OR Twenty seven requests for a Cookie does not an emergency make.
Once upon a time, I got a bunch of leadership training that I figured wouldn’t really apply to the slacker mommy life. Guess what? I was wrong. One of the most helpful, non-spiritual pieces of advice I’d ever recieved can be found in this commonly used chart from the book: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Basically, there are 4 quadrants
1) Important and Urgent 2) Important /Not Urgent
feeding everyone Relationship building
keeping the house warm planning/dreaming/organizing/creating
sitting at Jesus’ feet and encouraging my kids to do so
3) Urgent/Not important 4) Not Urgent/Not important
others minor crises facebook
phone calls TV, mindless activities
I’d modify it a bit to meet my needs, but it is no coincidence that the father of the family the book “Cheaper by the Dozen” was based on was, in fact, a real life Efficiency Expert. Sometimes the reason stuff doesn’t get done is because we spend all of our time oiling the squeakiest wheels. Sometimes we waste time, but very often we find ourselves driven by the urgent rather then our true priorities. Sometimes the dishes can wait while we color with our child. Sometimes an hour dreaming is a better use of time then playing Candy Crush.
Basically, we want to spend the first fruits of our time in the Important boxes. If nothing else gets done in a day, I want to accomplish my important and urgent things (everyone’s physical needs/spiritual needs are met), move on the the important not urgent things (other needs are met ) I may throw in some not so important things along the way, and that’s fine- but the important stuff gets priority
One lesson it has taken me a long time to learn as a parent is that entertainment is not a need. Boredom can seem like a minor crisis to a child, but they are far better off learning to :read a book, collect rocks, color, ride a cardboard box down the stairs, chase chickens, catch slimy critters, and otherwise amuse themselves. I am not doing my children any favors by trying to keep them happy. In fact, the greatest precursor to happiness in adults is a high level of contentment. I am not saying that as a homeschooler that I should not be intentional about helping my children get their social needs met. I am not saying that parents shouldn’t take time to do stuff with children, relationship building is VERY important. I am saying that “I’m bored” isn’t a problem that I, as a parent, need to concern myself with. My children know where to find the art supplies.
Relationship building could involve working together on common goals. Dreaming together. Talking. Creating. Exercising. Gardening. Chasing goats. Cleaning the kitchen. Folding wash. Serving someone. Anything we do together with open hearts is relationship building.
What about house cleaning? For me, aspects of it can fall in all four categories. To a degree it goes with meeting kids physical needs-Important and urgent. Having a model showroom house-not all that important. Having clean dishes and clothes- Important. Making my home as comfortable and useful as I am able–important/not urgent. Making my home impressive to outsiders- not so important to me in this season of life.
Lastly, we can never underestimate the true importance of dreaming. We live in a society driven to distraction, but we were made for more. Dreaming trains our minds, and focuses our creativity towards it’s true purpose. It pulls us from despair as it seeks new ways through our problems. It empowers us. What is dreaming? It is making goals and coming up with ways to work towards them. it is looking for new solutions to old problems. Sometimes its figuring out how to make lemonade. Dreaming is part of our dominion work, it is the seeing of the garden beneath the thorns and thistles. It is making the vision plain so that we can work toward it.
Stay tuned for part 3 where we’ll learn how to worry , and why the 80/20 rule doesn’t apply to canning or anything involving chemicals