“When I started teaching school as a newly engaged lady, every day kind of came with a to-do list: lesson plans, make copies, grade papers, plan a seating chart so Thing 1 and Thing 2 maybe will stop talking. Some days I could get that all together by about 4 and head home and some days, not so much. But I knew what had to get done to make the next day as smoothly as possible.
So when I quit teaching to be home with my daughter, I just assumed at some point I’d fall into a rhythm. After all, I had with teaching. Not that first year, but by the third year, I wasn’t taking home papers to grade and I almost never forgot to run copies.
Naturally I thought being at home would be similar: I’d figure out what I had to get done each day to make the next day go smoothly and then that would grow into a couple days, then a whole week.
I mostly just coasted for a really long time. I cooked dinner because people get loud when there’s no food and that was about it.
But then I had this really great idea to start blogging. And I approached some people about it and I was all set to go. I was taking phone calls, talking through posts, and oh yeah, having another baby who didn’t sleep all about the same time.
And all this time I had never magically fallen into a rhythm of anything but survival mode.
My husband would come home after work and he would ask me “How was your day?” and I would say something like “I know I did stuff today but I don’t have any idea what it was.” And I would feel like a failure.
So we started talking about ways I could feel successful and it started with a small list of three things – three total wins I could have on a day.
You wouldn’t believe the difference this made. My husband would come home and ask about my day and I’d say “I got all three things done” or “I got all three things done plus….” Or “I didn’t get any of those things done but I did these things instead….”
It was a great season of growth for me. I realized that I didn’t have to have the perfect printable chart to have a productive day. Because believe me, I had tried. The cleaning schedules, the deep-cleaning the schedules.
And to be honest everything that centered on cleaning just didn’t work for me. I not only stink at cleaning I really don’t enjoy it at all. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a clean house and we don’t live in filth but I just don’t get great personal satisfaction out of cleaning a little bit every day. I get satisfaction out of enjoying a clean house all at once.
So little by little, I set out to figure out what worked for me and my life and my kids and how I’m wired about cleaning and how I’m still working while I’m home with my kids (for my husband and doing this). And then I thought to myself that I can’t be the only person that those cleaning schedules don’t work for. I can’t be the only one who, when looking at the priority list, will choose almost anything over folding laundry. (Hey, it’s clean right? What do people want from me?)
Then, once I saw how my non-system worked for me I told a friend about it. She tried it and liked it too. So I thought “hmm, I may not have this all figured out yet, but maybe I should share this with some people?” And I wrote a four-part series on my blog called How to Be Productive at Home and I shared the parts on finding a way to say “YES! I accomplished more than surviving today!”
God is so faithful. Always. After I got this written I started reading about making room in our lives by not having full days and that along with our time, we need to consider our emotional and mental capacity as well.* I looked at my schedule, looked at moving, looked at all the life-changes we had coming our way and thought “I haven’t even considered mental and emotional capacity! How does this impact how I do this?”
And so I’ve added in three more steps to the process and now I call it Get Your Groove On : Finding Your Rhythm Between Being and Doing. It’s not perfect because I’m still growing in this area, and it’s definitely not as much about ‘being’ as I’d like it to be, but it’s where I am so far.
I’m really excited to use it as I continue working from home, while starting to homeschool my oldest, and having another baby this fall. How I want to always prioritize having quiet time and time to recharge my brain and myself. I’d love to hear how you’re using it too.
Because we’re all better together. Not a single one of us – not even the great Pinterest list creators – have it all figured out. So instead of pretending like I do, I’ll just admit right now that I can’t wait to learn from you all and what you are learning through this experience.
And by doing this together, we’ll all get to enjoy Life Around the Coffee Cup.
*If you’re looking for book on learning more about the emotional and mental capacity, I recommend The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst.”
Leah Heffner is a wife to a sexy, beard-sporting man of God and mom to two (and one on the way!) of the cutiest, funniest, and messiest kids on this planet. She loves to DIY stuff (and sometimes is just as messy as the kids!) but always has a blast. Leah loves being a stay-at-home-mom and is kind of a hippy/pioneer lady. Most of all, she loves the Lord and is so excited to get to do life with other moms and wives who want to join her for Life Around the Coffee Cup.