One of the greatest decisions we make in our lives, may seem like the most mundane, and possibly the most habitually unconscious.
Yet, I think it’s one of the greatest responsibilities we have and one on which our children’s future is most dependent.
That decision is how we choose to use our time.
Hello my friend, I hope this finds you well!
This topic is near and dear to me because it has been one of my greatest challenges!
Several clients have recently sited this issue as one of their most difficult challenges too, so I hope this post might be helpful.
Our lives are made up of seconds, minutes, hours, days and years, and they are ours to do with what we will. And yet, as parents, our children depend upon us for the outcomes of the decisions we make about the use of our time.
So, would you like to do a little activity designed to assist you in growing a bit further in your ability to direct yourself, make conscious decisions and be more trustworthy with your time? Yes?
Sweet! I’ll ask you a few thought questions in hopes that your answers may empower you to set new boundaries, if needed, and give you strength to follow-through with what you feel would be in the best interests of you and your family, in particular, your dependent children.
Got a paper and pencil handy? Here we go!
1 What are your absolute top priority self-care activities when it comes to strengthening, nurturing and uplifting yourself in order to show up each day in a loving state?
(Please use this post as a literal questionnaire and pause to write out your answers.)
2 a How often are you doing those most critical self-care activities?
b If you can see that you’re not doing them regularly, and your “love tank” is chronically running low, what is getting in the way of your actually doing what you know you need to do to nurture yourself?
(Examples: meaningful prayer, scripture study, exercise, journaling, declarations, etc.)
3 a How much time are you spending daily on social media i.e. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.? (If you don’t know off the top of your head, consult your phone.)
b And how does your time spent on these platforms add to or take away from your sense of feeling loved, acceptable and accountable?
(Did it take much effort to think of and write out the answers to these? Are your answers surprising?)
4 What are the consequences of not showing up, at least much of the time, as your loving self?
(Please hang with this question for a few minutes. Write out all of the ramifications you can think of.)
5 Is there something that your children need more than to be loved and taught by you, in kindness, gentleness, and respectful firmness? Can you think of anything? Any sports experience? Any academic opportunity? Any work or friend or even potential career opportunity?
6 Based on your answer to the previous question, how important is your decision to block out time to care for yourself?
(This is the empowerment part!)
7 What do you perceive is preventing you from holding space for your self-care time?
8 If your children are depending on you to use your time in the best possible way, for the greatest possible outcome for them, what new decision could you make?
I hope that you will see, through your answers to these questions, how best to use your time for the well-being of your family!
And just one more thought to consider:
I believe that the one common thinking error that precludes us from taking great care of ourselves is our habitual victim brain thinking.
Did you hear a victim voice in your head when answering any of these questions? Like, “I don’t have time because my kids won’t leave me alone!” or “I would be able to do the things that would fill me up if only my husband would x, y or z.”
It seems that because on a whole, many of us don’t have practice setting boundaries in a kind, gentle, firm and respectful way, we may believe we can’t set a boundary at all unless we’re harsh, mean and plain scary! And we don’t want to be that either!
So we settle for exhausted, snappy, irritable, demanding, unloving and defeated instead. All the while feeling justified in treating our people badly, because after all, we are the victim right?
I get it.
But, sooner or later, we must come to see our points of choice and take responsibility for those choices if we want our children to grow to the point of being loving and responsible people themselves!
So here’s the challenge:
If you haven’t been able to set a boundary around your own self-care activities, in a kind, gentle, firm, respectful and sustainable way, finding a win/win solution for you and the rest of your family, please use your answers to the above questions to craft a new schedule for your self-care activities!
Our kids are depending on us to make these most important decisions for their well-being, even though they don’t have the maturity to know it yet!
This issue is worthy of prayer and fasting, of temple worship and journaling, until you find baby step solutions you can implement as soon as possible!
Please leave a comment as you have ah ha’s so that we can all be inspired!
In order to find success in family life and parenting, we must continue our journey of growing-up and becoming increasingly accountable for the use of our time. And of course with God’s help, we can!
All my love to you today,