If you are a woman, you have probably struggled with this (and some men too). Do you always say yes? I read a book that asked the question, “Who can do what you do?” It basically said to list your priorities. For me that would be (in this order):
- My commitment to God
- My commitment to my husband
- My commitment to my children
- My commitment to be the keeper of the home
The book stated it like this. I am the only one that can be my husband’s wife. I am the only one that can be a mother to my children. I am the only one that is the keeper of my home. Beyond that, yes, other people can do the jobs you signed up for. Someone else can make the cupcakes for the bake sale. Someone else can lead the Bible study. There are others that are capable.
The point of this was to say that there are just a handful of jobs that ONLY you can do (and should do). These jobs should come first. Once these jobs are fulfilled then start doing outside activities and don’t feel guilty about it. I believe the guilt comes in when you have spent all afternoon doing a project for someone else and your children are crying and cranky because you didn’t have any time to spend with them.
This is a problem that I struggle with. I am a much happier person when I stay at home and my house is clean and my children are on a good schedule where I can spend time with them.
If you do struggle with this try to find an accountability partner (your husband would probably work well or a very good friend). My husband really helps remind me that doing a certain thing may push me over my limit and most of the time he is correct. Also, write out your priorities and list only the things that you can do. Make sure that you daily are working on these priorities and then if you find you still have a few moments of free time, then go for it and sign up for those activities.
I try to remember that my children are only going to be young for a little while, so Lord willing, I will have more time later to do many activities. How about you? How do you try to keep yourself from being overcommitted?