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Isn’t that what we are all after?

We want to be able to live our busy fulfilling lives without falling off the rocker.  We ache for time to slow down and breathe yet somehow accomplish all that is set before us to do.

Do you agree?

Now – I in no way profess to be an expert at finding balance in my life, nor do I have some magical answer for you.  But I do want to share the 10 things I do to find balance in my busy (blessed) life, full of kids and a husband, a work-from-home job, and being a homemaker.

Family Pictures

If you’ll forgive the self-indulgence, I figured a post like this was as good of a time as any to share our family pics taken by my dear talented friend Sandy (her site HERE).  A post without pictures seems too boring for me πŸ˜‰

Any way – I get asked all the time how I “do it all”.  My reaction is always the same with a scoff and a definite “I don’t!”

Family Pictures

Actually, since we are getting so up-close-and-personal today – the truth is I struggle with a great deal of anxiety most days.  My home is never as clean as these pictures look (trust me).  I often wonder why I am not enjoying motherhood as much as I thought I would when it is all I have ever dreamed of doing.  I frequently feel like I’m falling behind in everything, and not good enough for anyone.

Alright.  So I sound like the last person you want advice from on “finding balance”.  Ha!  I realize I’m probably not the best person to offer opinions on the matter, but I’m going to attempt it anyway.  The thing is – I’ve discovered some things or practices I must do in order to feel I’m in a good place daily.  If I let some of these things slip – my life slips.

Family Pictures

So here are 10 things I do to help me feel on top of things.  And if you’ll stick around long enough, I would love to hear any tricks or tips you have on the subject in the comments below.

(Order is of no significance.  They are all important to me).

1. Organize each day by time blocking.

I’ve implemented this one strategy in the last 3 months and it has been my sanity savor.  I just made a simple printable (which you are welcome to view and print if it is helpful for you) that sections off my day in the times things typically happen.  It is crucial that the night before I look at the day ahead of me and fill this sheet out.  Before this time blocking method, I just had a never ending “to-do” list.  I would wake and look at all the things before me and instantly be stressed.  By time blocking, I am more aware of how much time I have to do things, when they can reasonably happen, and I can allow my day and my list to be more realistic instead of setting myself up for failure.  This also helps me significantly in prioritizing my time.

(View or print my time blocking sheet, HERE).

Family Pictures

2.  Work Out!

I tell myself I don’t need to.  I convince myself that I’m too tired or other things are more important.  But the truth of the matter is, that I feel so much better if I exercise daily.  I can be feeling so anxious inside, and a few minutes on the treadmill or jogging down the road something happens inside and those feelings are released.  I also enjoy (well not really enjoy because it is totally miserable) doing Jillian Michaels 90 day body revolution.   I feel like if I can endure her 30 minutes of torture, I can do anything.  Being consistent in my exercise routine is really key, so I be sure to add it to my time block sheet.

Family Pictures

3.  Clean a room a day.

Being able to clean my entire house all in one shot (like I prefer) only happens if husband and kids are gone for days.  And that only happens once a year at my house.  However, I kind of loose it (just ask my husband) when my home is a mess.  Now, kids make mess – I know.  But I’m talking when it all just piles up and up and all I can see is hours and hours I don’t have of clean-up time building before my very eyes.  To combat these feelings and avoid a panic attack, I choose a room a day to clean.  I can do one room, and I add that to my time block.  I spend 15-30 minutes max picking up and scrubbing if necessary.  When I am consistently doing this each day, things don’t get that bad.  Kids help pick up at night and I feel like I can breathe.  If you need more suggestions in this area, I wrote a post about how I lock my kids toys up and I still rely on this method and love it.  Read that post, HERE.

Family Pictures

4.  Schedule devoted time to kids.

I like to multi-task.  My kids hate when I multi-task.  They really love when they have my 100% attention.  So I make sure that there are certain hours in a day (if possible) that I will do nothing but help my children.  This goes on the time block and is usually right after school until dinner time.  I try so very hard to ignore the phone and not sneak in something else because they aren’t looking.  My kids are my world, but sometimes it is so hard to not let the world take all my attentions.  When I am successful at this, these become my favorite hours of the day.

Family Pictures

5.  Schedule devoted time to my blog/business.

This one is a tough-y.  I’ll answer a few emails here.  Check on instagram there.  Try to hide in my bathroom with the computer so my kids don’t think I’m working when I shouldn’t be – that kind of stuff.  I am becoming very very passionate about my blog and when that passion is burning it is super hard to simmer it down and keep it in check.  While I enjoy this whole blogging adventure so very much, I have to remind myself it is not the most important thing for me at this time.  My family is.  My calling as a wife and mother is.  So I time block nap times and bed times as blog times.  If it works out with my husband, I also have a few hours on Saturday as well.  I have to try very hard to not let it take priority and I imagine there will be a time for more of it when my littles are not so little.

