How Do YOU Travel?

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This post was originally run on May 10, 2008. I thought it was pertinent to revisit as we make our roadmaps for 2009. Each of us has a slightly different path and each travels in a different way. Different is how it should be. As you determine your destination as a mom and plot out this leg of the journey, consider what’s going to be the best way to get there – for you and your family.

So many times moms read or hear about another mother who seemingly “has it all together.” Maybe her house is spotless, or she has her budget in perfect, balanced order, or she makes homemade bread from scratch every morning. Our tendency is to find out exactly what she does and mimic it so that we, too, can be successful.

While we can get some great ideas from one another on how to do things, the pitfall is to sacrifice our own personalities in exchange for someone else’s habits and preferences. Let’s not compare. Let’s not think that one is necessarily better than another.

It is true that there are areas that each of us is weak in. (I wish my house were spotless, that there was lots of elbow room in the budget, and that I had energy to bake once a week, let alone every day.) And there is room for improvement in every home. In no way am I saying, “Let the chips fall where they may. I don’t need to try.” You do need to try to manage your home effectively. But, do it in a way that fits who God has made you to be. Let’s learn from one another instead of feeling pressure to conform.

The French have a saying, d’etre bien dans sa peau. Literally, it means “to feel right in one’s skin.” If you’re trying so hard to be like someone else, to run your home like someone else does, it probably won’t feel right. You may be able to keep it up for awhile. But, it will wear you out.

Instead, find your groove. Find what works for you and your family’s needs. If planning meals for a whole month at a time is your style, go for it. If once a week works better, then do that. Laundry every day? Laundry 3 times a week? Take the kids to the library for story time? Read story books at home? Make your playdough? Buy it in the little tubs? You get to choose!

The point is to apply good principles to the management of your home (such as keep everyone clean, clothed, and well fed) but do it in a way that suits the personalities that God has blessed you with: yours, your husband’s, and your kids’.

Discuss with your husband the strengths and weaknesses of your home life.

Where are you strong? What contributes to the success of that area? What might need some improvement?

Choose one area for improvement to talk and pray about during the next month. Brainstorm solutions and make a list. Try different things out until you find the right situation for your family.

Potential topics of discussion:

  • laundry
  • meal planning
  • scheduling and outside commitments
  • budget and family finances
  • education (homework, afterschool enrichment, homeschooling)
  • homecare

Does it help you to know how other MOMs do it? Why or why not? Try to be specific so we can learn from one another.

Part Five: What Will Get You Further Down the Road?

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  1. I do like to read about other people’s successes or failures, because sometimes one little tip has been that one thing that I needed to get my life back in order (whatever area that might be).

    Sometimes it is nice to know that you aren’t the only one traveling down that road and you aren’t alone.

  2. I definitely like to know how other MOMs do it. We all have such different strengths and can learn so much from each other. Face it- it’s not like any of us got to go to “mom school”. If we were lucky, we had one good mom as a role model who we try to emulate in all the best ways. But there’s still much to learn!

    What I do NOT find helpful are some posts that I read that cast a rosy glow upon every single thing a woman is doing in her home. I imagine some women are inspired by those posts, but they make me feel down on myself as I take in my somewhat dingy floor and dusty fan blades…