How To Create "Us-Me-We" Time
One of the best books I have ever read about prioritizing what was important to me was the book called "Rhythms of Grace" by Kerri Weems. It challenged me to look at my life and see what was important to me. What did I want to run the pace of my life?
I have wanted children for so long. When we found out that we were probably not going to have biological kids on our own, I was devasted. I was frustrated. It felt raw. I was so angry that God put this desire on my heart to want children, but yet I wasn't going to be a mom. Little did I know that God had a massive plan. All of this, I will share another time, but I have loved being a mom in this season. However, I wasn't prepared for the systemic shift it would do to my family, marriage, job, you name it.
My priorities in this season have shifted a lot. My kids are important, but my marriage was struggling there for a bit. You see, in foster care, your life suddenly is not your own anymore. CASA's, DCS workers, therapists, doctor's appointments, emails, phone calls, dealing with trauma, and loads of coffee you have to drink to get through it rocks your world. If you are not intentional about the essential things to you, you can get sucked into a reactive mode instead of proactive. Our first 6-10 months with these kids was definitely reactive. Sadly, it took a toll on a lot of things that were important to Chris and me. So we needed to make a shift.
In my life, my relationship with God is a top priority. Does it always look like that? No. To be honest, I wanted to get this out on paper before I did my quiet time with the Lord today. I had another vital email I tried to get out as well. I needed to clear my head of the clutter, and sometimes that is what it takes to give God my full attention. I digress, though. Making sure that is healthy is essential to me.
What comes next is what I have been calling my "Us-Me-We" time. I get out my calendar and my power sheets, and I make sure these times are on the calendar. Grab your coffee and something to take notes with, and let's walk through that together, shall we?
My marriage is so important to me. Chris is worth investing time in to get to know, and he is worth coming alongside and doing life with. So it's crucial for us to just have US time. So on my calendar, I find time to put a date night. Sometimes that is literally us going to Cabell's ice-cream and sitting in the car eating ice-cream we don't have to share, to take a night out of the house. One of the best things we did this year was we spent one evening with our computers, notebooks, and headed to the Conrad downtown Indianapolis to regroup on our thoughts on adoption and foster care. If we were going to argue, fight, or talk about the hard stuff, I wanted to do it in style with a yummy meal in my belly from PF Changs. Sometimes you need to just get away to talk about the hard stuff. Either way, that time is for us. Evenings are for us. What am I wanting to do better in this season? Not being on my phone all evening during our US time.
Self Care can get tricky. Some people see it as selfish. Some people just picture going and getting a massage or a mani-pedi. Self-Care sometimes just means going to the dentist because it's been a hot minute while you have been running everyone else around. So I take my calendar and look at the month to see what kind of ME time I need to have?
Mani/Pedi or getting my hair done?
Tea Time with my friend Melissa?
Painting time? Have I had time to be creative?
Cleaning my house? Everything is sticky when you have Toddlers. How does sticky get on the ceiling?
A day to regroup
What do you need to prioritize for this month?
This is family time. What do we all need to do together? I want to soak in every ounce of motherhood I can while these kids are with us. I don't know when or if we will get to adopt. God has their stories written out, and we are choosing to play our part right now. We schedule a time for the park, going and getting ice-cream, having fun with the seasons! COVID really messed up my summer plans as a momma. I had so many fun things I wanted to do! We ended up making our backyard a great WE time place.
When I get home from work, the first 30 minutes, I Just play with the kids. I've learned that I have been gone all day (we still work full-time), and they need me. It makes it easier to cook as well!
Our oldest gets what she calls "Mommy-Daddy" time after the younger two go to sleep if she is on the color blue for her choices that day. She loves to sit on the porch while we water the flowers or play puzzles. That 15-20 minutes makes her day! Chris started going into work a bit later to help me with the kids in the morning and just spends that time snuggling on the couch.
Now, I get maybe your schedule won't allow this kind of thing. What CAN you control, though? Exchange phone time for talk time? Breakfast out on Saturday with one of your kids? Take one kid with you to the store for a special treat?
Get out your calendar and set one hour to do these things once a month. Make small changes to start! Getting the book "Rhythms of Grace" is a great option as well! On my power sheets, it encourages you to cultivate what matters.
What matters to you in this season?