Back to Basics

Is your life harried? Are you constantly running around, late to everything? Do you look or feel disheveled? Is your calendar so filled with errands, kids activities, and juggling your to-do list that you feel like there is no time to breathe? Is your home a mess? Do you feel frustrated a lot of the time? Are there things you would like to do, but you just cant find the time or energy?

I know that this is quite common, particularly if you have small children at home. I know that the tasks, chores, and duties pile high and can make you feel overwhelmed, as if you are constantly swimming upstream. It is easy to feel this way, especially when you add school-aged childrens extra-curricular activities, homework, and requests to this heap. Dinner needs to be made, laundry needs to be done, and the taxi wont drive itself! I have found that many families have way over extended themselves. Not just financially, but with their time as well.

Can you remember back to your childhood? It was such a slower, simpler time. I remember playing in the street with all the neighborhood kids after school. We would make up games, ride bikes, have relay races, pick teams for baseball, and play truth-or-dare…I can still taste the mud on that Wheat ThinEwww! We all followed the same rule; it was time to come home for dinner when the street lights came on! Did you have that same rule in your home?

We now live in such a fast paced world, where we want things right now.
We feel our kids have to be in 12 different activities so they won
t be bored.
We have sacrificed family time for extra-curricular activities.
Our kids have to be constantly entertained.
We think we are doing our kids a huge favor, but in actuality we are doing them a disservice.

Sowhat can you do to slow things down and get a grip on your fast-paced life?


Let
s get Back to Basics

Here are a few things that we implement in our home to keep things organized and simple. Maybe you also do these things. If not by incorporating them into your routine, you can hopefully feel less frazzled and more organized.

  • We only allow each of our kids to be involved in one extracurricular activity each. This way we can manage our time driving to and fro. This also allows us to be home most nights together as a family. This also helps your child manage their time with other obligations (homework, chores, showers, play, etc.) without feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
  • We eat a home cooked dinner as a family, together as many nights a week as we can. This is so very important, because this is a time that the kids can count on. This is our time to nourish our bodies, share our day with each other, and reconnect. We are separated from our kids for a good chunk of the daywe all need a time to relax and have fellowship as a family! Running through a drive through and eating unhealthy food only adds to the chaos!
  • All of our kids have chores. We have always had each kid chip in, and we start as young as two years old. At two, they can clean up their toys, help set the table, and sort laundry. Begin having them help at a young age so they learn the importance of being organized, tidy, and helpful. When kids have chores, it gives them a sense of belonging and accomplishment. When kids pitch in, they demonstrate that they are a part of the family. This is great for you too, because it takes a load off! My kids put away their own laundry, clean their own bathroom, do the dishes, empty the wastebaskets, and other miscellaneous things I request of them. When you delegate, your whole world opens up!
  • We keep a schedule. This is a huge one! When kids have a set schedule, it gives them something to count on. Boundaries and guidelines make them feel safe. Enforcing a set time for dinner, bedtime and wake up time, homework time, chore time, and play time is a must! When children are rested and know what to expect, your home and life run smoother. Your whole environment will feel organized, safe, and secure to your children and to you! Getting the kids to bed and out the door to school should not feel wild and chaotic.
  • Limit screen time. Kids these days spent way too much time looking at a screen, whether it is a television, a computer, iPod, iPad, Nook, Kindle, and on and on! As parents we need to limit their time on these devises, so they will learn to socialize, communicate, and develop personalities. We need to encourage outdoor activities and fresh air! We need to nurture family time and promote healthy communication, so when they are teenagers they will talk with us and so we will send confident and capable adults into society. Limiting screen time also encourages play and imagination, something we all used in our childhood.

     


Take Action: This week and moving forward, lets all try to get Back to Basics. Lets implement one or more of these tips above and make our lives a little simpler. Lets think back to our childhood and bring some of those wholesome traditions into our daily lives and the lives of our children.

Because Together is Better,


Comments

  1. Sarah Jessica says:

    We love how we feel when we spend time outside! No iPod/pad/phone playing in our house that has been a big one for us. They always find a book or toy if that’s not available. I love what I am able to accomplish with a smart phone and how technology makes it so my husband can work from home many times but its a double edge sword and not good for wee brains. Love my sweet D!!

  2. Great one D….oh yes i remember those good ole days…couldn’t agree more with one activity! Childhood isn’t a race…life isn’t a race! We all just need to slow down…relax more and enjoy each day.
    Fantastic reminder!!!!

    • You are right Gina, life is a gift and we tend to rush through it with our crazy schedules. If we could stop and smell the roses we would enjoy the scenery more! Thank you for your comment, I appreciate you! -Deanna

  3. Steph Whitley says:

    I agree totally! : ) great post!

  4. Your list is essential to raising secure children. Boundaries, set times, and rules make kids feel loved, safe, and happy. Kids know when you are doing something for their own good, even if they want something else! Good article!

  5. Yes I agree. All of these things are so important, and I feel like I’m failing miserably!!! Calling it “back to basics” is great. It sounds less intimidating. I think we have forgotten what basics are in this country(or at least in my house!!) Thanks for the reminder:)

    • Thank you Gigi for your comment! Awareness is the first step to progress. Take one tip and implement it…then add another. Continue slowly, don’t get overwhelmed. Soon it will be smooth sailing! -Deanna

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