Thursday, February 28, 2013

Which Shifts To Work-- not overworking ourselves

(This post is part 2 of the post "Me Time" both are based on the same quote by Sister Beck)

Overworked, Tired, Stressed . . .

Have you ever felt this way?  I have!  

It was at one of these times that I came across a talk by Sister Julie B. Beck in the 2010 BYU Women’s Conference that I have referenced on several occasions.  She said:

“In order to prioritize time wisely, I learned something from my father-in-law years ago. He was a steel-worker and spent his life working three different shifts. He either worked the day shift, the afternoon shift, or the night shift. As a young mother I realized one time that I was working all three shifts, and that’s why I was so tired. We can’t do all things all at once, and we have to be careful and safeguard our shifts.

As I have talked to young mothers and mothers with children at home—those with teenagers and young adults especially—they tell me that their most important shift to be at the top of their game, to be the strongest lioness at the gate is the “swing shift.” That’s the afternoon shift. That’s when everyone comes home hungry, tired, needy, and less lovable. It is when you are hungry, tired, needy, and less loveable. It is also the time of day when people are more teachable, when they are most grateful. When we realize and prioritize our time properly, we don’t expect to use all of our strength on the other two shifts so that the afternoon shift can be safeguarded and can be a time of strength and power. We plan for times when the meals are there together, when we can create that home environment and when that family can gather, and you are the strengthening power and force in that family. Remember that influence and power come when we prioritize correctly. If you spend time elsewhere, you don’t have it to give. For other women it might be another time of the day. Some of us have to be on call during the day shift. 

There are many who need help during the day. Service is needed during the day, but look at and evaluate your life. Ask “Where do I need to prioritize my time?” and “When do I have to be at the top of my game?” I have learned that a good woman with the help of the Lord can usually work two to two and a half shifts. However, no one can work all three shifts. You have to prioritize where you are going to spend your energy.”

As I have thought about Sister Beck’s counsel I have seriously considered what I can do in order to be at my best for my family. 

1.    Early morning scriptures-  I know it gives me patience and strength for the day.

2.     Read-  I feel strongly that this time as a mother with children in our home will pass so quickly.  
This is my only chance to learn all I can about being a good mother and homemaker.  
I am always reading something that will help me in my motherhood career or to help 
me be a better homemaker and of course always a good wife.  

3.    Do something I love-  Sometimes I do a project, refinish furniture, or organize something.  
I don’t always have a project because sometimes life is just too busy. 
I include our children on many of my projects.  They have been great assistants when 
I have had a lot of sanding to do and they love to help paint!

4.    Write it down-  When I stop and reflect I can see how the Lord 
is always there to bless and help me.  
It is my way of bottling up this time of my life so that  I can enjoy the 
memories for years to come.  
When my kids are busy raising their own kids I don’t want to say, “I can’t remember the details 
of when everyone was home.”   I want to remember the moments that make up my life. 

                                          5.  Making time work for me-  I am a morning person so I choose 
to work really hard in the morning.  
From 2:00pm -3:00pm I try to slow down and let myself catch my breath so that  
I can be ready for the afternoon rush.

Make a list of what works for you.  If your not a morning person arrange your day so that you work hard in the afternoon and have slower mornings.  There is more than one way to accomplish life successfully! What helps you to be a better mother?

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