How I Shifted Our Family Time from Chaos to Ease

howIshiftedourfamilytimefromchaostoease

Our weekends are probably a lot like yours – a whirlwind of chores, kids’ activities, errands, appointments, car maintenance, meal planning (maybe), baths (again, maybe) and more. A co-worker joked with me recently, “I need a weekend from my weekend!”

Whether you work at home, parenting and managing a household, work out of home part time or full time or any other combination of work and purpose – I bet you can relate to her sentiments. Saturday, so full of hope and unfettered time, gives way to Sunday – or, as I call it, First Monday – and things are suddenly much tighter and less enjoyable.

I have a couple of secrets I use to feel more at ease through my weekends and I wanted to share them with you this week! These aren’t huge epiphanies but just some simple steps you can take to feel more flexible, abundant and present during those fleeting weekend moments. These feelings might even follow you into the week!

The first step to more ease and fulfillment is mindset. If you think the weekend is going to be too full and too much, it will be. If you think, ‘this weekend is busy but I have the capacity and bandwidth to manage it well and even enjoy it,’ you will!! Our brains are amazingly adaptable and suggestable.

If you have something coming up that is very concerning to you don’t try to force these thoughts away. Let your mind play with the various outcomes, the feelings in your body and the worries that you have. Then remind yourself, ‘this will be hard but I have handled much more than this!’

Having a positive mindset takes work but makes a big difference in how you will feel during the weekend!

You choose how you spend your time. Time for a little mama to mama chat. You set the schedule! You get to decide how your kids spend the weekend. The choice is yours. If things are getting out of control with kids’ activities – you can scale them back. Yes, you can! If chores are limiting you from what you really want to do – you can do less. If there are things that MUST happen you can pick and choose the other, optional activities so that you create more space in your schedule.

Ultimately, the way we spend our time is up to us. Yes, over the course of time our obligations might start to stack up and make us feel scattered and chaotic. It can be hard to see that everything is a choice when that happens. But it is. Your time is your own and your kids will still have wonderful memories of their childhood whether or not they get to do everything they tell you they want to do now!

Positive affirmations have immediate and powerful effects on the brain. You may already use affirmations for different reasons. These affirmations for family time will help to remind you of what is important and how you want to FEEL!

– I own my time and can choose how to spend it.
– I love spending time with my children and I create intentional space to do this every day.
– My kids know how to play independently and I know how to allow them the space to do this.
– I can change course easily when something isn’t working for me.
– I know how to ask for what I need.
– I take pauses to savor the small, everyday moments.

I used an affirmation when we were out of the house for an extended period this weekend and I was beginning to feel rundown. “I choose to feel refreshed and I know how to take the physical steps to achieve this.” Then I bought myself some food – and grabbed some snacks for my girls – and I ate while we waited to drive my oldest daughter to a birthday party. It seems like a small thing but it made my evening much easier to manage since we couldn’t go home.

Build in true down time for yourself. Write down the ways that you recharge yourself and do these things every weekend.

I love to watch funny movies (read: not child appropriate) with my partner. Obviously this is difficult to do before the kids’ bedtime but my partner is a morning person and I’m more of a night owl. So we have to work a little harder to make a movie happen but when it does, those couple of hours are just what I need and make a huge impact to my well-being!

Protect your sacred time. I have a mantra saved to the lock screen on my phone – she made a promise to hold her own well-being sacred.

This is a daily reminder to me that I am the ONLY ONE who can protect my well-being and hold it sacred. No one else – for all of their beautiful intentions and no matter how much they care about me – will be able to do this the way that I will. If I allow it, people will serve themselves with my energy and my time.

Figuring out what makes your being well and how to hold those things sacred is an ongoing process. It has plenty to do with rest. It has a lot to do with creativity and independence. It has to do with how you are refueled – some people are recharged around others, some recharge alone or with only a few close people.

This is a perfect chance to sit down with your journal and talk about your well-being. To make it easier try listing what you like under these sensory categories:
– Sight – what do you want to see around you? What do you want to be surrounded by?
– Listening – what does it sound like when your being is well? What do you enjoy hearing?
– Touch – what kind of touch feels good for you? What do you touch that makes you feel well?
– Taste/Smell – what smells make you feel good? What do you enjoy tasting most?
– Emotional state – how do you want to feel?

Sacred doesn’t mean that it has to be spiritual, though it can if that feels good to you, it simply means that you give this need your full attention and protection. You hold your own well-being above everything else and protect it first.

Holding your well-being sacred is not selfish. It doesn’t mean that you ignore the needs of those you care for. It means that you don’t ignore your own needs. When our needs are met, we can better meet the needs of our children and family.

Imagine a weekend – still full of the busyness that having young kids brings – that leaves you ready for your week, and looking forward to next weekend!

How do you manage the craziness that the weekend brings? Share with us in the comments!

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