Do you ever get so busy that your head spins around and you don’t know what way is up? I feel like our schedule this month is assaulting our ability to stick together as a family. Lets just say this month does not have “that peaceful easy feeling.” My family is more like “a band on the run.” Ha!
Along with the fact that I have some rather robust projects for work, my three girls seem to have every performance, appointment, meeting and festival this month. Julia and Grace are both in plays, and Isabel has several end of the year programs scheduled for May. Seriously, its a bit insane when both Stephen and I are negotiating who is going to take what girl to what event at what time when we have multiple events within the same evening.
Despite our crazy household, we still try to take time to eat together, and to be together. Preserving family time is important, but difficult to say the least. Along with the busy schedule, my girls want to go hang with friends. In the busyness of this month, if I let them run off every time they wanted to, I may never see them until June. I love these kids, I want to be with these kids and stay connected, so I have to find a balance between our busy schedule, my kids social needs, and their family needs.
In our family we often give our girls choices. For example, if they do something on Friday night, they don’t get to go out Saturday too. If they have multiple evening events, then they have to chill for the weekend. Sometimes my girls want to run off, spend the night, do one more thing, and I have to be unpopular by saying “no.” If my girls are too busy, they become stressed, unhealthy, highly emotional, disconnected and……crazy.
As my girls get older, I know they need lots of social time with peers, but I don’t want to loose the family time quite yet. Family time keeps us all grounded and connected. I also don’t want to be one of those overbearing, overprotective parents. I am trying to find the balance. It’s a challenge. I realize family time has to be intentional now, even scheduled, and sometimes guarded from the outside world. I always think of this quote, “the enemy of the best is the good.” I constantly have to ask myself if I am letting good things interfere with the best thing.
The other night my daughter Julia came home from play practice after a long day and said, “I just want to shut off the world. I am tired, and I don’t even want to text (serious comment from the teenage girl with 1100 texts in a 3 weeks).” We went home and the family snuggled on the couch and watched a movie, too tired to do anything else. Stephen and I had kids all over us with feet and hands intertwined like pretzels. Ok….I love these moments, and I love being together, even if the activity is as simple as watching a movie.
I guess in the end I don’t want my family to be too busy to be a family. I want us to stick together, be together, support each other…do you know what I mean?
How do you manage busy schedules with family time? How do you manage all the activities still keeping the family close? I think family time has to be intentional,protected and a priority. It means looking out for the best and making sure the good doesn’t get in the way. What do you think? Please share!
Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy
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