I get asked this question often, and I am never sure how to answer it. In fact, not really sure how to answer it here on the blog. Working full time, being a mom to three kids (one teenager, twin preteens), nurturing our marriage, keeping a home, AND finding time to do things I enjoy sounds like a chaotic disaster in the making.
But let me share something from deep within it. It didnt' just happen. It has taken years of learning, weeding out what was important to my family and myself, and what was important to a world OUTSIDE of my home. What do I KNOW to be right for our family, and what does society say against that? A LOT! More then you could imagine at times.
Before I can share "how I do it" I first must lay out what is important to me.
1. My home needs to be a safe haven. A place where we know that when we come home, all is well. No strife. No unkindness. No selfishness. Indeed it does become a place of kindness, grace, mercy, love, and peace.
2. There needs to be as less chaos as possible. I do not function well when things feel out of control. Clutter is NOT my friend, but living in a 900 square foot house with 5 people, doesn't make it easy to remain clutter free. We do the best we can and move on.
3. I believe that the woman (even if she is working outside the home) should be the main caretaker of the home and children. Call me old fashioned I don't care. That's how I like it. I didn't marry my husband for a "partnership" but I did marry him to be his helpmate and his love. The more I can do to serve my husband the happier I am. Very rarely do I feel "taken advantage of" and when I do, it is simply because I have spent too much time focusing on "ME" .... and that is NOT what God calls me to do. Partnerships divide, dissolve, and often become a war in the making. I do not want any part of that. I made a commitment and divorce is NOT an option just because there may be seasons in my life where I do more to take care of others. Big whoopee! My husband IS the main provider for our family ~ He does his share. Serving him is the least I can do!
4. What works for me may not work for you! Our belief system doesn't have to be the same.
Now How do I do it? How do I balance work, home, and still being able to enjoy crafting, blogging, writing? Easy. I balance it out. But, don't let that fool you it isn't always easy. There are steps that I often take during the week to free up the weekends a bit. The house is deep cleaned on my two early days (I work late three out of five weekdays), laundry is done daily (sometimes twice a day), a menu plan is figured up the week before, picking up a bit each night before bed ensures a smooth running morning, and taking time to prep as much as I can the day before allows me to have that time that I need to not get weary. j
Last night as I cleaned up dinner, I decided to make pancakes for breakfast for this morning. Done. All the kids have to do is heat them up for a few seconds in the microwave and viola. A hot breakfast that was homemade and filling. I also set out the stuff I needed to make a cake to take to work this morning, including grating carrots. Laundry was done and folded. Today is a long day at work, so dinner is a simple one that only takes a few minutes. Tomorrow is not only a short day, but the teen has to cheer at a basketball game, which extends my time staying busy. (I tend to get a bit anxious when my whole family is not home 'on time' even if they are doing something that is on the schedule).
Do I sacrifice? Yes. I don't spend much time with friends outside of work during the school year. I am busy, and for the most part so are they. I miss them, but it all comes down to what is a priority. Do we do what we can so that we can enjoy our homes and our family during busy times, or do we run the roads and let the craziness take over at home? The decision is different for everyone. Sometimes we need to let things go, and enjoy a fun time, but that can't be on a regular basis if you want to live in a balanced life. Often when I do find a few moments of "free time" it is planning things that need to be taken care of, taking care of parents, or something. But for me it's worth it! I couldn't imagine living a life of doing nothing. Being productive and doing my part makes me feel good ~ not because of who I am, but because scripture talks a lot about being "lazy".
And really the BEST way for me to answer this is.... I do it all because God has led me to this season in my life where it is important to take care of my home, family, and career. It is ONLY because HE placed those desires in my heart.