Gosh, I am so excited about the WORD from the LORD on the BLOG today. This is going to a bit of an instructive one, meaning I will not just be sharing stuff, but actually telling you what to do, as the Lord leads me.
So at the time I am writing this, there is the COVID-19 pandemic in the world, and very recently, it has hit us too in Nigeria, so movement is limited, all gatherings more than 20 people have been banned and we are all social distancing and taking necessary precautions to stop the spread.
It is well.
So as a stay at home mom, this would impact on you in a couple ways, like it is doing me.
First, kids are on break so no more morning and early afternoon hours to do your thing. And most likely, you can’t send them off to grandma or any family member as it is risky. If you don’t have a domestic help, stuff is even more serious.
Next, MOST LIKELY, your husband is working from home so you now have a house full of people to feed, care for, gist with and basically serve
Again, if you have no help, it enters next level, as is the situation with me.
Normally, and in the recent past (I am talking up until last year), I used to dread my husband working from home, especially when kids are on holiday. Reading my journals as I do on a regular, I still saw RECENTLY this time last year, how I would gripe and complain about how because Bolaji is home, I am less productive and I cannot wait for him to go back to work and all that.
However, by miracle and grace, this time around, even BEFORE the WFH parole starts, my perspective is changed. I am EXCITED at even more family time to bond, BUT I still know that I would also be productive with work, enjoy my kids and keep my joy tank FULL. And yes, once again, I don’t have a help.
I want to share some of the things the Lord has shown me, which I have already started practicing and would like to invite you into
I want you to read this with the mindset of not just a Stay at home mom, but God’s Domestic Queen who WORKS at and from home.
This is not limited to whether you have a business or not, you have a FAMILY business, and in Jesus name, I declare that you start to WORK ON IT and see it truly as God’s work.
So yes, we are ALL working from home, even though our dynamics are different
Instead of you to give in to frustration ,weakness, tiredness and all from the increased house work, I have a few heaven given strategies to help you, indeed us all, work from home with JOY and actually ENJOY the work, ENJOY our kids and husband and bring glory to God in our homes, marriages and motherhood
Ok so here we go
1. Worship while you work
Work and worship baby girl. This is not the time to just be in the kitchen doing dishes and griping and complaining as you work.
No, baby, fill the atmosphere with worship. Get on YouTube and keep a playlist going. I adore Fountain worship network and I am constantly singing and dancing while in the kitchen. Usually, I do more listening to podcast, audio books, and watching videos in the kitchen, but for this season, the Lord would have me worship more as He says worship will change the atmosphere and then give me the strength and right attitude to get through every hour.
So baby girl, worship while you work. Let worship make those ordinary mundane tasks A HOLY GHOST PARTY and ENCOUNTER.
2. Brutally eliminate distractions
Honey, this is not the season to KEEP UP WITH ANYTHING. Let your focus be God and family. Every other thing should happen in the extra time if any, and this includes friendships and other commitments. Now if you have people who have paid you for work, those get your focus too, but if it is chatting away on WhatsApp, scrolling through social media and staying endlessly on the phone with a friend, girl, this is the time to cut back temporarily. Let your friends know ahead that you have a full house and so a full life for now and cannot keep up as before. Don’t worry about losing any. Those meant to remain in your life would understand. If you keep spreading thin to respond to messages and all, you will get overwhelmed because you will STILL have to do the housework, Ma.
3. Be very flexible with your schedule
This is not the time to plan for more than a day at a time, and even when you plan your day ahead, stay flexible to changes that may come up.
I am such a planner and for Monday for example, we have agreed that hubby gets to lock himself and work from morning till noon, while I handle the kids. I work 1 to 5pm while he handles the kids. In those hours hubby is working, I have plans ooo, BUT I am staying flexible. If somehow, the kids don’t let me do some of it, or something comes up that shakes it, IT IS OK. I have to TRUST GOD with even my schedule and look for Him even in the changes. Remember point 2 was to eliminate unnecessary distractions so even changes in your schedule will be easier to manage if you are not additionally now trying to keep up on social media and with viewing whatsapp statuses.
We will be WISE in Jesus name, amen
4. Get hubby on the same page
Now I know this depends on the man, but I am going to assume the man is willing. Don’t just plan the day, let Him know your plans. Ask him for all the meals he intends to eat that day so you have that sorted and planned ahead. If you need a couple hours uninterrupted, wisely explain to Him, plus what you intend to do with it, and what time would be best for you to take it, so he is not disturbing you then, even if the time is to sleep.
Honestly, you need your ME-TIME!!!
If you go day by day working working working, you WILL be frustrated and joy-less because you will be SO TIRED and USED. So with all the input from hubby, make your plans.
Remember to stay flexible ooo
5. Put the kids on a schedule
Ah this one is important, ma. Don’t be casual, don’t let Disney Junior and Nickelodeon become their parent. Plan activities ahead for them.
For me personally, I have a ton of books for them to read, then I also invest in A4 sheets and cardboard papers and then write some work for them on it, or print out from the internet a few age-appropriate tasks and engage them right beside me in the room I am working from. I also have a few educative and instructive cartoons I downloaded from YouTube so I play for them on the TV at certain times. What I do with YouTube is I find a cartoon that teaches a lesson I am trying to teach them. Per example, I have been trying to teach my kids to always clean up, so I downloaded this awesome cartoons about kids who didn’t clean up and got in different kinds of trouble. Now my son is a champion ‘clean upper’ lol. So I don’t just leave Disney Junior playing, I choose the cartoon and it has to teach something. Of course we also do Jesus cartoons and more especially from the Bible App for kids.
I use screen time to quickly get some things done that I would rather they don’t disturb me through so maybe I need 30mins deep work time, I can set up a video playlist on my TV and let them engage while I go do my work, then I come back and spend time with them.
Please babes, tempting as it is, no endless cartoon watching abeg
6. Plan your day every day
I have sort of mentioned this in two of the points above, but it deserves its own number. Don’t casually go into the day. I know I have mentioned staying flexible BUT you first have to have a plan.
If you want to have an unproductive day, the best and easiest way to do it is to go into the day casually and without a plan. It will hit 6pm and you will be like ah, what did I even do today?
And this will be the norm EVERYDAY
So plan your day from wake up to bed time, then go about it like a GDQ on assignment… focused and determined to maximize every hour of the day
And finally, I saved the most important for last
7. SPEND TIME WITH JESUS
You see, babes, this is not even negotiable.
Motherhood and running your home is NOT EASY. If you don’t let God fill you up as you spend time with Him, you will run on empty and ultimately burn out and be useless to all around you. We don’t want grouchy mommy please, so plan plan and plan the day, and include some rest and me-time on the schedule. Rise before the rest of the home and even if all you have is 15 to 20mins, pray, speak in tongues, worship, journal, read and meditate on even a verse and take the Lord into your day.
Start your day right, play worship all day, and end your day right with a short prayer too and watch how each day plays out.
Ok so, that is all. At least all I can share. I have prayed the Holy spirit takes what I have written and customizes it to your home, experience and season.
I hope this helps you deal with the fuller house as a result of COVID-19 restrictions
Don’t forget to guard your home physically. No unnecessary visitors, and as people come in, give them soap and water to wash. Let your kids wash their hands a lot too, have hand sanitizers at home, clean surfaces and generally do what you can to keep them all safe, including guarding it spiritually by, for example, praying Psalm 91 over everyone daily.
God sees you baby, and that is all that matters. Forget about who doesn’t.
It is well with us all
Love you and always praying for you
Strength and Prayers
God’s Domestic Queen