A Monday not too long ago I did what you would imagine a busy mom with four kids to be found doing:
I washed all of our laundry. I loaded and ran the dishwasher, wiped down the counters, the stove, the table and chairs, swept under desks, and couches, and even under our rug and readjusted it. Then I mopped.
In the morning I comforted one of my daughters who had a stuffy nose and had tears streaming down her cheeks because she couldn’t breathe with her mouth closed. I helped her take a warm booger loosing shower.
In the afternoon I did a blog consultation with Sarah Nenni-Daher over the phone. Before the call was through I heard my daughter in hysterics because her thumb hurt really bad. We had no idea why, only that she was digging in the dirt and then all of a sudden it started hurting. It was swollen but not broken. We made her take a bath to hopefully calm her down. It didn’t, so we then snuggled and watched an episode of Strawberry Shortcake on Netflix.
Her sister meanwhile went back outside and discovered the cause: crawling on the sidewalk was a furry little bug. Thanks to Google, we learned it was a venomous brown fuzzy Puss caterpillar (also called an asp). We gave her an ice pack, some pain meds, and she finally calmed down and was fine.
In the evening I helped my three older kids make an awesome giant leaf pile in the backyard while my husband ordered Jimmy Johns for dinner because we were out of food. He came out with the baby and joined us in the beautiful sunset. As we finished up dinner, my freshman roommate, and one of my besties, called and we chatted and caught up for 45 minutes.
Then it was bed time for the kids. We sang some Christmas songs, read scriptures, snuggled, gave the three older ones cough medicine and/or chest rub because they’ve been hacking and booger-laden all day, and said prayers.
Once everyone was down, I went grocery shopping, by myself (something I haven’t done in ages: I always take at least one child with me, usually all four). On the way there I stopped by the library to drop off several items we had checked out, one being a book for me which only had a 7-day loan limit, which of course meant I hadn’t even cracked it open yet, and it was now overdue.
After I unloaded the groceries, I finished up watching the finale of America’s Next Top Model (totally my guilty pleasure show – I had started watching it earlier in the day somewhere in there) on hulu (for free) as I checked some email.
Once it was done, I finally focused on the sponsored post I needed to get done that night. But, I had zero content written and hadn’t even outlined the post or the follow-up one.
I figured it out, wrote it, edited pictures for it, came up with a headline and scheduled it to post the next morning and finally went to bed at 1:30am. Thankfully the 4-month old slept all night.
It was a packed day from start to finish. Most days, most Mondays, are not this jammed packed. Several days we do a whole lot of nothing.
But, if I had to pick a day to be extra productive, it is always Monday.
I love Mondays because of all the days of the week they are my most productive. By Friday my motivation and energy have tamed and my zeal toward productivity is greatly diminished.
A Great Monday Starts on Sunday
Because Sunday I take as a day of rest, spending time immersed in church, worship music, church meetings, naps (if possible), sleeping in (if possible), and not working. On Sundays we never ever go shopping. I avoid cleaning anything if I can by making sure I clean up on Saturday.
It is on Sundays that we keep meals simple, invite people to our apartment for dinner, watch G or PG (mostly animated) movies with good lessons if we watch anything, give service where needed, and plan.
I plan out my week, sit down with my husband to budget, coordinate schedules, write down to-do lists, come up with a blog editorial calendar, map out my homeschool lessons, and occasionally journal.
After a day like that I am ready to smash my lists and goals and make things happen the very next day – Monday!
Manic Monday = Productivity
Productivity makes me feel fantastic about my life and myself. Having clear tasks gets me jazzed to do them. However, I don’t want everyday to be so crammed and jam packed of homemaking, errand running, blogging, homeschooling, and parenting like the Monday I shared above. I’m pretty sure I would lose my mind and every ounce of patience in me. I enjoy productivity, not sheer busyness.
But, occasionally I relish in Manic Mondays, and think they make for the perfect day, no matter how crazy. It’s days like this Monday where I felt amazing as a mom, as a wife, as a homemaker, as a businesswoman, and as a woman.
But, there’s a catch to truly enjoying the mayhem.
To enjoy the manic Mondays, I need more than checks on my to-do lists. If amid the craziness, surprises, and checking off to-do’s, I am present and engaged, it’s the best day of my entire week. This specific Monday I was there. Within the demands placed upon me I was living my to-be‘s.
I was being a loving mother to my daughters who didn’t feel well. I was being an encouraging mom to my potty training son. I was being a fun mom who stepped away from the busyness of the day to help build a leaf pile that brought so much joy to my daughter. I was being a nurturer as I tried hard to figure out what was causing my daughter so much pain. I was being a good homemaker by doing all the laundry and grocery shopping. I was being a successful businesswoman by working hard to meet my deadline.
Because I looked at the challenges of the day from the right perspective, I felt balanced. I felt happy. I felt good. In return for my labors I was rewarded with a renewed connection with my children and an outpouring of love.
I saw the big picture that day. I saw the work I did, every last ounce of it, as important. Because it is. Completing tasks, helping crying children, growing a business, supporting my husband, cleaning, all of it is furthering the Work of Salvation. All of it is valuable to God and my family.
With the right attitude I was able to embrace the curve balls of the day and still connect and be.
Thank God for the Sabbath day #HisDay… and for Mondays, too. Even if they are manic.