How does a busy mom of 7 young children homeschool, work from home, be a homemaker, and a wife? For one, she doesn’t do everything all of the time and she doesn’t do any of it perfectly!
The reality is that I can not literally do all of those things simultaneously … and while I may do some of them interchangeably, it doesn’t mean that I am superhuman. Actually, I have just learned to give myself grace during all of the hard seasons of life, manage my time well the rest of the time, and simply LET SOME THINGS/IDEAS GO.
That being said, I do have several productivity tips that I hope give you some starting points in your own home. Every person/family is so different, but maybe you can tweak my ideas to fit your needs!
Encouragement For Busy Moms
2019 Daily Planner: The Homemaker’s Friend
Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family
My Creative Bible KJV: Aqua Hardcover Bible for Creative Journaling
Keep a Quiet Heart
Discipline: The Glad Surrender
Let Me Be a Woman
My Best Productivity Tips – Q&A
What is one time-saving tip that you use personally to free up more margin for the activities and people you love?
- Just one? If I have to choose, I say that creating a natural routine for my family has been a sanity-saver for me. Almost everything is on auto-pilot in my home. This means keeping everything simple and repetitive – meals, homeschool, chores, and my work schedule. It took me a few years of being intentional in this area, but we have a very productive schedule that is also flexible to allow room for medical/special needs life with doctor appointments and exhausting days.
- So my tip is: create a natural routine, meaning utilize those things that already happen every day and anchor chores, lessons, etc. to them to be more productive with that time. Write down the routine on a calendar and keep it where everyone can see it until the routine becomes natural.
What are your favorite productivity tools or services and how do you use them?
- For homemaking: ordering groceries online once a week with curbside pickup (my dear husband picks it up, so that helps me even more!), Instant Pot for batch cooking (quickly), and my favorite (physical) planner.
- For homeschooling: multi-grade/level curriculums so that we can all work together – we do this for history using Tapestry of Grace. We use Teaching Textbooks math for older children so that they can work independently with self-grading (yay!), and Compass Classroom for video-based subjects (high school).
- For working: social media scheduling tools – I use SmarterQueue right now but used MeetEdgar for years and loved it (just not the price tag.), ConvertKit as my ESP, hire the pros for techy-needs, PicMonkey for photo editing, Easy Product Displays for AD insertion, SiteGround for hosting, and TheHungryJPEG for clipart … to name a few!
What are some refreshing hobbies or self-care habits that you’ve found can be incorporated into a busy schedule?
- My morning Bible Study and planning time. I spend about 15min in the midst of the morning breakfast time doing my Bible & planning time while feeding my youngest breakfast. This happens after getting my oldest/medically-disabled daughter ready for the day, making oatmeal for the other 5 kids, preparing my youngest son’s food, and getting myself a bulletproof/protein coffee. It sounds like a lot to do before Bible Time but none of it takes very long since I have a routine in place. Then I can sit and read my Bible and devotions while feeding my son and the other children are eating their breakfast.
- Writing/blogging is a refreshing hobby-turned-business for me. I still love writing even if/though it makes me money and is my business now. I work a minimal amount of time and only prioritize 1-hour “power-hours” a couple of days a week, with Friday having a few more hours of work time since our homeschool lessons are lighter.
- Date nights with my husband EVERY NIGHT. Yes, you read that right! We make time every single evening to be together. It’s never fancy dates or much more than sitting/cuddling on the couch talking or watching YouTube clips, but making sure I have an hour or so to be close to my husband, unwind by laughing, sharing my heart/thoughts, and talking to an adult in-person helps me stay sane! After 17 years of marriage, we have learned what matters (praise the LORD!). These “date nights at-home” are something our kids expect/respect (most of the time, ha! We don’t have perfect lives!) and they are put to bed to read/play quietly while we are having our evening date.
How do you use the small pockets of free time that appear throughout the day?
- I grab a few minutes to journal in my bedroom, to check my email/social media, or to declutter/organize a drawer, etc. Or, sometimes I just use that “extra time” to read to my kids, because that is important to me!
What would you say to someone who feels guilty taking time for themselves, especially when there’s so much to do?
- I believe that we should be responsible stewards of our time, meaning that we shouldn’t indulge, or waste our time, in anything that is against God’s Word or that is purely to please the flesh/men more than God. So, I think this is an issue of the heart. If “me time” compromises biblical truths, then it IS wrong and we SHOULD feel guilty. However, if it is something that strengthens your faith journey, your role as wife & mother, and is glorifying to the Lord, then do not feel guilty! You can’t feel guilty if you are doing nothing wrong. So, seek the Lord’s direction about this then rest in the Truth.