The Mommy Chronicles: New Year, New Schedule and a New, Slower Home Life 

Marlena Rice is a busy mom and writer who lives in Tuscaloosa with her husband, Rod, and their son, Beaux William. Her new book, “Pacifiers, Flatbeds and Barn Wood Thingamajigs, a ‘Come to Jesus Guide’ for the New, Southern Mom,” will be available on Amazon.com soon.  Marlena Rice is a busy mom and writer who lives in Tuscaloosa with her husband, Rod, and their son, Beaux William. Her new book, “Pacifiers, Flatbeds and Barn Wood Thingamajigs, a ‘Come to Jesus Guide’ for the New, Southern Mom,” will be available on Amazon.com soon.  Marlena Rice

Recently, I called my husband on the way to work to discuss a pressing matter. Months ago, we agreed that this morning drive is the best time for us to talk about serious matters – everything from home repair ideas to bills. With over half of our small family commuting to Birmingham each day, scheduling these tougher conversations frees up our evening time for relaxing.  

Not so fast: That evening “relaxing” time also involves dishwashing. And laundry. And everything else under the sun, from dog bathing to random grocery trips to impromptu school project work and home study sessions. To complicate matters, many of us, as working parents, also find ourselves tethered to work at all hours, thanks in part to company-paid cell phones and laptops. It’s a merry-go-round of busy. In the meantime, our lives are speedily passing us by.

How can we slow things down? 

As mothers, there are three key areas that I believe can make our lives more efficient and enjoyable:

Self-Betterment 

  • Designate some morning time to pray or meditate. Starting your day off peacefully will mentally prepare you for what’s to come. 
  • Block off calendar time specifically for yourself. It may be a 45-minute visit to the bookstore each Saturday morning, or lunch at a new place each week. Schedule this self-preservation time well in advance, so you have no excuse to cancel.  

Many moms must find alternatives for the typical “me” time, including Lasandra Cooper. Although her daughters now have children of their own, Cooper remembers how she managed. 

“The only time I could find for myself was when they went to sleep,” Cooper said of her daughters’ younger days. “I would make sure they were in bed by 8:00 p.m. so I would have at least two hours of down time.”  

Relationship Betterment 

  • Spend at least 30 uninterrupted minutes each day with your children and spouse. Turn off the television, put the cell phones in another room and have conversation. If you have little ones, talk to them about what’s happening in their classroom. You will be surprised with what you learn without the distractions.
  • Find fellowship time with friends. Connect with people from church, work or family. Engage yourself in activities outside of your norm, and establish relationships that can serve double-duty as friendships and support systems.   

Living in Purpose 

If you’re unhappy at work, it’s time to make a decision: Is it you? Your surroundings? Your colleagues? When we understand our true complaints, we’re better able to make choices that are right for us. If you find yourself looking for something new professionally, think about what you love to do in your spare time that makes you feel like you’re living in purpose. No time for hobbies? Branch out and rediscover your interests – you may find yourself heading down a whole new lane. 

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Marlena Rice

Marlena Rice is a busy mom and writer who lives in Tuscaloosa with her husband, Rod, and their son, Beaux William. Her new book, “Pacifiers, Flatbeds and Barn Wood Thingamajigs, a ‘Come to Jesus Guide’ for the New, Southern Mom,” will be available on Amazon.com soon. 

Website: www.linkedin.com/in/marlena-rice-37975b40

Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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