Finding family balance in a busier than ever world. It’s tough.
Cheryl, the boys and I were talking recently. They wanted to know how we did it? How did we keep the balance between a busy life and a healthy family life?
They knew we were busy. We had lots of responsibilities.
I was on the local city council. Served for a time as vice mayor. We owned a small business. I was on dozens of community committees and was active in the church, where I served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher.
Cheryl spent more time in the home than me during that season, but she also worked in our business. She served in the church. She was active leading in the schools where our boys attended.
Yet my boys knew we rarely missed anything they were doing. Ball games. Practices. School events. Church events.
And, they felt we had lots of time for just us as a family. They felt we invested a lot of time in them.
They wanted to know how we did that — how we found the balance.
And, honestly, everything seems busier now. Travel ball. Travel dance. Social media. You know you’ve got to update your status.
How do you do all you have to do and still find balance?
Well, it may be harder today than 15 or so years ago, but I think the same principles we used then still apply today.
Say no to some good things. That’s hard isn’t it? Because you want your kids to have every opportunity they want. You want them to be exposed to lots of different things. You don’t want them to miss things their friends are doing. How can you say no?
But, sometimes as a parent you have to make the hard decisions for your kids that they aren’t mature enough to make for themselves. Of course they want to do it all. They are kids, but is that the wisest decision for them?
One day they’ll be gone and you’ll wish for more time with them. Some moms, like Cheryl, will wish you could wash some dirty clothes or pick up some socks from the floor (yea, funny how that works). Some dads, like me, will miss coming home tired from work and still getting outside to play catch. But, right now your kids need you. More now than ever. They need your influence. And, that happens more when you’re with them. So, which is the greater good — another sport — another activity — or more time with you?
Say yes to intentionality. When you’re home be home. Turn off the phones. Put down the laptop. Turn off the television. Be radical with your scheduled time with them. And, yes, my family went on my calendar — trumping other good things.
I know that’s. hard. You’re tired — and the recliner and remote are your escape. I get it. I cover that more in the next one — but since time is limited you’ve got to make the most of it. Every moment must count. Every night is another opportunity. An opportunity that quickly disappears with a fast moving calendar.
And invest in your marriage too. Intentionally shut everything down often enough that you stay connected. Yes. It’s crazy. It takes time away from an already busy schedule. But , it’s life giving to the marriage and your sanity.
Be creative with your time. You’ve got to learn to use teachable moments. Learn to love the activities your child loves. Throw balls together. Learn to love dancing at home. Play with action characters. Build science projects together (oh I hated those — miss them now). Use bedtime and dinnertime and breakfast time — and car circles — and trips to the garbage dump — whatever you have, whatever it takes, use the time you have with your children well. Use it creatively.
There isn’t one moment to spare when you’re intentional in raising a busy family. Not one moment.
You can find the balance. It is hard. There’s nothing more rewarding.