Family Pictures

6.  Weekends are for the love of my life.

Blogging is off limits after 3:00 on Friday – and it’s family time until Monday.  My most favorite weekends are the ones I get to go on a date with my husband, Kevin.  I don’t stay up late blogging, and we enjoy movies together, plan activities with our kids, work on house projects and just spend as much time as we can together before Monday comes.  Sundays we do nothing but go to church and rest and relax together.  It is heavenly.  After weekends like that I am ready to tackle to world on Monday.

Family Pictures

7.  Order my groceries online and have them delivered to my house.

Seriously.  Have you tried that?!  I’ve always struggled with getting to the store between nap times, pick-up and drop-off times, and work times – it always seemed like such an inconvenience and I’ve despised grocery shopping for as long as I can remember.  I found out the closest grocery store to our home (15 minutes away) uses an online system called “Rosie” and you can fill out an order and either pick it up all ready for you for a couple of bucks or I could have it hand delivered for about $10.00.  I started by just picking it up at the store myself, but when I saw the savings of money I was experiencing on our grocery bills, I justified the 10 bucks for delivery.  Now I don’t have to wonder when I’ll have time to get there, or battle 4 kids at the grocery store.  My favorite people in the world bring my groceries right to my table.  Literally.  It is the best thing since sliced bread and if you can find a store that does it around you, I highly recommend it.  I was saving big time because I could see my total as I added items and adjust accordingly.  I also avoided all my impulse buys which I am really bad at.  It is a complete win-win!

Family Pictures

8.  Time for myself.

Does anyone else find it so hard to allow time for yourself and not feel guilty about it?  I hope it isn’t just me!  Whenever I take those chances to go to lunch with girlfriends (sans kids), or even enjoy a convention or trip for a couple of days, I come back so refreshed and with so much more ability to see life as it is.  I’ve come to realize how important these moments are and try to fit them in as much as I can without neglecting my family.  I am happier and more fulfilled – and it reflects directly on how I treat my family and those around me.

Family Pictures

Family Pictures

9.  Worship and Reflect

If I needed to number this list of mine, this one should probably go on top.  I am a firm believer that if you put God first, everything else will fall into place.  I won’t profess to be perfect at this.  I try to read scripture daily but find it slips through the cracks occasionally.  But what I do know and have witnessed time and time again in my life – when I pray often, read and ponder the word of God, and serve others – balance is attainable.  Life is put into perspective.  I feel peace.  I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (aka Mormon), and living by the teachings and practices of this church, which I believe to be true, is the single greatest factor in my life for finding real peace and balance in a tumultuous world.  I believe that in those moments when I feel like I am not enough, our Savior Jesus Christ, makes up for what I am lacking.  I am so very grateful for his mercy and grace.

Family Pictures

Family Pictures

10.  Let Things Go

I am really working on this one.  I’ll share with you my good husbands pep talk.

 “You don’t have to do everything.  You don’t have to be everything.  You are not perfect, and that is okay.  Let it go.”   Or something like that πŸ˜‰

We really have to consider if perfect balance is even possible in this life.  So I wore sweat pants all day – let it go.  We had cereal for dinner – let it go.  I didn’t post as much as I should have this week – let it go.  I just ate half of our Halloween candy – let it go, and buy some more later.  (My sincerest apologies if you have a certain overplayed Elsa song stuck in your head now).

Family Pictures

I appreciate you sticking around for my ramblings this long.  I hope I’ve given you something to think about and maybe some ideas to help improve balance in your own life.

Family Pictures
Family Pictures

And please – if I am missing something that we must know – leave it in the comments below!  I’d also love to hear if you try to do any of the things I’ve mentioned above and found them helpful.

Thanks for reading!
10 Things I do to find balance in a busy life.

*Linking up to these parties, HERE.

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  1. Cami, I’m just getting around to reading this post now (all about that time balancing thing, right? Haha!). Your post was so helpful and inspiring to read. I struggle on a daily basis with balancing my time between my baby, husband, home, blog and family and friends. I often feel like I’m the only one that struggles with finding the time to do everything and I agree with you on so many of these points. I too fit in blogging during nap time and bed time, and I need to work harder on making the weekends a blogging-free time. Thank you for sharing some of your secrets friend! xo

    1. It is so hard, isn’t it Alicia! I am not perfect at these things I mentioned but when I feel things spinning out of control I go back to these concept and renew my commitment. It seems to help. Thanks for leaving such sweet words for me friend! So glad I get to know you!

  2. Oh my. All I can think of is, you are so REAL! That is a huge compliment in this world. It is an honor to be able to share your journey – always told in such an honest and humble voice. Now – when can you come over and help me decorate?!

