Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday's Answer: Balancing Act! Part 1

How do I balance the demands of leadership with my family and own homeschool?
Ever feel like the circus performer with all the plates spinning in the air at once on very thin poles? Homeschool group leaders often find themselves suddenly spinning several plates in the air at once, trying to find the delicate balance between their group responsibilities, their homeschooling responsibilities and their family responsibilities. Not to mention being perky and loving at all times to all people, especially family members!

It often feels impossible. But striking a balance between these important and necessary responsibilities is critical to avoiding burnout as a leader.

Try these three things to help you find the balance:

* SET A DATE-- Where do you need some protected time? Find some time each week that nothing can infringe upon. For our family, it was Family Night on Tuesday nights. To preserve precious family time, we set aside one night a week to just "BE" with one another. We might play games, watch a movie, go out to eat or do absolutely nothing. The point was that it was OUR family's choice how that night went, and we didn't let anything else get scheduled on that night. It was sacred time.

* SET A TIME--Is school time hit or miss at your house? Do your kids know what's expected each day? To help my elementary-aged children keep on task with their lessons, I had to set aside a specific time for their lessons--and then I had to be accessible to them to answer their questions and hold them accountable. I might be close by doing laundry or I might actually sit at the kitchen table and grade past lessons, but my children functioned so much better when I was available consistently to them during schooltime.

* SET A ROUTINE--It has been proven over and over that people are more productive when they work within the boundaries of a routine. For me as a leader, that meant that our family schooled in the mornings; I worked on group things in the afternoon and family things came after 5 pm. This helped me so much to avoid neglecting these very important areas of my life. I discovered that I got more done within each area and what didn't get done could wait till the next day--the world did not stop turning!

I resisted structure in my life for so many years. It is exciting to live by the seat of your pants, but not always effective. At least, not on a day in-day out basis. Rushing from one crisis to the next can leave a leader feeling like she's spinning out of control. When I finally gave myself permission to set a date, set a time and set a routine, I became more effective all the way around.

Blessings as you find your balance,


Stacy and David said...


This is a great topic! Your approach is a great way of setting healthy boundaries. I am looking forward to Part 2.

Thank you for the blessing you are to our leadership group!

Kristen and Denise said...


Thank you for what you do in the trenches for other families! The simple--or maybe sometimes, not so simple--tasks of organizing, communicating and encouraging so many others can take their toll on leaders without some healthy boundaries to preserve you. Denise and I are praying for all of you!