Striking Balance in the New Year

I have several challenges in the New Year. Truthfully, they're old challenges, but the New Year gives me a chance to start fresh and try to come up with new solutions.

Challenge #1
I always have an extremely hard time balancing all of the tedious housework and spending quality time with my kids.  I get caught up with things that seem like they "need" to get done. I'm a Stay at Home Mom because I wanted to be home with my kids.  But, I sometimes struggle to actually "spend" time with them.  I get frustrated and don't enjoy my kids the way I should.  I know that time goes quickly. 
"The Builder" will be in 1st grade next year and then he'll be gone most of the day at school.  My time with them is slipping away quickly.  How do I make the time I have with them count?

Challenge #2
Balancing the budget.  My husband and I have found ourselves in a tight spot with our finances this year.  My part of this challenge, among other things, is to reign in spending and stick to a $300/month grocery budget.  Which, believe me will be a challenge considering the amount of food my husband can consume!  In this challenge, I will be making a lot of stuff from scratch.  I've already had a lot of experience with this--homemade yogurt, homemade pita bread, homemade granola bars, my own seasoning mixes, etc.  This year I plan on trying more things--mozzarella, yogurt in the crockpot, mayonnaise, peanut butter, butter, etc.  We'll just see what I can get into this year!!   I also have a huge collection of cookbooks.  I'll be trying out different recipes from those also.

Challenge #3
My third challenge is to continue to grow in my faith.  I was born and raised Lutheran.  But, sometime along the way, I stopped going to church.  I always still believed, but I didn't "live out my faith".  I didn't live as a believer should live.  But, once I had kids I knew that I needed to be back in church.  I wanted to be there for myself and especially for them.  This challenge is made even harder by the fact that my husband is not a believer.  It has become the biggest source of strife in our marriage.  So, how do I raise my kids to believe that Jesus is their Savior without alienating my husband?  Wish me luck!  We'll see how it goes.

Challenge #4
I call this one my "every carb left behind" experiment.  You know how Elizabeth Gilbert had her "no carb left behind" experiment in Eat, Pray, Love ?  Well, this is the opposite.  I have an embarassing health condition that might benefit from a no carb, no sugar, no fun diet.  So, when the time is right, I'll be posting about that journey too.

So, what are your challenges for the New Year??

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