I Used To Hate The Proverbs 31 Woman . . . Until I Discovered Her Time Management Secrets
By Aesha Adams-Roberts
The secrets to time management have always eluded me, but even more when I became a mom. Dishes. Dirty diapers. Arts & Crafts. Grocery Shopping. Cooking. Laundry. Rinse, wash, repeat. Whenever I see a "super mom" who seems like she has it all together it makes me a little insecure. She's faster than a crawling baby, stronger than a preschooler's "NO!" and able to leap tall mountains of laundry in a single bound. She knows all the time management secrets. She's perfect, it seems. And she's not me.
When I reflect on when the supermom image first entered my mind, I realize it happened in church. After years of hearing about the Proverbs 31 woman, I began to believe that to be a good wife and mother, I would have to be perfect. Perfect body. Perfect house. Perfect kids.
I'm not sure if you've ever heard of her, but The Proverbs 31 woman shows up whenever the religious want to teach women how to be a virtuous woman and a wife of noble character.
At first glance, she seems like the biblical version of supermom.She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her houshold and to plan her day's work. She makes her family's clothes by hand with thread she made late at night. She's a business woman who is energetic and strong. She's generous and gives to the poor. On top of it all, she dresses in the latest fashions, her husband is famous and he trusts her fully. She is wise and kind, her children bless her in public and her husband brags about her to all his friends. No wonder the scripture says her worth is far more than rubies! She's perfect. And she's not me.
As a woman active in my church, I used to preach about her and point to her as an example we should aspire to. On the inside, however, I used to hate her because I knew there was no way I could ever live up to that standard, a standard I thought God expected me to live up to. Then one day, I discovered her secret. It was right there, hidden in plain sight.
"She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day's work for her servant girls." (Proverbs 31:15 New Living Translation)
Did you see it? If you only focus on how early she wakes up, you'll miss it. It says she plans the day's work for her servant girls. She can do it all because she had help!
Write this down: The Proverbs 31 Woman's time management secret is to have a support system who can help you so you can focus on your strengths and do the things you enjoy!
What does that look like? Maybe it means you hire someone to clean the house. Or just do the laundry. Or just come for an hour in the morning to help with dishes and play with the kids while YOU do something else (like brush your teeth or take a shower).
Or, it could be asking an elderly neighbor to cook a meal for you once per week. Maybe you trade with a friend–you cook an extra casserole for her once a week, she helps fold the clothes. Or, you delegate some of the household tasks to your kids and husband.
There are many ways to make it work, but the bottom line is you don't have to do it all.
The next time you see a supermom, smile, remember the time management secrets the Proverbs 31 Woman revealed, and think of these words by Lisa Zamosky:
"Supermom" is faking it. The mom who always looks completely put together, who is baking 100 cupcakes for the school bake sale, running the fund-raiser AND her own business is exhausted. She's either employing help or she's about to fall apart. You don't want to aspire to something that is impossible to maintain.
Question: If you had extra help, what would your life look like? Please share in a comment below!