After your Mother's Day celebration, you may be back to your regular mommy-routine, wondering how you can do your mom-role in the way that fits you best. When it comes to life and time management as a mother, it can be helpful to consider your personality style.
For a brief overview of how you approach managing your life and time, answer these simple questions. Circle (in your mind) the questions or statements that best describe you. Read each of the couplet questions below and think about which most represents what you prefer to do.
A1. Are you recharged by activity, interaction, and conversation with others? OR
A2. Do you gain renewed energy by being and working alone or one-on-one and by writing down your thoughts?
B1. Do you like to make immediate decisions and have a motto something like “Let’s get going. We’ve got lots to do.” Do you feel stressed when you’re forced to slow down and do nothing for extended periods of time? OR
B2. Are you more comfortable discovering all the possibilities and reflecting before you decide and have a motto similar to “If something’s worth doing, it’s worth taking time and doing it well.” Do you get physically and emotionally drained when you feel pushed into including too many fast-paced activities on your calendar for too long?
C1. Would you rather focus on the facts and figures about a problem/issue and like to organize your agenda and stick to the plan? OR
C2. Do you notice your feelings easily, like to tell stories, and focus on what others are doing and feeling before you try to figure out solutions?
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
After reflecting on your answers to the above questions, what would you say about your mommy-self right now? Remember, whatever you surmise at the current time is not set in stone. You’re an adaptable woman, and you just might think and react differently at another season of your life. Give yourself a break.
When I sat my sleep-deprived mommy-self down years ago and asked, “Well, Joan, what do you need right now?” My spontaneous response was “a little spiral notebook”* to write down when I last nursed my baby girl and to record my needs and grocery items as I thought of them. Pretty simple, huh? I kept it in a pocket or on a table where I fed the baby.
Now it’s your turn. When it comes to your current mom time-schedule related issues, what do you need? What’s the first thing that pops into your brain? Nothing? Well, then, what’s the second thing that pops into you mind?
There are no right-or-wrong responses to these questions, so relax. Move away from the it’s-either-black-or-white thinking. When it comes to scheduling and timing in your motherhood role, do what works for you and your family.
What did you discover about your mom-role?
* That was a long time ago. I might decide to use my iPhone for this now!!)
Adapted from Joan's book, Nourishment for New Moms.
Find the answers and encouragement you need to tackle this life-altering transition in the sage advice, practical strategies, and biblically based pointers in my book Nourishment for New Moms. It's sure to help you survive the challenges of motherhood--with grace, poise and humor intact.
Annette! My twin-cousin Jean and I loved that name. We watched Annette Funicello on TV. Jean and I even dreamed of naming our daughters (someday in the future) that pretty name, “Annette.” (Jean on left. Joan on right in photo. How about that "pompadour"??)
But we couldn’t both have daughters named Annette. Solution: Jean’s first-born was a girl and she named her “Annette.” She was (and is!) beautiful just like Annette Funicello; dark hair, glowing olive skin, lovely smile. I named my first-born (a girl, also!) Lynnette. She’s beautiful, too, with blond hair, fairer skin and a gorgeous smile.
Then I grew up to write a book about how joy and imperfection can co-exist titled The Relief of Imperfection. Annette Funicello grew up to act, dance and sing in movies, eventually developing multiple sclerosis and showing us all that indeed joy, pain and imperfection can co-exist.
Annette Funicello said, “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful!” Her words so impressed me that I quoted her on page 123 of The Intentional Woman book that I co-wrote with Carol Travilla. And two books later, Annette’s quote led way to the title of my devotional book, It’s a Wonderful (Imperfect) Life, for women who strive too hard to make it all just right.
It’s amazing how one person can personally impact another and never know about it. One article I read quoted Annette Funicello as saying, “I thank God I just didn’t wake up one morning and not be able to walk. You learn to live with it [MS]. …This just makes me appreciate the Lord even more because things could always be worse. I know he will see me through this.” After Annette’s death on Monday, April 8, 2013 in Bakersfield (the city where my two children were born), her daughter Gina said, “She’s on her toes dancing in heaven … no more MS.”
Annette Funicello touched my life in numerous personal ways, although she didn’t know it here on this earth. Whether we realize it or not, we impact and influence others during our lives, also. That truth encourages to me today, because sometimes (I admit it!) I stress about whether I’ve done enough for God or if I’ve made a difference in the lives of the people He planned for me to touch. So today I’ll cease trying so hard to make that happen and let God orchestra the connections. He can do it, just like He connected Annette and me.
Do you have an “Annette Funicello” story? Or a thought about how God makes connections that inspire? Please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you.
“I feel so unfocused and disorganized!” said my friend Laura. She had been downsized from her job, moved, and was trying to decide whether to get married again. “How can I manage all this change?" she asked. “It’s hard for me to be intentional. What in the world that is, anyway?”
Perhaps like Laura, you wonder what I mean when I write about “becoming an intentional woman.” Although it's a process and not always easy, it is possible. I can't change anyone else, but I can make positive changes in my own attitudes and behavior. An intentional woman with a heart for God:
Yet I believe that the key reason for living intentionally is to glorify God as the person He created you to be. In honoring our uniqueness, you and I come before our Creator and Savior with freedom and integrity. Just writing that down makes my shoulders relax and my breath to flow easier. How about you?
What's one word that reminds you of an "becoming an intentional woman"?
*Preparing to facilitate/teach an Intentional Woman Seminar this weekend led me to share this tonight.
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.