How do people who are REALLY busy do it all?

I’m just keeping it real here.  I am feeling way overwhelmed lately.  And it makes me feel like a whimp.  I have been trying for several days to catch up on blogging my Women’s Conference summaries.  I think I only have one or two left, but I can’t seem to get it together.  I’ve felt so busy that it’s left me a little uninspired.  The ridiculous thing is I can’t figure out what I’m so busy at.  My oldest child is in kindergarten and he plays on a baseball team.  I have Sunday responsibilities.  Other than that, I’m not calendared out to the max.  And yet, I feel like I’ve been running full speed for a couple of weeks and I can’t seem to catch my footing and approach things rationally.  I’m doomed when my kids have full schedules and I get some real responsibilities.

Here are a few of the things that I know I should be working on, and their deadlines are looming over me like a great weight…. but at the end of the day, I want to crawl in bed and sleep my worries away because I don’t have the energy to think through them like I know I should.

1.  In less than two weeks, I’m teaching 8 classes for EFY at Brigham Young University (actually only 4 classes, each one taught twice).  I am so not ready right now.  I’ve only taught one of the classes before and all 4 of them need a lot more preparation before I will feel comfortable and ready.

2.  This weekend I am in charge of a quarterly Activity Day for my Primary kids.  Anyone have any brilliant ideas I could use for an “Article of Faith Field Day”?

3.  I still have so many thoughts floating around in my  head from Women’s Conference that I feel like I need to turn into tangible goals.  I want to make a plan, a strategy really, to help me incorporate those promptings into action in my life and in the life of my family.  I feel an urgency to think it all through and plan it all out before I lose the ideas and the ambition.

Well, that’s it I guess.  Those are kind of the big ones that keep drumming around in the back of my mind while I hash out all the details of the day-to-day.  Laundry’s going.  The sink is full and needs some attention.  I refuse to look at my play room right now.

So say something to inspire me.  Go.


29 thoughts on “How do people who are REALLY busy do it all?

  1. I forgot that you are teaching EFY. You are a rock star! I know people wonder how I can blog so much, but I don’t have kids, and I have a full time job with down time and a computer, so it’s not hard.

  2. The only thing I can think of for “Article of Faith Field Day” is to have a group of kids in a circle, have a bean bag they pass around the circle, have the A of F songs playing on a radio, and whoever is holding the bean bag when the music stops has to name which A of F that song was.

    Good luck with everything!

  3. You know, I have days where I don’t get much of anything done and I feel completely overwhelmed. Then there are days where I do ten times as much as I do normally and I feel completely fine. I really don’t know what determines which way a day will go. So I feel you.

    My profound advice for you is…um…oh, I know! Get Gilmore Girls on DVD and eat some kettle corn after the kids are asleep. All will be well.

  4. I wrote a post about feeling overwhelmed just about a week and a half ago. I can totally relate to this feeling. What are you teaching at EFY? I wish I could go and hear you. (Although nothing — NOTHING — could be worth being fourteen again!) Oh, wait, I take that back…it might be worth it just to have a flat stomach and thin thighs again…

    And, if it makes you feel better, I’m still sorting out my notes from LAST YEAR’s Womens Conference and Education Week, which I was also planning to blog about. Sometimes there is just a limit to what one person can accomplish. 🙂

  5. Article of Faith field day. We did something like this a few years ago to honor Joseph Smith’s 200th Birthday. It went really well, but could have used more teachers at each station. At the end we had cake (we got one of those picture cakes with Joseph’s picture on it).

    We had 13 stations, one station for each Article of Faith. The kids had manila folders with a checklist. They could go to any station they wanted, in any order, but had to complete their checklist by the end of the activity. (This worked really well–the kids liked the freedom to move from station to station, but it had an organizational framework). Some stations were more spiritual (#3) and the kids had to wait until the door was open to enter. I can’t remember all the stations but here are some that I do remember:

    #7: we had a bunch of boxes wrapped, each box had a label on the outside: tongues, prophecy. The kids had to stack the boxes on top of each other in the correct order.

    #4: Obstacle course: They put on old clothes, walked through obstacles with a blindfold (faith), took off the old clothes (repentance) went under a limbo type pole (baptism by immersion) and walked on a balance beam with a gift on their heads (gift of the Holy Ghost).

    #8: They had to translate the article of faith using some kind of coding system. (One of those Friend type of things)

    #9: Cake Walk: different pictures on the floor of different things the Lord Revealed (instead of numbers) Played the music to Articles of Faith. When the music stopped we called out something the Lord had revealed: (example: Small temples) If a child was standing on a small temple, then they got a cookie.

