As moms, we have so many choices every day of how to spend our time: taking care of children, running errands, doing something for our husbands, cleaning house, going to appointments, preparing meals—the list seems endless.
And that list doesn’t include doing something specifically for yourself, or spending time just having fun with your children! Both of these items, though often forgotten, are at least as important as the ones on the first list!
We can get so very focused on accomplishing the myriad of details that concern our family, that sometimes we forget the activities that may be the most important.
During the very busy years with five fairly young children, I found a few statements that assisted me in deciding where to put my efforts at any particular moment in my day. These are the questions I recommend to young moms I mentor now.
- “Will this thing I am about to do matter 10 years from now?” This question alone causes a huge reality check in the mind of a mom. No, we can’t live in a pig sty and we can’t eat sandwiches every day for dinner, but there is a point of balance. Sometimes we do have to forego the fancy dinner we planned from Martha Stewart’s new cookbook. And what if the kids actually skipped their baths for a night? Could the kitchen floor make it one more day before it gets mopped? If we take a look from 30,000 feet up—or from 10 years in the future—what are the things that reallymatter?
“What is the most important thing for me to be doing right now?” Again, this statement is a great clarifier. To not get taken up by what seems urgent, but to really look at what is the most valuable use of your time at this moment. If you are having guests for dinner, then picking up the house may very well be highest on the priority list. If your husband is due home any minute and needs to eat before he attends a meeting tonight, then putting a meal on the table becomes more important than usual. Only you can answer this question for yourself and for that moment in time.
“What would a great mom do?” All of us want to be great moms. We aspire to being better than average. We want to excel as a parent, to thrive in our roles as moms. So this acronym will help keep us on target: WWGMD. What would a great mom do? Make the same decision and take the same steps that you imagine a great mom would. Each decision we make in that direction takes us one step closer to being the mom we desire to be.
Part of being a mom means we make life in our family balanced, fun, and memorable. So choose wisely, Mom—you have only this one life to live with your family.
Question: What question do you ask yourself as a mom to help you stay on target with your most important values? Share your answer in the comments below.