The Productive Mom
Today’s guest post is provided by Lisa Hendey as part of the Productive at Home series. Lisa blogs regularly at the Catholic Mom Moments blog and is a great supporter of The Daily Saint blog.
A huge thank you to Mike for his kind invitation to blog in this wonderful forum on one of my favorite topics: productivity in the home. By means of introduction, I am a wife and mother of two sons (almost 13 and almost 16) living in Fresno, California. I’ve been married to my college sweetheart Greg, an Emergency Room physician, for over 21 years. I work from home doing web design, writing, and part-time parish work. But since my true vocation is “mom”, every day is on-the-job training!
My husband’s profession is, in fact, one of the contributing factors to my ever-evolving interest in personal productivity. While my husband is the world’s best Daddy, it became apparent early on in our parenthood partnership that his erratic work schedule would leave the care of our children and the running of our home squarely on my shoulders. I learned that when I commit to an activity or responsibility for myself or my boys, I need to be able to manage it 100% of the time on my own. If Dad happens to be home from the hospital and can drive car pool, that’s a bonus but not something I’ve come to rely upon. Not surprisingly, my best friends and supporters are other mothers whose husbands also work non-traditional schedules.
Keeping our home firing on all cylinders is a constant exercise in personal productivity. Mike’s focus here on The Daily Saint is “the work-life balance” and this becomes particularly crucial when your work is both at home and the running of your home. It’s so easy to lose sight of the balance and let one bleed over and take control of the other. I’ve burned more than my fair share of dinners running to the office that adjoins my kitchen to “just check my email for a minute”. Balance is a daily tight rope act and a lesson in grace and humility.
The following are seven ingredients that, when properly mixed together, contribute to positive and productive outcomes in our home:
- Spiritual – Our faith lies at the center of our marriage and family life and permeates all aspects of our home.
- Family – It may seem cliché to say “Family comes first”, but it’s true.
- Professional – We strive to do our very best at our work, but to avoid letting it infringe upon our primary responsibility as parents. We support one another professionally and view individual successes as mutual accomplishments. Our children have learned from an early age that their education is their “job” and they need to fully invest themselves in doing their very best work in the classroom.
- Educational – We strive to be lifelong learners. I firmly believe that every day is an opportunity to grow and to become better. We discuss goals and the steps to attain them regularly in our home.
- Financial – We strive to be good stewards of the gifts we’ve been given. We prioritize responsible spending, low debt, emergency reserves and provisions for both our own future and that of our children.
- Physical – We take care of ourselves so that we can take care of one another. Family fitness and healthy eating are a daily challenge, but a continual goal.
- Fun – We enjoy being with one another and look for ways to have fun as a family. We’re always on the lookout for new adventures, whether they are in our own backyard or a world away.
I responded to Mike’s invitation to share my thoughts here with you not because I consider myself an expert, but mainly to continue my own learning process toward constantly being a better wife, mother and person. I hope that you readers will share and comment on the tips and tricks that work in your homes and with your families. Until next time, be happy at home!