Frustration and tension you could cut with a knife…..These were not feelings of a woman that had just found out some heart wrenching news. Oh no. This was ME getting my two beautiful little girls ready for church every Sunday morning– alone. My husband would leave early to play in the band at church, and I was left to myself to find tights, dresses, bows, shoes, and all the other things little girls wore. (Insert sympathy here). Oh and somewhere along the way I was supposed to get myself together and show up at church on time, looking fabulous, feeling refreshed, and ready to worship! This was NOT my reality however. While I hoped and wished it would all work out, every distraction imaginable would come up. The tights I thought they would wear had a huge hole right in the knee area. The hair bow that matched the dress would be missing in action. I would manage to locate the right foot dress shoe, but what happened to the mate of that dress shoe when I needed it most? The ticking away of my precious time made it more and more apparent that my desired departure time was NOT going to happen. The tension would mount as I came to the harsh realization that I would be late…..again. Arriving late to church also meant there would be no space left in the nursery for my kids, and no seat left in the sanctuary. I felt defeated before I even left my home. Oh happy day……
During one of these Sunday morning drama filled episodes, I threw myself a pity party and invited the Lord to join me. I needed Him to tell me why this was so difficult for poor me to get to church on time. With tear filled eyes, I heard Him speak this within me clearly, “YOU are in control of your time.” What???? Did I misunderstand something here God? How is it that I am in control of my time when all these unexpected situations keep getting thrown at me? I mean, I AM THE VICTIM HERE, right? He said, “Everyone gets the same 24 hours.“ Finally, I got it.
You see, I felt like nobody had circumstances quite like MINE. I thought my available time was shorter than everyone else’s. I started to believe I was the only person in the world who had the horrible plight of getting two kids ready for church alone. Those, my friends, are the thoughts of a VICTIM, and a VICTIM never gets VICTORY, only SYMPATHY.
Once I recognized that dark evil forces were not congregating together every Saturday night to plan my Sunday morning demise, I saw who and what the REAL problem was. It and she could be found in my mirror. It was ME. Understand this–the mother of ten kids, the surgeon that spends 14 hours in the operating room, the pastor of a mega-church, the single mother that works full-time while working on her college degree, the elementary school teacher with the overcrowded class, the single father of a special needs child, the business owner, and I were all on a level playing field when it came to TIME. Each of us were dealt the same 24 hours to make it happen, regardless of our circumstances. Suddenly the tears dried up, the tension left, and I went from being powerless to powerful in an instant. Now all I needed was a STRATEGY. After I accepted the responsibility over my use of time, it was instantly clear what I had been doing wrong. I had not PREPARED. I was getting up every Sunday morning rolling the dice, hoping and wishing I would win, instead of planning to win. A WISH is NOT a PLAN. There is a great saying that says, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Use the following tips to make your plan and WIN:
1) PREParation– Decide the night before EXACTLY what you and your kids will wear, and then do a dress rehearsal to identify any issues. Are the tights free of holes and do they still fit? Do their clothes have any missing buttons, stains that were not removed during the washing process, etc.? Inspect everything and address any issues. Once each piece passes inspection, put it all together on a hanger. Place smaller items such as jewelry, hair bows, socks, bow tie, etc. in a small bag, and place it on the neck of the hanger. This may not seem like a big thing, but it is. It is those little details we overlook that snowball and eat away at our time.
2) Plan– Write the vision. Write out a schedule and allot a certain amount of time to it. A written plan increases the chances of it being an accomplished plan. If your kids can read, give them a copy. Both time and money must be given a specific assignment upfront, or they will aimlessly wonder everywhere, accomplishing nothing. Write each task that needs to be accomplished and delegate a frame of time to it. What time will you be in the shower? How long? What time will you comb their hair, feed them breakfast? How long will each task take? How long does it take for you to get ready? Is it better to do that before you wake your kids up or after? Be very specific and don’t leave out even the smallest of details.
3) Delegation– What are you doing for your kids that your kids could do be doing on their own? (We will discuss this more in a later blog). Is there anything you can delegate out? Can you put premeasured cups of milk in the refrigerator and covered bowls of cereal on the table and let them take it from there? Can they dress themselves? Make their own bed? Can the older child help the younger child with some things? Sometimes we think we have to do it all, when we don’t really have to.
4) Organization– This is a blog subject within itself! Elimination and organization will make all the difference. Organization involves creating a systematic place to put things, and a systematic way of doing things. Why didn’t I make this step #1? I did not make it step #1 because getting organized is a project that can take time. You can make a lot of progress by doing steps 1 & 2, even though things are not quite organized yet. Designate time to get everything in order. You won’t regret it!
5) Celebration– You finally got it right so celebrate, and get the kids in on it! Create a special little dance, handshake, or facial expression with your kids when you all accomplish a goal. That celebration will create a special memory between you and your kids. Celebration creates motivation. Motivation helps create repeat performance!
SUPERmom Tip: Super moms don’t have to be stressed out moms. Eliminate the stress, strain, and frustration that come as a result of improper planning. Creating a winning plan will help you enjoy the life you deserve with your family!
Do you plan to implement any of these steps? Do you currently implement any of these steps? If so, how is it working for you? I would love to hear back from you!