When you’re a mom, there are just a million things you’d like to do for your family. That does not even include the many things you also want to do to make a difference in the lives of the people around you, to your community and to the world. So how do we, busy moms, accomplish the many wonderful ideas we have in our heads? The following have definitely worked for me, so I’d like to share them with you:
1. Plan, plan, plan! I am a strong advocate of planning. I agree that planning takes time but it also ensures that many important things are not taken for granted or that events do not have disastrous results. I encourage moms to plan their menus, budgets, family time, dates with their spouses and children, vacations, household chores, personal development, career, future, etc. Planning helps us get the best results or outcomes whether at work or at home. Planning our personal lives enables us to get the best out of our relationships with family, friends and God. You might say, “But there’s so much to plan for! I don’t even have enough time for all these things.” Realize that without proper planning, we will not have enough time for all the important things in our lives. Let me share with you what I always tell the participants in my time management or work-life balance workshops: The things that matter most to us must not be at the mercy of things that matter least…and this can only happen if we plan.
2. Plan ahead. It’s not enough that we plan; sometimes, we need to plan ahead to make sure that things will work out fine and to lessen our stress. There are many advantages of planning ahead of time: when we plan ahead, we cover most if not all the important things we need to do or prepare. It helps us to iron out things or concerns sometimes up to the minute details. It helps us save time and resources because we know better how to do things, where to buy at the best prices and we make less mistakes. Planning ahead also saves us from unnecessary troubles or heartaches like when we forget birthdays, anniversaries or other important events in the lives of family and friends. Moreover, it enables us to accomplish more things than if we just do things spontaneously.
My family and I have benefitted a lot from my habit of planning ahead. We didn’t have to hire party planners for my wedding, our first-born son’s baby shower, baptism and birthdays. Towards the end of this year, I have a number of big events lined up – my husband’s 40th birthday this September, my son’s 3rd birthday and our upcoming baby’s baby shower this October, the birth of our second baby this November and his baptism in December. On top of that, I also lead the Liturgical Committee in our community who will be in charge of organizing and preparing for the Simbang Gabi and our Fiesta in December.
Am I getting a planner for any of these events? No. But instead of being stressed because of these many events, I am actually excited for them because I have planned well ahead of these events and I’m simply waiting in anticipation for these events to unfold.
And how about Christmas shopping? I’ve got that covered, too. I have started my Christmas shopping early this year and have lined up options for potential gift items to family and friends.
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3. Involve others. We don’t need to do everything by ourselves all the time. I have learned over time that if we are to accomplish many great and wonderful things in our lives, we would need the help the people around us. Learn to delegate. I have learned this well when I published my book and as I led different ministries and groups over the years.
As a mom, I have enlisted the help of other family members, friends from different circles and experts to help me accomplish my many goals. A good example is in planning events. I don’t always cook all the food served in the party; sometimes, I cook a few dishes and order the rest; while at other times, I just have all the food catered. For small or intimate parties, you can ask a family member or close friend to be the emcee during the program or you can do it yourself if that is something you enjoy.
You can also look for suppliers of give-aways or party favors if you choose not to go the DIY route. Once more, it takes ample planning and preparation to find the best suppliers and deals for these.
As for gift-giving, I choose to buy from stores that give free gift-wrapping service so I can save both on time and costs. If you are attending weddings or parties, ask if they have a gift registry to save you time thinking of what to give.
4. Carve out some “me-time.” We may be very busy but we should not be too busy to recharge ourselves in body, mind and spirit. We need to take time to plan for our rest and relaxation as well. When we spend all our time attending to the needs of others only, we could end up being cranky and get burned out. We could even get sick! Thus, we should carve out “me-time” for ourselves each day or at least once a week.
My favorite “me-time” activities are reading, writing, visualizing or day-dreaming about my future and that of my family’s, chatting with a friend, listening to music, going to the salon and shopping. These activities rejuvenate me and give me the extra push I need whenever I encounter challenges. Last but definitely not the least…
5. Pray. Even with all our talents, skills, time management and network, we cannot accomplish things without God’s help. I believe that it was by His grace and His help that I have accomplished many wonderful things in my life. I was many times in awe by how God has orchestrated people, things and events just to enable me to do the sometimes close to impossible things I have chosen to do. I can’t help but recognize that it was through His miracles, both big and small, that I am able to perform my many roles in the best way I can. In prayer, we find guidance and direction on what God wants us to do with our time and how He wants us to live our lives. When we pray, we tap into God’s power which enables us to do even what seems to be beyond us.