    #6: Cups with pictures of the first presidency and apostles and prophets. The cups were knocked down and the kids had to build a pyramid out of them.

    #10: We had ten cups each representing one of the lost ten tribes. Each cup had Popsicle sticks in them with the name of the tribe on them. The kids had to collect a stick from each cup and then wrap a rubberband around it: thus gathering the tribes. Judah and Benjamin are the two tribes that aren’t lost.

    #12: We had crowns made and one of the kids got to wear the crown and play simon says: ordering others around. The kids were subject to kings….

    That’s about 1/2 of them. If this is the type of activity you were looking for and need more ideas, send me an email. Look on the bright side: you did win a blanket from Sue without having to scan through the entire blog to find your name. Good luck on the primary activity–boy I miss it!

  6. I thought of more
    The kids through bean bags and tried to get three in a row: the first beanbag they said: we believe in God the Eternal father–then they three the bag–the next one: in his Son Jesus Christ–ect, ect.
    #11: We had someone come in and pretend to be King Lamoni. He talked about religious freedom and the importance of respecting everyone’s beliefs.

    #13: A scavenger hunt: hid easter eggs with the words: virtuous, lovely, praiseworthy, good report. (I think they actually had pieces to a puzzle, then they put the puzzle together.)

  7. Kaylynn’s idea is great–I may use that as I am getting a new calling (same as your’s I believe-YIKES). I also agree with the go to the temple idea. It is by far the best way to calm my mind down when feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Good luck with all you have to accomplish!

  8. You could go on a “Treasure” hunt to find the words of the articles of faith. Or a Field trip to find them in different places. Have the words scattered around the Church with coordinating pictures and then have the children meet back in one room with their key words and put the articles of faith together like a big puzzle.

    With the Treasure hunt you can make clues to their next spot and have an activity with each article of faith or combine 2 articles of faith in one area so that you don’t have to make up so many clues. Tie it together all up with treasuring up the word of God or something like that.

    Just some ideas. Good luck.

  9. I wrote about this today. Weird.

    I don’t have ideas for your specific challenges, I’m afraid. I kinda just decided I COULD and things started falling into place better. But my life isn’t terribly busy so it’s easy to improve. Less computer and book time, more kid and house time. Simple but so dang complicated . . .

  10. We’ve had one kid with an ear infection which led to a ruptured ear drum and one kid who had her tonsils and adenoids taken out and tubes put in her ears. So I have done NOTHING but hold crying kids and eat junk for the last two weeks. I’m sweaty, stinky, frumpy, and mopey. My house is a wreck, I’m a wreck, we’re all wrecks. So if you find inspiration, send some my way. Good luck!

  11. Hang in there! It stays busy, but we just have times when we deal with it better. Let me tell you my personal mantra (yes…I say it whenever I think to) “I have space and energy for the fullness of my life” it always makes me feel better, and makes me feel blessed to have a full life.

    I just want to remind you as a common primary pres, it says in the handbook those activities should be FUN…we have had some activities fall flat on a stake level because they were pushing the learning side of things, and kids need to let loose and have fun as a ward, even parents have commented on it. So whatever you decide to stick with, keep it silly ad lighthearted and let those kids make a memory. Good Luck!

  12. I wonder about this often. I have a lot of kids but we are a very under-scheduled family compared to most today. My kids are fairly well trained and help with a lot of the housework. And I still feel overwhelmed regularly. My oldest daughter was recently re-reading “Little Women” and pointed out something interesting. A couple of generations ago almost every home had “help.” If you’ve ever seen or read Sense & Sensibility, you know that the family is so impoverished that they rely on the cottage of a relative to even have a place to live–and yet they still have some kind of help. We may have many labor saving conveniences (like a washer & dryer) now, but we also have many more labor consuming things in our lives. (Like tons more clothes to feed into the washer and dryer.) So I still feel overwhelmed, but not quite as bad about it. 😉

    Good luck with the EFY classes–sounds like a total blast after you get the preparation done!

  13. My thoughts — I love the Temple idea. And I love the Gilmore Girls idea – although I’m more of a fun of the Golden girls but that’s neither here nor there. I’m a list maker and so I love Sister Beck’s idea of making a list of essential things, nice things and don’t do things. Sometimes there are things we think are essential that are really things on the don’t do list — sometimes even church things. Because the essential things are the things that ONLY YOU can do — which is why I think Mary is lucky to be all sweaty and frumpy and stinky with a lap/arm ful of baby. Not having kids myself I have a romanticized view of that hard job — but it’s one that only you can do. And I think Heavenly Father is good at helping us prioritize good, better, best if we really are willing to ask and listen to the answers. I think you’re all great for all that you’re doing!

