With the barrage of voices that tell us everyday how to be a good mother, from parenting magazines to Pinterest, we need not lose our way in the maze of motherhood, but instead return to the simplicities which just make good common sense. The most important thing is TIME with our children. Our culture has found so many ways to steal away this precious time and thus eliminating very valuable discipleship time from the home. We need to regain it while practicing some simple helps.
Here is a list of things that might be helpful:
1. Keep homemaking simple. Many moms can get very overwhelmed with caring for our homes at times and just don't know where to start some days. Have a basic plan to tackle the basics during the week. Start easy and keep it simple so that you can keep an easy routine. Example: Monday-Cleaning Tuesday-Baking Wednesday-Shopping/Errands, etc. Keeping a planner or just writing out a simple list in the morning can also do wonders for any mother and give us focus for the day! Also, keep decor to a minimum or you might become a slave to their upkeep.
2. Guard your time. It is so important for moms to guard their time, we can be easily distracted with so many things with our "good intentions". It is often good for us to take a step back and reevaluate how our spiritual life is going, if our bigger goals are being met, and if we are truly investing wise time with our children. Try asking your husband if he feels you are using your time well and also read this article for help more help. Then we need to purposefully take the appropriate steps to make change.
3. Eat simply. Even though I like flipping through cooking magazines on occasion of gourmet homemade dishes from scratch, I don't feel the pressure to replicate the same in my home. We are a big family and I like to keep meals simple. Did you know that you can eat healthier without always cooking? When you buy fresh vegetables such as lettuces, carrots, tomatoes and so forth you are giving your children healthy whole foods that is better than anything you could probably whip up cooking! Don't feel guilty about not always cooking but know you can serve them something fresh and wholesome that will bring health to their bodies. This is also fast (think of it as fast food without all the gunk) and eliminating the work of washing pots and pans. If you do cook, be sure to take advantage of your crockpot. I use mine in the morning to make dinner and don't touch it again until dinner.
4. Reduce clutter and excess. Oh, how I could go on about this topic for days. As a large family is a we are constantly looking for ways to keep the clutter down to better our living areas. Toys, clothes, and everything else just have a way of multiplying so mamas always need to do an inventory and assess what they *really* need. Less toys and clothes make for easy care and frees up valuable time to do the important things. Do your kids really need 39 outfits each? Do they play with *all* their toys? If not, box them up and give them away or store them in the garage. If you need inspiration on controlling clutter, this author is my go to for inspiration.
5. Don't compare. You know what I am talking about, maybe it is your friend, your relative, a board on Pinterest or a favorite blog but suddenly you find yourself not liking your home, your children, your husband, your dog, your decor, and on and on. Stop it right now. Really, just stop and remember that the Lord gave you these things in His providence. Be thankful for it and all His many blessings on your life because in the end, we don't deserve it--any of it.
6. Throw out guilt. Live freely, dear Mamas, don't feel like you are not measuring up. Guilt is an amazing energy zapper and hindrance in a mother's life. Find out what the Lord wants you to do with *your* family and then DO IT. Don't do what your neighbors are doing, or what the SuperMom Next Door is doing. Don't feel bad that you are not making bread from scratch or if you are using paper plates at meal time. Don't let others dictate your life and don't dwell in past failures. But remember who you are in Christ and remember that He has equipped you for every good work--including motherhood.
Let's simplify our live in practical ways so we can mother well and build strong families for the Lord!
Dear Lord, help us to order our lives well to bring glory to You and through our mothering. Amen.