Doing it "All" and Doing it Well

Today I'm thinking about how to make time for all the important things in my life. If what we focus on is what we succeed at, how do we spend the time to succeed at many things?

I want to succeed at raising my daughters -- be an intentional mother who helps my girls grow to be loving, secure, self-confident, happy and fulfilled women who love God and treat others with respect and compassion.

I want to succeed at marriage -- I don't want my husband to feel like I don't have time for him or for our relationship. I want to celebrate 50 years of marriage with him, unless death claims one of us first. I love that there are often times when either he or I feel that we are the lucky one. I always want to have that kind of marriage.

I want to succeed at homeschooling.

I want to succeed at interpersonal relationships -- investing time and love into my family and friends.

I want to succeed at writing. This is probably the only thing in my life that is purely for me. Writing makes me come alive; it's my passion. Blogging is one small aspect of this category, but journaling, and writing for publication are aspects as well. This category suffers a lot. It just doesn't seem there's time for every aspect mentioned, but I almost constantly have something in this category on my mind.

I want to learn to be intentional with my time and focus. That when I'm mothering, this is what I'm thinking about and 100% plugged into; when I'm working to help support our household income, this is what I'm focusing on, to make sure I do my best work; when I'm writing or engaging in creativity, I allow myself to truly enjoy it and claim that time for myself, without feeling pulled in other directions or guilty for not using the time to clean my house or be taking care of my other responsibilities.

In the past, I've discovered that the way to "do it all" is to not attempt to do everything every day. I surely can't pay adequate attention and time on all of the categories in my life every day and be intentional and stay non-stressed.

I also know that I can't take on too much. I must be intentional about what I say 'yes' to and what I place on my plate of responsibility. I subscribe to the theory that less is truly more. I refuse to give into our societal assumption that busy = important. I'm plenty busy just keeping up with my responsibilities and priorities without maxing out my planner.

Thoughts? How do you give yourself permission to have time for yourself? How do you create space and time for regular attention to your passions? I would love input in the comments section on this.


  1. First off, let me say I cannot imagine just doing daily tasks with the physical pain you have. I think you are fantastic for not giving up and still having drive to succeed.
    I am still a work in progress in this area of creating time for everything. But something I have decided for myself is that some things will just have to wait. I love orderly houses that are always spic-n-span, but I also know that it's not realistic right now given the fact that I have 3 kids. I give myself permission to not stress about the toys all over the floor, or the dishes that may not get put in the dishwasher right away. When I have the energy in my day to do it, then I do. If not, I snuggle w/ the kids and take a break. Housework will always be there.

    *Don't feel like you have to do it all, all the time
    *Ask for help
    *Schedule in your creative time. Say "I am going to write for X amount of time. After that time is up, I will make dinner/get the kids in bed/ watch a movie w/ hubby." If you are feeling satisfied in your passions, you will be much more willing to do other necessary tasks.

  2. This statement is SO true, Kei: "If you are feeling satisfied in your passions, you will be much more willing to do other necessary tasks." Thank you for commenting!

  3. I couldn't agree more with Kei. I too struggle with my priorities and how to balance those that have made the cut, though. You are not alone.

    How do you give yourself permission to have time for yourself?
    I think for me, it comes down to a simple reminder that a happy mommy is a better mommy and so that frees me to invest into myself. I still don't get to do it as often as I'd love to but I'm encouraged that there is a season for everything. One day the season I am in will end or at least subside and no longer be on the top priority list and that will free up time to invest more time into my passions.

    How do you create space and time for regular attention to your passions?
    Placing it on the calendar. It is a date and appointment just like anything else. Of course I make sure that is a time my husband can take over the childcare. I find he loves to be of help and actually wants me to take that time so that helps.

  4. Good thoughts, Xio. It's true that mothering young kids is a season and that a happy mom makes for a better mom.

  5. This is certainly something I think about often, particularly after refining my goals at the new year--now the reality of how much is actually possible is sifting out. Energy is always an issue for me, and it turns out I'm not able to focus daily on quite that many things. When I get very overwhelmed, still trying to cling to my focus, I scramble and try to do several at once: results vary, but generally not favorable. A weekly break for me is firm on our family calendar, and I think my brain would crumble without it. Daily is not as simple. My general philosophy is that I will do what I can when I can, and once there is no more energy, I have to let the rest go. Sometimes I cringe about how much that is.

    I also have noticed that I have different kinds of energy: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Sometimes I'm physically exhausted but my mind is going strong. Other times I am able to do laundry but quail at the emotional battle of a stubborn child. Exhaustion in one type will usually affect the other types of energy. It helps me to understand and be aware of my energy system.

    There is at least one major passion of mine that I am not at all engaged with at present, and I feel that hole. Sometimes I burn to get back to it, but most of the time I can't imagine how I would have momentum for it. I look at the lack of it as temporary. The time will come when I'll be active with it again, and that will be challenging and wonderful!

  6. Thank you, Wendy. It's definitely true that there are different types of energy.


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