    1. Your comment lifted me right up! Thank you! I always try to be true to myself, and never sure if it comes across like that. So glad to know it does for some. Thank you for taking the time to tell me!

  3. I still feel massively inadequate! I work 4 days a week mon-thurs. leave the house just after 7am return home at 4pm after collecting my kids from school and childcare. To then deal with the carnage left by the morning rush plus trying to feed snacks to the kids whilst trying to cook a meal, wash pots, vacuum. Then after our dinner it’s kids bath/bedtime/story time. By the end of the week the house looks like a bomb has gone off with clothes, clean laundry, toys, letters from school etc. I just can’t seem to find the time.
    I think I need to be more organised, I seem to try to achieve too much and end up getting nothing done as I’m flitting between one thing and another and subsequently spend all day Friday cleaning and tidying when I could be spending time with my youngest while his sisters are at school.
    Moan over! Sorry ?

    1. I wish I could give you the biggest hug! My heart really goes out to you. Working from home is a challenge, but I am not blind to the fact that it is a million times harder for working moms. If only we could all afford a house cleaner and a chef every day, right?! I am glad you took the time to moan πŸ˜‰ It always helps to talk through our challenges and have someone listen. I hope some of my thoughts were beneficial for you, but I really hope you find a way to let some of that go inside and I am certain you are doing far better than you think you are. I really don’t mean to share this to throw my religion in your face, but I recommend you listen to this talk about motherhood. It really lifted me up at a time when I needed it. If you can find the time, that is!

      1. Aww thanks for that, so very true! Made me quite teary eyed.
        The post has some great tips some I already do (grocery delivery) and others I’m going to initiate. The getting rid of the toys idea. My cellar(basement) is a no go area but I will move their toys out of our living room/dining room up to their room and they can only have one toy at a time.
        The rest is down to organisation so time blocking could be the way forward!
        Thank you x

  4. You are my favorite kind of people πŸ™‚ First of all, your family is adorable! Second of all, thank you so much for this post and for being so real and honest. Finding balance is something I struggle with too, so I have found this post to be so helpful. I’m definitely leaving here with some new ideas to try out. Thanks friend!

    1. Haha! Thank you Emily! I adore you and that cute family as well. Glad I could give you some ideas and I hope they help!

  5. Love this post. Great reminder that taking a few minutes for yourself in the end helps you and them. I just got a time blocking sheet and am going to try it out today. Of course I have the busiest day so heres hoping that it helps me to realize when I have extra minutes and make the most of them!

    1. It really does, doesn’t it! Hope time blocking helps you, even on those super busy days. I know it does for me. Best of luck to you, and thank you for taking the time to leave a comment for me.

  6. Thank you for this inspiring post. I enjoyed every word of it. I’a mother of 4 young adults, not a grandmother yet ? My husband and I have been retired for 18 months now and I still struggle to find balance. Having too much time is as hard, if not harder to manage than not having enough time.

    I really enjoy your blog and since I started reading you, I began putting down on paper what I would like to share on mine … It would be in french…soooo thank you for the inspiration and all your great ideas.

    Thanks again for your good work … I’m grateful that God has put you on my road

    1. Thank you for taking the time to tell me all you shared! I do have to agree with you whole heartedly about having too much time can be challenging. When I first began having kids, I wasn’t really into hobbies because I thought I couldn’t have them, or even work if I was to be a stay-at-home mom. I got very discouraged not having enough to fill my days and often felt the days were too long. So there is another challenge – filling our lives with enough but not too much! I am glad you enjoyed this post and my blog. I would love to take a look at yours – even though I don’t know French πŸ˜‰ That is so exciting!

  7. Cami

    As a mother of four and a grandmother of 8 I find your blog to be so down to earth and real. You say what is on your mind and then try to find an answer to the problem at hand . At 70 years of age I still to not have the answers but reading your words puts a lot of what I deal with in perspective even at 70.
    I am a nanny by profession so my calendar hopefully stays full. God is amazing on that issues and my mother lives with me. So I have a different kind of stress but still following some of your ideas will help in eliminating some of that stress.
    Today’s blog was fabulous and I’m sending it on to my children. Your decorating and advice is great. God has used your heart and talent to help others you are amazing.
    I look forward to reading your next blog. Karen

    1. What sweet sweet thoughts you shared with me! I always strive to be genuine and I’m grateful and relieved you feel I am. What a blessing and challenge you have to be a nanny at 70. I am sure that mother is grateful to have a experienced mother care for her children. And then you care for your mother as well! Your hands do sound very full, and my heart goes out to you. God bless!

  8. I read every word of this beautiful post! I’ve also started blocking out time that is 100% dedicated to my kids and it’s amazing how much better my attitude is at the end of the day. It brings me contentment and joy that I never get from getting all of my laundry done in One day, making a delicious, nutritious meal, etc. Awrsome pictures! Beautiful family and scenery!