I have heard this at least a thousand times in my life, but it had new meaning for me this week. Before kids, it was difficult to only think about 'one day at a time' because I had so much time to think about everything. Why not go into the next day and the next month and so on and so on? Not a great idea, but with too much time on our hands, we are usually not at our best.
Then, the kids came and I was on constant over load...working with everything I had to stay one step ahead of them. I needed that for my own sanity and for their success. I am not saying that this was absolutely necessary or right. It is just sort of how I dealt...immense preparation for every aspect of my life. I thought through the individual needs of all 3 kids and my husband, scrutinized over them, so that I could move confidently forward. I lost myself for a long time behaving that way. It was a heavy burden to bear and my obsessive preparation often overwhelmed me.
Obviously, I could never keep that up forever and I knew that full well while I was doing it. I didn't allow myself breaks at all and even after the kids went down I continued on in the preparation. With lunch-making, kids playing after they were in bed and the disciplining that followed (all in 1 bedroom for the first 7 months), cleaning, laundry, preparing my next morning so that it could also be successful, talking to Michael about what was going on with him at work, runs to the store, brainstorming with Michael on how to handle one of the kid's latest struggles, etc....I don't think I officially stopped for at least a year and a half and then only slowly gave up those ways---maybe still giving them up.
This last year I have worked hard to be the 'normal mom'...not right on top of every little thing, but not super behind either. I am trying to be more authentically who I am as a mother. One great thing has happened! My kids go to bed so well! Praise God! I have from 8pm-10pm to read, spend quality time with Michael, drink a cup of tea, watch a movie. I have no anxiety or worry about the kids during this time at all anymore. I have even figured, most of the time, how to squeeze making lunches for the next day into my afternoon routine or even while dinner is cooking, so that I don't have to do that after they go down. It is truly the break and refreshment I need to get me to the next day.
So now, I say to myself, "Just make it to 8pm and you are in the clear!" "Keep it together, hold your temper, remain patient!" If I can just make it to 8pm, then I can get refreshed, get well-rested and start all over again. 'One day at a time' is really working for me right now! I can do anything till 8pm, right? This is the pattern I want for the rest of my days. Thank you, Lord, for showing me both extremes and teaching me how to trust you just 'one day at a time'. I have been 'not busy enough' and 'way too busy'...both of my own doing. This is what you want for me in every season of my life, no matter how leisurely or how busy it is.
P.S. I don't regret any of it. I would do it close to the same way all over again. I really believe that is what they needed from me. I really believe that is what I needed from me. It was just a season. I'm also really glad that time is over. God is so good!