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Are you in need of a family schedule re-boot? Here are 7 crucial things to consider when effectively building a schedule for your family.
There’s a lot that goes into a family’s schedule these days. Compare the average family with kids to a similar family dynamic 100 years ago.
Things have changed…
The average day for a family living in the year 1922 probably consisted of the older boys and dad working in the family trade from sun up to sundown. The mom and younger children tending to the cooking, sewing, or possibly some seasonal school work.
Bedtime at dark, family meals made from leftovers, and lots of reading together were the norm.
Not saying we need to revert back a century, but hang with me.
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Gymnastic classes, after school LEGO clubs, play dates at the local park, virtual music lessons, and driving 45 minutes one way to attend a friend’s birthday party at a trampoline park were just not even on their radar.
Is parenting this century making us mad? Here are 7 crucial things to consider when trying to balance out your family’s needs into a “doable” schedule:
How much can you handle?
I’m sorry, mama. Nobody is invincible. You can’t take on everything.
The issue is that as moms, we really can try to move mountains. We tend to routinely over-do ourselves to serve our family. It’s simply because we love our kids and want everything life can offer them.
All good things…
However, too much of a good things is a bad thing.
Too many activities, extra curriculars , and social obligations will lead to burnout. Burn-out is a huge warning sign that you’ve taken on more than you can handle (or should handle).
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What does your personality need?
Let me back up here and say that If you’ve completely lost your identity thought this process of having babies, you should spend some time evaluating your needs as they relate to your personality.
Most of the time, your personality type will be revealed by how you handle things like stress, change, and people. Also, are you an introvert or an extrovert?
- Some people get their strength/energy by surrounding themselves with constant activities and fun people.
- Others get their strength/energy by giving themselves a daily escape into the quiet recesses of their mind.
- Some people thrive in creative maximalist environments.
- Others thrive where organization and order are paramount.
Allowing your family’s schedule to reflect your personality needs will bring you peace of mind and the ability to enjoy the things you do with your kids.
What values do you want to pass on to your kids?
Think back to something you enjoyed as a child. Or to some of the most important life lessons or experiences that you had.
Chances are… your parents valued that activity and took the time to include it in your schedule.
- If family time is valuable to you, be sure to include family activities into your schedule. Your kids will more than likely continue the tradition when they are parents.
- What about church services and functions? If these activities are of value to you, and you want to pass them along to your kids, put them into your family’s schedule.
- Step back and take a look at where you are spending your time. If much of your quality time is being spent somewhere that doesn’t fit what you want to pass to your kids, it’s time to reevaluate.
We make time for what matters to us. Our kids are wise to this fact. Also, actions speak louder than words. In other words, kids can see what is valuable to us based on where we spend our time. Time equals value.
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Does the activity really matter?
Asking yourself if the activity you’re participating in really matters may seem a bit simplistic. For that reason, we sometimes find ourselves trapped. Trapped in an activity that seemed like a good idea, but actually turned out to be a waste of time.
In this situation it’s best to exercise the right to change your mind. That’s right… we can change our mind.
I’m a believer in trying lots of things, seeing what works, and then sticking with the things that make sense.
It may seem like a waste of money to back out of something that you’ve spent on. On the flip side, it would be worse to keep going if the activity doesn’t really matter.
What is motivating you?
Have you found yourself scheduling a family activity for fear of missing out? In a world where every family’s activities are posted on social media, we can sometimes get wrapped up in what we could be doing with our kids.
In reality, fear of missing out should absolutely not be what is motivating our family schedule. This will lead to chaos, disappointments, and unnecessary pressures on our children.
We can get all wrapped up in what someone else’s kids can do. It may start as us wanting to provide a learning opportunity for our kids, but end up being a pressurized comparison trap. Nobody wins here…
Take a step back and ask yourself: why are we doing this activity?
If you can’t answer that question with a meaningful answer that lines up with your core values, time to ditch it.
Start brainstorming rules to make your family life more peaceful, connected, and strong!
Does it make sense financially?
Scheduling family activities above your financial means is one sure way to get stressed out.
Let’s be real… it gets stressful for everyone.
- We put pressure on ourselves to provide over what we’re able to,
- we beat the kids up about how much money we spend on them, and
- relationships get strained over these financial stresses.
It’s simply not worth it.
I am all for spending on activities that fit into the family’s schedule if they will elevate family life. Or teach the kids something that will benefit them for their whole life.
Obviously, I advocate giving time and energy to providing meaningful experiences for kids. But, it’s not worth the trouble if we can’t afford it.
Pro tip: Instead of pinching pennies and making the kids feel guilty about your sacrifice, use the extra financial expenses as a lesson for them. Include them in the saving, budgeting, and even earning of the means necessary to do that activity.
In just 15 minutes a night (while you’re in your pajamas!) take your home (and heart and mind) from stressed out to organized.