I’ve been challenged lately to find ways to make better use of my time, and establish some different habits around the flow of our family life. Since the birth of our third child a year and a half ago, we’ve obviously had to adapt to another little person being around. But now that we have our new ‘normal’ for the time being, it’s time to get intentional again.
So my husband and I are attempting to find a better rhythm whereby every member of our family feels valued and important, and their ‘love tank’ filled to a healthy place. From a place of strength, we can minister more effectively to others. It means re-ordering some priorities.
Our marriage needs some focused attention, as we have cruised a bit for a while and not given one another the attention and time we deserve. We’ve taken for granted the fact that we deeply love each other and that there will always be reserves to draw from in those times where other things are happening in the life of our family. So it’s time to top up our reserves again!
Our children each have different needs at their ages and stages of development. We are listening to what they are saying, be it clearly stating or indirectly via behaviour, so we can better nurture and raise them and so they feel fully satisfied in our love expressed to them.
This Mum here needs some regular time out to re-energise, which is something I do best by myself or with a friend. I didn’t need this for a long time but 8 years since my first was born, I’m finally seeing that after an prolonged and intense period in the life of our family, it’s time for us to carve this out for me. My faithful husband is really committed to this.
So what are the non-negotiables?
There are some things that we know for certain (in no particular order):
- Our children are being raised inside our home. For us, that means homeschooling and it also means that none of our children go to an alternative place of care, be it daycare, Kindergarten or public school. It may look different for someone else, but this we have come to be certain about as we have prayed and discussed this together.
- We know we are called to love others intentionally and sow into close relationships in our lives, particularly those within our community of faith.
- It’s my husband’s role to provide the primary means of financial support and it is my role to be a wife and mother. We’ve toyed with the idea of me working part-time on the computer from home in the past. But we felt for us that this wasn’t the right fit for our family.
What can be trimmed and adjusted?
I’m certain that many of you will relate to this one: I’ve found a degree of connection via Facebook and blogging which I’ve been grateful for. It sure helps to feel less isolated when you’re housebound with little ones doesn’t it? But it’s time to trim back on these outlets and dedicate my time elsewhere into more productive places.
I’ve been blessed with incredible relationships that are authentic and don’t require me to keep abreast on Facebook with things happening in their lives. They’ll actually tell me. Granted, there are only a few of them, but I’m sure it’s OK to have a few close friends and not dozens where the connection is so shallow.
So for now, despite filling that deeper need for connection and community (in a very average way might I say), I’m trimming social media time to a minimum. It’s not even so much the time spent as much as it’s the headspace it takes, and the feeling of busyness that it stirs in my head. It doesn’t add enough value to my life to warrant continuing with it at the expense of other areas. And I’d much rather devote my time and energy to the ‘real’, not the ‘virtual’.
As for my blog, my goal for now is to blog once a week during the weekend, and I may be able to do more than this sometimes. Not writing the recommended 2-3 times a week may mean that I lose some readers. But I pray that my words will reach those who really need it.
Do you have some areas of activity in your life that need some pruning? Do you need to re-evaluate your commitments outside the home, such as those at church, within you homeschool network, and extra-curricular activities?
What role is social media playing in your life – do you need some more balance in this area?
Next post, I’ll delve a little into how my husband and I are approaching relationships at present.