Gettin’ in the back-to-school Groove

It’s here.

I’m both excited and ready to weep at the same time.

ALL FOUR of my children are in school.

I have a high schooler, a middle schooler, a 4th grader, and a kindergardner now. Holy canoli.

What does this mean?

~It means I’m getting older and have no “babies” at home.
~It means I’ve gained a little weight over eating my emotions away.
~It also means that I now have my days during the week to ACCOMPLISH non-kid-related stuff.
~It means I feel released to blog weekly again! YEAH!
~It means I’ll be releasing TWO novellas this fall… one CHRISTMAS novella that features an ALL NEW setting and set of characters for me, and the last SANDWICH novella, A Side of Love.
~It means that I’ll still be a very busy work-from-home mom!

I’m still working out my groove. Trying to get into a routine that works for me that helps me to be PRODUCTIVE with my time. I’m not always good with that as of late…. It used to be a strength of mine!! I’m determined to grab that back!

A few of the things I’m trying:

Jesus first – The moment my kids are out the door, I’m trying to sit down and having my Bible and prayer time. My kids are up so early that BEFORE they awake is laughable and Jesus would just tell me to go back to bed. But I think getting in a better habit of beginning my kid-free part of my day with Jesus will set me up for a God-glorifying day, and THAT is what I seek above all else.

Music vs. TV – In years past, I’ve kept the TV on most of the day on low. Not that I watched it much, but it made the house feel less empty when I was by myself and when kids were home, it was on cartoons a good bit of the time. I’m just not a fan of a completely quiet house, it would drive me insane! This year, I’m trying music instead. I set Pandora on my TV to various stations and have praise and worship music playing (quietly while I write, and blaring while I’m cleaning or what-not, LOL)

MACRO vs MICRO – I’ve tried schedules on and off the last few years. BUT IT DOESN’T WORK. Not for me at least. I never actually FOLLOW the schedule and then I feel like a big failure and then I’m sad and stressed and then I eat and then I get fat and then I’m to tired to do anything and then I feel more like a failure and then… you get the drift. So instead of micromanaging my days, I’m making BIG goals. I have daily things I want to do (writing, picking up, Jesus time, contract work I do), and I just do them and take as long as they need and tick them off. I also have one BIG goal for each day… Yup. Only one. My daily goals take a good chunk of my time, so I don’t really have a TON Of extra time. So monday’s for example, is laundry day. Tuesday is deeper cleaning day. And so on.

GRACE – We’re talking about grace at our church this month. LOVE the topic because goodness, we’d all be nowhere without the GRACE of God. I’m learning that I need to give myself a little too. When I screw up, when I have a total MOMMYFAIL day and I get nothing accomplished and everyone comes home to a messy house and a mommy who blew it… while not ideal, it isn’t the end of the world. Instead of letting it ruin me, I’m leaning it isn’t the end of the world. That there is a TON of value in learning now not to dwell on the failure and instead, learn from it, pick myself up, and try again the next day.

I’d love to hear from others what things help you manage your time well!