– by Crystal Paine
Make your relationship with the Lord your number-one priority. If you’re too busy for God, you’re just plain too busy. Make time for the most important things. You won’t regret it.
Get a consistent routine in place. Make your routine simple—maybe even just five or seven things you want to do in the same order every day. Write it out, and make yourself stick with it for three weeks. After that, you’ll probably find it’s become somewhat of a habit. Don’t set your expectations too high. If you’ve never had a consistent routine, you’re not going to go from chaos to a regimented schedule in two days. Start small, take baby steps, and make enjoying and loving your children your top priority—far above a clean home or a strict schedule.
Read aloud from a plethora of good books. Look at the pictures together. Talk about the stories. Stop and listen and answer your children’s questions. It’s not about finishing the book; it’s about investing in your children’s lives.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Ask yourself, “What will matter twenty-five years from now?” and then live your life accordingly.
Take advantage of teaching opportunities. It’s amazing the things you can learn and explore together when you’re willing to stop what you’re doing and seize a teachable moment.
Praise your children liberally. Do you correct or criticize your children more than you praise them? As parents, it’s our role to guide and nurture our children, but that doesn’t mean we can’t also be their biggest cheerleader!
Realize that no mom—however put together she might look—is anywhere near perfect. Stop comparing. Stop feeling guilty. Focus on what works for your family and be okay with the fact that you aren’t gifted in all areas.
Don’t give up. Being a mom is hard, hard work. If you’re anything like me, you have days when you feel like you just can’t do it anymore. And I’ve come to learn that I can’t?in and of my own strength. But, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Crystal Paine is wife to Jesse; homeschooling mom of Kathrynne (6), Kaitlynn (4), and Silas (2); wannabe runner, and author of The Money Saving Mom®’s Budget. In between diapers and dirty dishes, she blogs at MoneySavingMom.com.