By Deneane Davis

Last month we featured Deneane Davis as a Main Street Mom on the Move. Deneane works full-time but also manages to find time for volunteering and extra-curricular activities. She is known by her friends to have discovered the secret that every parent wants to know: how to balance a successful career and a happy busy household. We asked Deneane to guest blog for us today to share some of her tips. We hope these will be helpful to you! ~ Rachel

I live by a few simple rules that create the perfect menu of balance for my busy family.

Rule #1: Always schedule yourself on the calendar

I will never leave sleep off my schedule and will plan naps for myself quite frequently. My husband will tell you that I am the most well rested mom in the Triad! I am a firm believer that if the pilot isn’t well rested the plane can’t take off. I schedule date nights with my husband as well as fun outings and beach getaways with friends. I am able to do this with the help of a very supportive village of family members and friends who will babysit when needed. I believe in working hard, but playing even harder. It is important to sometimes put yourself first before you can give your all to your family.

Rule #2: Get an Early Start

I begin every day before 5 a.m. I take advantage of this quiet time for household chores, paperwork and even a little shopping before the crowds. I do my best thinking and planning for home and work before 8 a.m. each morning. This early effort each day allows me to devote my total attention to the kids each evening with homework and projects, sports practices, and club meetings. Getting a jumpstart before others means a quiet house with no interruptions, including the phone, and it means an easier commute to work with minimal traffic. I consider this a perfect way to reduce stress during the busy week.

Rule #3: Take advantage of weekends

While Fridays and Saturdays may be filled with ball games, birthday parties and family events, I try to avoid scheduling anything on Sundays if possible. Sunday is usually devoted to an early church service and a day at home. I consider this my “refueling day.” I may be found watching my favorite programs or football on television, reading, or watching my children spend a day outside with friends of unstructured imaginative play. I consider this the most important day of the week because it allows my family a break from their dictated schedule and gives us unstructured time to spend together or refueling on our own.

Rule #4: Enjoy the ride

As a mom, I have learned to enjoy the challenge of managing busy calendars and schedules. I even appreciate the inevitable unexpected events as well as conflicting activities that may mean dinner in the car or from the concession stand at the fields or it may mean bringing along a change of clothes between our activities. There may be chin guards and helmets, children’s books, and even leftover French fries found in our car’s backseat but it’s all a part of the adventure of being a busy mom who truly enjoys the experience of navigating it all.

Please share your tips for achieving balance in your life below!