    • Aww. You’re right. I am lucky. Because I’m the only person in the world those miserable children wanted to hold them. And when I held them they felt better. Thanks for the perspective. And I’m reminded again of Stephanie’s encouragement to look at the duties of motherhood as a type and shadow of the Savior’s mission. So I feel better now. Plus, I showered and my husband took two of the kids to see “Up.” So that helped too!

  14. Whether or not I can finish this comment depends on whether the baby will sit in my lap while I type.

    Nope. 🙂 She keeps lunging for the keyboard. Maybe later. VERY simplified version: a) give yourself credit — doesn’t matter whether others would feel overwhelmed, the point is that you do and it’s valid for you to feel how you feel. B) Try to lower your expectations for the EFY thing and the Primary thing (I love Kaylynn’s ideas, btw, as well as the other ones); tell yourself that it’s okay to do a lousy job — probably your idea of a lousy job is anything but lousy, but you need to lower the bar if you’re too intimidated to tackle it. (Yes this comment turned out longer than I thought; I got her settled in a semi-lunged position. But now I do need to go feed her.) Good luck!

  15. Wow. I was going to try to offer advice/consolation but realized that the previous comments do a way better job than I could. So, I second what’s been written. 🙂 But hang in there. And you know, something that kind of helps me sometimes is when I write down what I have done–like a reverse checklist–and see that I really am doing a lot. It helps to motivate me to keep going. Also, taking a break to do something you want to do in between the “need-to-do’s” is important. Resolve to give yourself a break or after the kids go to bed resolve to work on such-and-such for half an hour, hard core, and then break away from it.

    I don’t know. I feel so silly giving advice since what helps people is so individual-specific, but I know you’ll pull through. If I feel suddenly inspired with words of you-specific wisdom, I’ll log on again.

  16. I have been feeling the same way. I feel like Im running and not getting anywhere. My mind is going a million miles an hour with certifying the Young Women on first aid and cooking before camp, Jena graduating, Jena’s grad party, making sure I have all details down, the Young Womens garage sale, my garage sale, getting the walls washed,getting all the house good and clean, (plus keep up on the daily dishes, washing, family stuff) and this all takes place in a three week time frame with limited time, for as you know, I work full time. I worry that I will forget something in one of these projects that will send me over the top.
    So all of the things that are in my head running around and making me crazy, (more so than I already am) I know that all will happen and all will be well. I pray and ask to make it through the day and to bring things to my mind that will keep me organized, I do seem to get through the day without a hitch. Even though I have so much to do in a short amount of time, I truly am at peace to know that all will be well.
    All will be well with you. You are doing an amazing thing with your wonderful talent of teaching and captivating your audience with love and knowledge that brings those who listen to you, walking away more educated and uplifted. You are a gifted and wonderful person. Your plate is definetly full but all will fall into place because of your faith. Besides, there will always be dishes to do and laundry to fold. Thats just a given!
    As for my schedule, I only mention it, not to trump you or to say how busy I am, I only mention it to let you know how Heavenly Father is helping me and how blessed I am that I can rely on Him!
    Thank you for your thoughts and sharing your life. Thanks for being in a boat like mine and trying to make it upstream and not going over the waterfalls as it seems that sometimes the falls are much closer than upstream.

  17. just take it one thing at a time. when i get overwhelmed, everything on my to do list stresses me out. everything. my husband points out that things like unfolded laundry shouldn’t get to me, but they do, especially when i’m feeling overwhelmed. just take it one thing at a time and know that eventually the important stuff will get done and you’ll probably figure out that some of the things really can wait another day. and the suggestion to go to the temple is wonderful. and try praying every single time you start to feel discouraged instead of just morning and evening. there’s nothing like feeling heavenly father wrap his arms around you to perk you up a bit.

    and i think you are amazing. you do get a lot done, and you aspire to do great things. keep it up and give yourself more credit.

  18. I second Michal’s thoughts!

    Make a list of what needs to get done, then just pick one! And at the end of the day, don’t look at all the things that AREN’T crossed out. Look at what you’ve been able to do!

  19. Hopefully you are feeling a bit calmer now 🙂 !! You sound way more busier than I am, but I am still feeling constantly overwhelmed. Having little children constantly need you and talk at you will do that 🙂 !!

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