Finding Balance: One Major One Minor

GettyImages-492655814You are smart. You are talented. You will probably be asked to do lots of things.

Work at Vacation Bible School. Serve as room mom. Coach the soccer team. Serve on the moms group leadership team.  Then you might throw a full or part-time job in there.

Can you say stressed?

For many years I said yes to too much and my health, my laundry, my meals, my family, my marriage, and my spiritual life suffered because of it. I knew I had to change something. That’s when a friend shared with me a guideline she followed for finding balance: one major, one minor.

This boundary is an advance decision I make to only commit to one major responsibility and one minor responsibility outside the home at a time.

A major responsibility is something that I have on a regular (weekly) basis like committing to teach Sunday School, leading a moms group, or even full-time work.  It requires daily or weekly (or almost weekly) preparation and a regular commitment.

A minor responsibility is a “just show up” responsibility.  Working in the church nursery or helping with my child’s Christmas party at school are minor responsibilities.  No prep needed, just show up, serve, and leave.

Did you know Hearts at Home has a book on finding balance?

If I get asked to do a Major responsibility, I have to make a choice: either quit the major responsibility I’m currently doing or say no to the request.

I started using this boundary many years ago when I was home full-time and it applied only to my volunteer activities.  Now, however, my nest is nearly empty and I’m working full-time at Hearts at Home.  No more major responsibilities for me.

Do I grieve that?  Yes.  Are there some things I’d love to say yes to?  Yes.

But am I less stressed and more focused as a wife and mother?  Absolutely!

That’s the beauty of boundaries!

What about you? Do you have a boundary/guideline you use to determine how many activities you say yes to? 

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4 Responses to Finding Balance: One Major One Minor

  1. Laura says:

    Would love to hear what young mothers are thinking regarding this.
    As an older mom, now grandmother to some precious young grandchildren, I struggle with wanting to “advise” and encourage my wonderful daughter in laws with their choice to try to further their education and work outside the home while raising their families.

    • JillSavage says:

      Laura, I’ve heard from quite a few young moms today who have been “freed” with this principle. However, as grandmothers we walk such a fine line of offering wisdom only when it’s asked for. 🙂

  2. i love this! I signed on to way too many things this year! A lot of *major* responsibilities, with a lot of hard work – i don’thave a job outside of the home, but i do have eight children, six of whom i was homeschooling, and one at public high school (and one graduated, but still at home). It felt good to be helping, but i realized that my 13 year old son was picking up most of my slack. When i quit everything, i was amazed at how the huge swaths of free time did not open up – i was hugely busy ANYWAY, even without those major commitments. But i learned a lesson about how
    much i can commit to… now to stick to it

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