- Lower your expectations. Adam convicted me of this a couple of weeks ago. I cannot do it all; I cannot even do a lot of it (whatever "it" is). And that's okay. The world will go on, and my world will go on. This doesn't mean I can't aspire to accomplish much or that I am allowed to neglect what needs to be done, either around my home or at work. It doesn't mean that I am called to do mediocre work wherever I am. It does mean that I (and you) can't beat myself up when something (i.e. the ironing, grading papers, picking up toys) goes undone.
- Do excellent work. I know this seems to contradict the last point, but it is true. The better the quality of work you do, the more efficient you (and the work) will be. It will glorify God as believers are to do in all things, but it will make what you are doing more worthwhile, instead of half-heartedly or even begrudgingly schleping through what needs to be accomplished.
- Prioritize. I mean, really. I realize that this is the most common tip for maintaining a kind of balance, but honestly, priorities matter. Your time and energy should reflect what you value. Don't like what you see? Maybe what you value needs to be shifted. Maybe your time and energy need to be redirected.
- Be flexible. This goes with the first point. Yesterday, Adam had a bad day at work. All of my favorite blogs would say that what my husband needs at the end of a hard day is a lovingly home-cooked meal. My mother would probably also say that. But what does my husband really want at the end of a hard day? Wendy's. Was that on the menu? Nope. Is it okay? Absolutely.
My last point isn't a tip so much as an encouragement to the moms who read this blog. When Pastor Nick preached on Genesis 3 (or the fall, because I'm sure he didn't preach all of Genesis 3 in one sermon!), he talked about the consequences doled out due to the fall of man. He explained that woman's pain not only comes from the physical act of childbirth, but from giving birth to a sinful child in a sinful world and always trying to reconcile those two things. Part of our inherited pain as mothers is trying to constantly find the balance in our lives; one day, every tear will be wiped away from our eyes. Praise God, and Maranatha. Soli Deo Gloria.