By Victoria Osborn, Contributing Writer
I characterize myself as a stay-at-home/work-at-home wife, mom and homemaker. Even typing all that out makes me exhausted!
I’m a wife and mom first
My family is my greatest priority. Tending to the needs of my husband and children is a lot of work but the rewards are so great.
I have a strong marriage built on faith, love, trust and friendship. I’m raising three little ones who literally rely on me for all of their daily needs to be met, but they fill my heart to the brim with so much love and joy it’s almost too much.
Sure I don’t always enjoy every single thing about this season of raising three under the age of four but the longer I’m working in this gig, the more I see God working through them and me.
I’m a homemaker second
Caring for and maintaining a home that doesn’t look like a tornado just blew through it, takes a lot of work. The laundry, the food to make, the dishes to clean, the floors to sweep… it’s never ending. It feels like it’s unappreciated work, especially when the freshly mopped floors are a magnet for crumbs and spills, but I’m constantly reminded of the importance of how home shapes the family.
Finally, I’m an entrepreneur third
I work from home on writing, projects and other blog related work. It’s work but it’s also my creative outlet and something that helps keep me balanced. It also helps to bless our family financially.
I write in the early morning hours, nap times and work on the computer after the kids go to bed. Some days I even use the ever eager grandmother so I can work during the day too.
So how do I tend to marriage and my children, create a haven at home and work all while seeking to glorify God?
Three words: priorities, balance and NO
I know what my priorities are
I work to align everything I do with those things I deem as the most important in my life during this season. Some priorities change but for the most part the main ones will always be God, Husband, Kids, Home, and Work in that order.
I’ve spend a lot of time in prayer as I’ve focused on what my priorities are. Using my priorities, I’ve created a personal mission statement that guides, encourages and equips me through my days.
Balancing family, home and work like isn’t always easy but it’s such an important tenet in my days.
If I’m feeling worn out, overwhelmed, or crazed it’s a big red flag that things are out of balance and something needs to change. Usually it’s examining how my day and times lines up with my priorities.
When I set goals, both long and short term, I not only make sure they line with my priorities but that they are also realistic goals for me to complete given the amount of time.
The word NO is a beautiful word to me
I say NO to a lot of things… so I can say yes to my priorities. I’ve said no to leading Bible studies, being apart of women’s groups, heading up service projects, or being apart of leadership teams in my church. Not that there is anything wrong with any of those things, and I may very well say yes to them in the future, but saying NO to them in this season has freed up my time, and sanity, to focus on what’s truly important in my life.
So how does all of this play out for a typical day in my life? (I use the word typical loosely because every single day is different!)
I usually wake up early around 5:00. I know, I know… it’s early but I’m a morning person and if I want to get anything done during my days, I have to use my early morning hours well. The early morning hours are how I feed my soul, take care of my body and focus me so I can pour out into my family for the remainder of the day. I like to use the early morning hours, when I am most fresh, to prepare for my day. I spend some time in the word, my favorite way is by writing it out. I also get in a quick work out before I shower and dress for my day.
I can also usually get in about 30 minutes or so of quality writing time. I use this time just to write. Checking emails, social media or other blog related activities wait for later. This precious time is just for writing.
Once all the kids wake up, it’s a hurried pace of breakfast, morning chores, and getting dressed for the day. Two mornings a week, my older two go to preschool but the other days we stay home and do the God’s Little Explorers curriculum. Since they get a lot of early learning skills at school, my main focus at home is instilling Biblical truths into their hearts.
We also may go to the library, park, have a play date or run any errands. I try to only leave the house with the kids in the morning while they are still in good spirits. Running errands with children in the afternoon is not fun in my personal experience!
Unless I have something I know needs my immediate attention, I rarely get on the computer to do blog or writing work during this time. I work really hard to keep my focus on my children and home during the hours between breakfast and lunch.
Once lunch is eaten, the kitchen is cleared and all three kids are down for their naps (this is a fairly new occurrence that I have worked really hard to have happen!) I usually have about an hour and a half to two hours to get some work done. So I work fast.
This is when I check emails, reply to comments, spend time on social media or do some planning. I also set aside some time to write. I’m more fresh in the morning but I still try to complete any posts that need to be finished. Some days when I am especially tired or weary, I don’t work. Rather I take care of myself by resting, either reading or taking nap.
Once the kids wake up, I work on my afternoon chores that need to be completed before we head outside to play. When my husband comes home from work, he takes the kids so I can make dinner or complete any tasks that need to be finished.
We always sit down and have dinner as a family and after dinner time it’s the crazy hour of baths, pajamas, reading and bedtime. Even though I may be tired, I know how important it is to use the evening hours well to set the next day up for success.
My evening routine includes picking up anything left out that needs to be put away, cleaning the kitchen, and planning for the next day. I always make my to-do list the night before as sort of a brain dump.
I will quickly hop on the computer to schedule my post and social media for the next day. After I turn the computer off my husband I spend time together. Currently our favorite activity is watching Royals baseball while I’m reading and watching the game next to him. Multi-tasking at it’s finest! 😉
My life isn’t glamorous by any stretch of the imagination but it’s full and rich. By knowing what my priorities are and where to focus my time and energies, I have a good and peaceful family, work and life balance at home.