I don't know about you, but my husband has a crazy, inconsistent work schedule. Most days it's just me and our children all day long. We've talked about preschool, but it's just not in the budget. Some days I would just like to go to a coffee shop to sip on a drink that someone makes for me and just enjoy the quiet alone time and write. Maybe one day.
Until then, here are some ways that I try and combat the crazy:
1. Get up, shower and dressed for the day. Preferably this happens before the kids get up, but that's not always the case. I feel so much better after I shower and dress for the day. Especially after those long nights being up with little ones. Those days that you can find me in still my pj's at 5 pm, well, those aren't the best of days. And if he's honest, I'm sure my husband prefers the showered and dressed wife over the pj wearing disheveled wife.
2. Make the time to read your Bible. I'll admit, this is hard in this season of life. But it is oh so important. Not only for my sanity, but so I am equipped to shepherd the hearts of my little ones. These fallen little people need Jesus and it's my responsibility to point them to Him. You can find ways to feed your soul when you don't have time here.
3. Schedule your day. It doesn't have to be a rigid schedule, but I know it's helpful for me and my children when we know what's going to happen during the day. Even if it's just something generic like this:
8 am – Wake up and make bed
8:30 – Breakfast and clean up
9:00 – School time/outside play
12:00 – lunch
1:00 – Naps
3:00 – Play outside
5:00 – Dinner
7:00 – Bathtime
8:00 – Bedtime
You can also plan specific activities for certain days, like library story times, play dates, local art classes for kids, dance classes, sports activities, family date nights.
4. Get out of the house. I have been known to put the kids in the van and drive around town. This usually includes a milkshake for me. In the van, they are strapped in their seats and can't touch each other. I usually turn on a local Christian radio station, one of our Seeds Worship CDs, or sometimes I turn on the DVD player and the kids watch The Letter Factory or The Talking Word Factory.
We have also planned playdates at a local park. I don't like going to parks by myself with the kids, but with playdates, it's nice to have adult interaction while the kids release some energy. And don't underestimate the indoor play areas at fast food restaurants. Just make sure you bring your Thieves hand sanitizer.
5. Sometimes we have to lower our expectations. I have a to-do list that is about two pages long right now. But I just can't do it all right now. I hate asking for help. I would love for someone to help me with laundry that we're swimming in, or to take my kids to the park so that I can tackle the ever growing pile. Instead, I've closed the door to the laundry room. I think I'm secretly hoping it will just go away. Don't be like me. Ask for help. If someone offers to help, take them up on it. Pride is a hard thing to swallow, but we need to allow those to bless us if they want to.
I know I said 5, but I'm going to add a sixth.
6. Turn off the background noise of the television and instead listen to something uplifting. We really do love our Seeds Worship CDs. You can also listen to several Christian radio stations online. It makes a huge difference for me. Try it!
What are some ways you combat the crazies?