Monday, February 22, 2016

on the wise use of time, part 2

As a stay-at-home mom, I feel like one of my biggest challenges is choosing how to spend my time. In this stage of my life, my time is really my own, but sometimes that can feel overwhelming. You know, I could spend all day cleaning my house, or all day exercising, or all day sitting on the couch looking at instagram. But those aren't good ideas, obviously. So how do I manage it? How do I choose what is best?

For this week's Conference Report, I've chosen three really great articles that all touch on aspects of this time management conundrum. I'll just share my favorite parts.

In 2007, then general Relief Society president, Julie B. Beck, gave the memorable talk, "Mothers Who Know". In it she said, "Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world's goods in order to spend more time with their children--more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all."

Also, "These wise mothers who know are selective about their own activities and involvement to conserve their limited strength in order to maximize their influence where it matters most."

In the same general conference, Elder Oaks gave the talk, "Good, Better, Best". Oh, this talk is chalk full of good advice. I had a hard time narrowing it down to just a couple quotes to share here. But these were my favorite: "Most of us have more things expected of us than we can possibly do. As breadwinners, as parents, as Church workers and members, we face many choices on what we will do with our time and other resources. We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives."

And, "The amount of children-and-parent time absorbed in the good activities of private lessons, team sports, and other school and club activities also needs to be carefully regulated. Otherwise, children will be over scheduled, and parents will be frazzled and frustrated. Parents should act to preserve time for family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening, and other precious togetherness and individual one-on-one time that binds a family together and fixes children's values on things of eternal worth. Parents should teach gospel priorities through what they do with their children."

I talked about this last article in a post I wrote called "on the wise use of time" a couple of years ago here, but it's worth another mention. In "A Time to Prepare", Elder Ardern says, "To have the peace the Savior speaks of (see John 14:27), we must devote our time to the things that matter most, and the things of God matter most. As we engage with God in sincere prayer, read and study each day from the scriptures, ponder on what we have read and felt, and then apply and live the lessons learned, we draw nearer to Him. . . We will need to be wise in our judgement to ensure that the scales of time are correctly balanced to include the Lord, family, work, and wholesome recreational activities. As many have already discovered, there is an increase of happiness in life as we use our time to seek after those things that are 'virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy' (Articles of Faith 1:13)."

This is a lot to think about. But this is what I want to remember: I need to do less of the unimportant things, and save my energy for the best things. I have seen that as I put the best things first (things like reading my scriptures, attending the temple, having family home evening and family prayer), I seem to have time for all of the other things I need to do (like housecleaning and laundry and sewing). If I put the best things first, I feel less overwhelmed by my role as wife, mother, and homemaker.


  1. I just wanted to tell you that I love reading your blog. It is uplifting and free of fluff. I appreciate that. :)

  2. I agree! You're blog is a breath of fresh air. Thank you.


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