My mom quit working when I was born. One reason was because she and my father decided having her at home with me was something they were willing to sacrifice her income to achieve. Another reason was because my dad was a street cop at the time, which required him to change shifts every few weeks – 3 weeks on days, 3 weeks on evenings, 3 weeks on nights. My mother was very, very good at protecting our family time. While I remember having to be quiet during the weeks that dad worked nights, I rarely remember feeling like my dad’s schedule interfered in our time as a family. I am sure that took a lot of work by both of them. I know that they both sacrificed a lot to ensure that I was able to benefit from their undivided attention.
My question is how were they able to do that? I look at my life, at that of my girls, and my husband. Financially, there is no way to have me stay at home, given the fact that I carry the benefits for the family. But how can I ensure that the girls benefit from undivided attention, that they don’t feel lost in the business of daily life?
I am trying to adjust my schedule to be available for them.
I make sure that either I or Hubby is available to be at their activities (such as Girl Scouts, Tae Kwon Do, VBS, etc).
I demand an evening a week where we have either a family game night or family movie night.
I attempt to cook meals and insist that we sit down as a family for dinner a minimum of 4 nights a week.
But one thing that gets lost in there is time for me and time for my marriage. How do I meet everyone’s needs?
One way is to follow my dad’s advice –
Put the tip of my tongue on the roof of my mouth and say “NO”
But that is often easier said than done.
There are so many expectations….
I found this article very helpful. She discusses not only what saying no means, but also what saying yes means as well.
At this, the beginning of the new year and filling in of new calendars, I am going to commit to looking at not only what I say yes to, but also what I will be saying no to in that yes. I commit to being much more intentional in my schedule.
How about you? Are you going to place your tongue at the roof of your mouth and say NO?