over and I feel overwhelmed and as though I have not accomplished anything!
I’m not sure who said it (even Google could not help me!) but “the way you spend your days is the way you spend your life“. I do not want to look back on my life and think: “I sure knew what everyone’s latest status update was, but I didn’t spend enough quality time with my kids.” I cherish this life that I have been given and the lives that have been brought into mine, and I want to live that way.
The Daily Routine
Maybe you are doing just fine on your own, but me, I’m a bit of a fool. I am so easily distracted, it’s not even funny! I have decided to put myself on a routine to follow each day, based on my mission statement. My routine is flexible so that I may still have some spontaneity for myself and for the kids, but what I do will be measured against my mission statement to be sure that I am spending my days in the way that I want to spend my life.
How I Designed My Day: The Basics
1) I made a list of all the things I am committed to. This included: study and prayer, moms and tots, young adults group, youth group, and church.
2) I made a chart for my day. You could do this on paper or on your computer using Excel or another program like that.
3) I asked myself what time do I need to get up? Since my kids are usually up around 7:30, I decided to start getting up one hour before them. If it is really difficult for you to get up before your kids, you may just want to start with five minute increments, getting up five minutes earlier each week until you meet your goal.
4) I looked at my mission statement and asked myself, how can I do this? Since daily discussions on age- and developmentally-appropriate bible study is important to me, I decided to have a devotional time with my kids during our breakfast. Since getting up early is important to me, I decided to schedule bedtime.
How I Designed My Day: Flexibility Time
All the open spaces are times that are not defined with a specific activity. These times are open to activities that measure up against my mission in life. Generally, those times are planned out, but are definitely subject to change. Here is a general overview on what may happen during my flexibility time:
In the morning is when I like to run errands or do anything outside of the house such as swimming or library time. If I am at home, I usually set up an activity or toys for Eva while I do housework.
In the afternoon it is Ezra’s nap time, and this is when I like to do any photography work that needs to get done, and this is also when I would like to use my computer time (time for e-mails, Facebook, and other social networking, such as this blog).
At this point in my daily design, the mornings and afternoons are quite flexible as I am learning what I would like to do with my time. In the Fall, Eva will be starting Kindergarten, so the schedule will certainly change then.
I am going to cling to my charted routine for a while as I start out trying to live a more focused life. It may seem rigid to some, but it is something that I need to hold me accountable to what is important to me. I pray that someday this will all be ingrained in me that it just becomes natural.
Do you have a planned routine for your day or do you fly by the seat of your pants? What works for you?