I have always been a procrastinator – at the core of my procrastination is that I don’t think I will complete things as best I can, so I put them off. I have been at a bit of a fork in the road with the blog, I thought I would be somewhere else this year with the blog, but I am here. Figuring it out and procrastinating on posting…
I have started quite a few blog posts, and have never posted them, again thanks to my procrastination, but I spent sometime reading my blog drafts to see if anything would help stir up new ideas! But what I found is something better, a blog post from last year that is still true to this day. We as a family started to focus our time, energy and money into our goals, which is still true today. This has been such a blessing to our family this year as it was last year, which is such an inspiration for me to continue to share.
Share what we have done to simplify our lives.
Share what we have done to reduce stress in our lives.
Share what we have created in our family culture.
I hope you enjoy this post from last year as much as I did:
Our decision to change stemmed from not liking how our life was playing out, we were stressed and knew we didn’t want to raise our family in an over stressed household. Being parents of two young children (3 and 1), my husband and I had a tough time adjusting our lives to having kids, working full time, other commitments and balancing it all. I think back to that time and it sends a panic through me, I was stressed out and didn’t know how to change it but knew if we continued it was going to be bad. I knew that we were not the best parents, spouses, friends and employees rushing through life, just surviving, but also didn’t know how to change.
When I say rushing through life, we can all relate to it, but when your daily life is so overwhelming that you can’t enjoy and you can’t plan for the future, you are just keeping your head above water. We knew treading water was not what we wanted, but we were stuck in a cycle. How do we change, what do we change….all the questions. On top of trying to figure it out, I was highly critical of myself thinking I could and should do all things and remain the best mom, wife, friend, sister, daughter, but I could not. Things had to change…and I am here to tell you EVERYTHING IS NOT EVERYTHING.
I thought I was failing as a parent, wife and person because I could not do it all, guys if you only leave with one thing, this is it, you DO NOT HAVE TO DO IT ALL. Doing everything is not the important thing, doing the right things, doing the important things, doing the things that fill you up, that is what you MUST DO! Having young children is one of the hardest stages of life, from what I have heard, we are over here treading water! The amount of demands you have on your schedule are intense not to mention the amount of change that happens in the first couple years of childhood. Our society puts a lot of pressure on women to do it all, and I felt that pressure immensely. That stress then crept into all avenues of my life, work, family, friends, energy and motivation. I look back on pictures of myself and I look exhausted, our schedule and our life was running us ragged.
It has taken me 33 years to figure this out and we work on this as a family daily, but we are stronger as a family for making a change, for choosing to make our family culture a priority. I knew what I wanted but was stuck in a cycle that I could not get out of and needed to quickly to reduce the stress in our family, our house and our marriage. Acknowledging the need to change is the first step in change, then doing it is the next, and arguably the hardest for us.
We knew that we wanted to capture the most time with our kids making memories and creating a strong family culture, but how could we do that when we are running around from schedule to schedule? We wanted a strong family culture, but were not prioritizing the right things. Everything was a fire drill, everything was scattered, nothing was important because everything was important, we were exhausted and ready to change.
Change is hard, but you can’t continue to do the same things over and over and expect the outcome to be different. I remember sitting down with my husband to discuss how to change it, and trying to put it into words, we were sleep deprived, both working and trying to parent a toddler and a newborn. That is enough to send anyone into the deep end, but we had prayed for this family and now we were struggling to keep up with everything. I think this is way more common than we talk about, I believe people don’t want to talk about it, due to feeling ashamed and inadequate. I am here to tell you, it is not shameful to say you can’t do it all, no one can do it all. You will be more powerful, you will be stronger, and you will be happier doing fewer things, and enjoying them verses doing everything and being unhappy.
My husband and I sat down, we talked about what we wanted, what we wanted to change and what we could change for our family to become less stressed. Our list was long, very long, the things that caused stress, things we didn’t want to do (laundry, cleaning…. you know the fun things!) We talked about what we wanted, our hopes, our dreams, for our family that we had prayed for. In the end our list had 3 major themes that we grouped into goals for 2018. I love the simplicity of the number of 3, it is easy as 1,2,3… 😊 but honestly it is easier to tackle fewer items so they can be top of mind and easy to remember.
Our 3 goals were and still are:
1) Family Time
3) Saving Money
The change for our family needed to be drastic for us, this was a culture change, so it affected almost everything we did, from time, to space, to activities and to our finances. To work on our goals, we had to change a lot of things, but we were both committed to the change, this is huge, everyone needs to be bought into the goals, if not, you are going to have a tough road ahead.
So here is the start of our journey on being intentional with building a stronger family culture.
Of all the things we wanted to focus on, these 3 goals encompassed what we wanted as a family culture. We want to spend time with our children as they grow, to enjoy the little and big moments of life with them, to truly appreciate the time with our family.Amy
Slowing down, or even not planning things, is almost taboo. Our society prides itself on multitasking, staying busy, taking on more projects not less. This is not bad, but if the scale tips too far it can be bad and we as a family found our tipping point. We needed to tip the scale back to the core of slowing down, back to the basics, back to what we wanted as our priority. Slowing down is a term I use a lot and if you know me you may or may not agree with me, but we are very intentional with our time and what we commit to. This is my form of slowing down, we pick what is important for us, in what we spend our time on, what we put into our physical space and what we spend our money on. Sounds easy, but it is very hard to find the balance with all the demands we have.
I can not tell you how much these changes have helped with our quality of life, our stress levels and our ability to enjoy the moments we would have missed. This is not for everyone, but if you are looking to make a change, I would highly recommend it! I don’t think you will ever regret making your family or your goals a priority in your life!
-Amy (November 2019) and still valid in 2020