I began Friday morning at the Homeschool Convention by attending "Balancing the Busy – Chrystal Evans Hurst
This was a good seminar for those looking for little organization gems to help them balance their busy. I tend to avoid these types of seminars, however, because they serve to remind me how disorganized I am! When Hurst admitted to overcoming her perfectionistic tendencies, I knew this not my type of seminar. But, Hurst was fun, witty, and relatable. She’s a good speaker for others who struggle with perfectionism – she’ll remind her audience to relax and enjoy their families, while balancing the busy.
“Balance is overrated,” she began. The definition of balance is the even distribution of weight to remain upright and steady. Another definition is equal or correct proportions. Balance changes. What makes up balance for you today, in this season of life, will be very different from balance in the next stage of life. It requires being flexible. Finding balance today does not mean that you will keep balance.
3 C’s of Balance
Be clear – what are your priorities?
Create boundaries and guidelines
Take care of them and you
Hurst had some really good analogies. One was a funnel. With a funnel, there is more at the top and middle. The closer to the container, the less there is. She encourages us to be clear about what our containers are. If the items in our funnel will get in the way of our husbands and children, then those things should not fit in our funnels.
She also encouraged us to remember ourselves! Spent a few minutes here and there doing things that will replenish us. Talk to a friend, or read a book for 15 minutes – it doesn’t need to take long, but something for us.
Keep a calendar on your phone. Hurst color coordinates her calendar, so that it is easy to see at a glance by category. Plan fringe time for time that you need to be by yourself. Family needs to honor that time that you carve out for yourself. Older kids can keep a wall calendar. Schedule time with your kids, too! If your child requests time with you (play with me, Mom!) – add it to your calendar.
Hurst’s next analogy was rocks and sand in a jar. We’ve all heard the question, if you have rocks and sand to fit in the jar, the rocks need to go in first. The sand will fill in the small spaces between the rocks. What are your rocks?
She reminds us that You Are the Manager. You get to plan and manage your flow. Be flexible with your schedule, and be ready to change as children grow. Naptimes change as babies grow into toddlers and drop naps.
Hurst had several recommendations. She likes Amy Knapp’s Big Grid Family Organizer. She’s found value in the book Managers of Their Homes, and uses block scheduling (titus2.com). She uses a ticket system or stars that children can earn to use for rewards (such as screen time) – this helps children to manage themselves. She recommended doorposts.com. Be clear with yourself and your children: what would you like them to do? Write it down.
Lastly, Hurst encouraged us to create memories for our families, based on what you love and what you do well. But don’t try to create memories by comparing yourself with other moms and using those moms’ gifts.