I hear about harried families almost every day – those who are completely overscheduled due to running children everywhere, those who have to “car school” because they are on the road running children everywhere, those you are searching high and low for the “simple” life promised in magazines and books….and wondering if such a thing really exists!
I think a calm family life can exist, but you do have to create it. Here are the top five ways I feel you can have a calm family life:
1. Take charge of your family’s schedule. In the United States, it seems that children’s activities are often “driving the boat” of family life. Is it more important that your children be a part of every activity known to man or is it more important that you enjoy the years you have with your children in an unhurried manner? Sometimes we can answer what our activities and priorities should be by creating or looking back at our Family Mission Statement.
Our own personal Family Mission Statement at this time is KIPPA: kindness, integrity, positive attitude, patience and adventure. Something short and sweet that everyone can say and begin to model works well. We haven’t updated ours in awhile, so that is on the list to do this summer to think about. I would love to hear about your Family Mission Statement if you have one!
2. Let things go. You can say no! Make sure you are not keeping yourself so busy so that you don’t have to look too deeply at yourself, your family life, or other areas in life that really need your attention.
Letting go can also include the physical – like the physical clutter of the home, or as FlyLady says, the “body clutter”. It can also include relationships or communities that are no longer nourishing you. It is okay that things change over time! Life is a series of changes – big and small.
3. Build in time and space around activities. If you are out one day, be home for two days around that out day. This can especially work well for younger children. Take time and space for yourself. Where is your rest time, your down time, your vacation time? Can you teach your children to be comfortable with space and time and not “busy going” all the time? What a wonderful gift you will be giving them to teach them that through your modeling!
4. Devote time to yourself. I see so many mothers who are spending all of their time at their children’s activities, and fail to put a priority on their own eating, sleeping and exercise. Your physical health is really, really important. Why not make this summer the summer of your health? Put in the time it takes to make healthy and from -scratch meals; to daily exercise (yes, I said daily!), to sleep and rest and for your inner work in whatever capacity this means to you. I would love to hear your success stories!
5. Positivity. Being a positive mother, partner and friend can reverberate throughout all the communities and relationships of your life. Surround yourself with positivity, think positive, be generous with your encouraging words and watch the calmness come into your family!
Many blessings and love,