That’s exactly how I would sum up 2017. Our little family seems to be on a constant whirlwind of practices, ballgames, meetings, school activities, farm duties, work duties and occasional playdates with friends. It’s something that I think most parents with young children go through at some point. (At least that is what I have learned on the occasional mommy playdate with my girlfriends.)
But, what do we do when it all seems to be stressing the entire family out? What if all the activities are causing havoc on much needed family time? What do we do when we worry about how other moms judge our decisions within our own families? Why can’t our friends just be REAL? What if you are overly concerned with ensuring that the kids are perfectly taken care of, but forget you have a marriage to take care of as well? What if you forget it’s the small stuff in your crazy everyday life that truly matters? What do you do when you realize that you have not been putting God first, nor have you been teaching your children to do so? What if you’ve been living a life that you think you have to keep up with in today’s society, but really just want to be an okay mom with happy kids and genuine friends? What if you realize you’re heading towards a rat race that you don’t want to be in?
You stop, breathe and say FORGET THIS! And, MAKE A CHANGE…
How? Heck if I know. But, I will say this, two books have made a a big impact on how I am focusing on living my life and guiding my family’s life. Sarah Knight’s The Life-Changing Magical Art of Not Giving a F*ck and How to Get Your Sh*t Together. Yes, those titles might raise a brow or two, but you know what…you can take your judgmental brow elsewhere.
These are terrific books that will have you laughing and planning your escape to an entirely new life worth living, for yourself and your family. And, when you finish these books, pass them on to a friend that needs a swift kick in the butt onto a road leading them into a happier, more peaceful tomorrow!
You’ll find yourself implementing strategies learned from the first book in every facet of your life: at the supermarket, at school field trips, with friends, with family during the holidays, at meetings, at home, on the phone, on Facebook, at ballgames, at random places like the bank (true story), the list never ends.
And while you are feeling more liberated in your changing world, I suggest figuring out how your kids schedules and activities are stressing you out, while doing the same to your kids. Its true. We want to be the best parents we can be to our littles. We want to give them every opportunity we can, but that shouldn’t be at the sacrifice of our family’s time together. We can consume ourselves with ensuring every minute of everyday is spent going to the next activity, or on a playdate, or to a practice or wherever- BUT what’s best for your family and kids is time spent together with no schedule. And, that could be just at home playing freely outside or having a simple night in watching movies and eating popcorn and ice cream, laughing on the couch, making memories that will stick with your children when they become adults one day.
In the midst of this total transformation, look at your marriage and remember that even though you now have littles to contend to and ensure they are taken care of, you also have your spouse that needs to know they are loved and appreciated! It’s easy to forget about each other while you are raising little ones, because let’s face it- parenthood is HARD. It’s work! But, you can’t forget to WORK on your MARRIAGE too. Find time for each other every single day to talk about your day, talk about the week’s plans, about your feelings, about the kids, about your hopes and about why you appreciate the other SO much!
Lastly, but most importantly, ensure God’s teachings are present daily among your family. Even if you can’t make it to church every week, find a way to bring HIM into your family and show your children how you believe and live through HIM.
It’s okay to not be perfect. This I have learned. All I need is a happy life full of love, family and friends to make my soul complete. Find a circle of friends that encourage, not compete. Throw the judgement of others and busy filled schedules out the window. Live a life meant for purpose.