3 Things to Simplify Family Life

Your life is not about being a juggling act. It’s about choosing what is most important to you and toning down everything else. Even the enjoyable things in our lives can distract us from what is truly important.

Life Is All About Relationships

And what is important? Relationships. Relationships with God, your husband, your children, your family and your friends. As you look back one day, it will be your time with your loved ones that you will truly treasure. And again, it’s not that you should shun all other activities or careers or community organizations. But put your focus on your relationships, with everything else coming behind that as your time and energy levels permit.

1. Enlist Some Help Around the House

Are you the only one who bothers with housecleaning or cooking in your home? Maybe now is the time to discuss household responsibilities with your husband and children. If your kids don’t have any weekly chores, start giving them tasks. Not only will that help your burden, but it will teach your kids how to be responsible.

2. Letting Go of Obligations

Perhaps you’re a mom who loves to help others. You volunteer at your church, at your children’s schools and even at the local nursing home. And volunteering is great — people in this world need help. But if you find yourself spending more time helping people in the community than your own family, or if you find yourself feeling “obligated” to help and not enjoying it, perhaps it’s time to cut back on some of those activities.

So when the PTA calls you up to lead a fundraising event that you know you don’t have time for, don’t feel obligated to put in the hours. It’s OK not to help with every project that comes up. You know the phrase, “Just say no” — repeat those words to yourself whenever you feel pressured or obligated or guilted into doing yet another activity you don’t have time for.

3. Managing Your Hobbies

Having time for yourself is critical. You need that time away from your family to relax, to bond with friends and to stay physically fit. But if you find that you are over-committing yourself to spinning classes, tennis lessons and scrapbooking groups, you may find that your family time is suffering.

So if you find yourself always wanting to try something new — a sport, a hobby or learning a new language — tackle one new project at a time. Sometimes we get so excited about trying new things that we want to do them all at once. Unfortunately, there’s just not enough time in the day. So choose one activity for now, and come back to the others later.

The point of this article is simply: not overscheduling your family starts with you. Choose those relationships and activities which are most important to you and don’t feel guilty about the rest of it.