Each of us mothers have been given a tremendous gift. With every day, it renews. No matter if we are rich or poor, young or old, short or tall, we each have the same amount of this gift. This is the gift of time. We each have the gift of twenty-four hours in a day. And each of those hours contains 60 minutes. What are you doing with those minutes?
We, as mothers, must guard our time. We can choose, minute by minute, to do something that is going to contribute to our family life and bless our husbands and children. Or, we can tear our house down slowly over time by making poor choices, such as surfing the internet, catching up on the latest gossip on Facebook, tweeting what we’re doing every 30 minutes (to no one who’s even interested), or mentally disappearing in front of the TV or in a novel. We need to recognize that while we waste minutes away from our children during the day (either mentally or physically), we are not really “home”. We are not really there for them when they need us or some guidance. Now, doing some of these things is not necessarily always bad, but doing them when we should be attending to our children, or while we let the house pile on layers of dirt, is. How many times do your children “interrupt” your computer time, and you become frustrated with them? These minutes we’re spending on these other non-essential activities turn into hours, hours away from nurturing and training up our children. Before you know it, your children will be grown, and you’ll wonder how the time flew by. Will you be happy with your choices of how you spent your time? Or will you long for the time to be given back to you that you wasted away on less-important tasks?
Listen to this: if you are a homemaker, the most important things you can be doing during the day are training up your children, caring for them, and making a happy home for your husband.
Each day, we have a choice to make. We can either thank God for the time He has given us to be with our precious children, or we can act like those children are annoyances and that we’d rather be somewhere else. Mothers, your children are watching you. They see what you are doing, and they can tell whether you’d rather be somewhere else, or if you love to be with them.
Not only should we guard our own time, but our children’s as well. We can and should present them with enriching activities, rather than mindlessness. We can provide them with good books that teach them about godliness and good character. If you allow videos in your home, you can provide good videos that will teach godly character and virtues. If they are getting into too many squabbles with each other, they may have too much free time on their hands, and you can look for chores for them to do around the house. This not only keeps them from idleness, but it helps ease your workload.
Helpful Time-Management Tips
Some of you may find it helpful to make a schedule, if you understand that a schedule is not a taskmaster, but a tool to help you keep on track and pay attention to the time. With a schedule, try to finish tasks on time, but don’t allow time slots to overwhelm you or dictate your day. You are still in charge, and you must be prepared to face interruptions (they will happen). But this is still one of my favorite ways to best use the 24 hours a day that God has given me. When I sit down and write down things to do for each hour or half-hour a day, I am often surprised at how much time there really is and how much we can get accomplished.
Others may find setting routines works better. This just means that you have certain things you need to get done at general times of the day–such as at morning, lunch time, and evening. With routines, time is more lose.
If you find your minutes are slipping through your fingers, you may want to write down what you do throughout the day. Write down everything you do and how long it takes you to do it (or just the times you started and finished). This may help you to see where you are wasting time and where you can improve. If you really struggle with time-wasters, ask someone you know to keep you accountable.
If you struggle with computer time, there are several different things that can work. You could only get on the computer after your children go to bed, or before they wake in the morning. Or, if you do need to check email or something else computer-related during the day, set a timer for only 15 minutes and then get off when your time is up! The internet is horribly distracting for many mothers, and we should not let it become dominating in our lives. Our families need us.
If you’ve messed up, (and I think we all have), tomorrow is a new day. Well, even today is not over yet! You can choose right now, this minute, to go and be a full-time mother, and get busy doing the things that need to be done in your home and with your children. And when you struggle, ask for God’s help. He will help you, because He loves those children more than you do. Every day will not be easy, but we can always make a choice to be involved, to be truly present, and to be purposeful in our homes.
Remember, as a mother, you are a Guardian of Time! Let us all use this gift wisely, for God’s glory.