Live for Today

How to Enjoy Your Family More

Black family

I’m so obsessed with my little crew!

You may have heard the phrase, “jack of all trades, a master of none.” When you really think about it, it’s not such a great thing to boast about. We all want to master something. Let’s face it, life goes by fast! I was recently at my mom’s birthday party and there was a slide-show of photos ranging from 20 years ago to present day. Some of those moments felt like just yesterday! More and more there’s a demand for instant results and many of us feel like we’re losing the race.

Multitasking is defined as one person handling more than one task. In business, it’s often considered a skill. As a mother, it’s something that we brag about like a badge of honor, but is it honorable to multitask when it comes to your family? Think about it: when you multitask, nothing is getting 100% of your focus. Now let’s put this in perspective when it comes to our family: No one is getting 100% of your focus. Worse, sometimes our multitasking says, “what you need is not important to me.” And that’s a message that we don’t want to send to our family!

This is something that I struggle with in my day to day life. As a new mommy and a newly-wed, I have so many things I want to get done in a 24-hour span. It seems as if the day flies by and I may only knock out half of my to-do list (if I’m lucky). By the end of the day (when exactly is the “end of the day?”), my whole day was a blur and I find myself wishing I spent more time with my family.

I’m guilty of editing a blog and nursing my daughter or talking to my husband while reading emails. And I totally regret it. In the moment, I think, “Oh, I can do this really quick – it won’t be a big deal!” but missing out on just one second with my family is a big deal! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying never to multi-task, that’s absurd! Instead, I’m saying, there’s nothing more important than our family. Absolutely nothing. They deserve our best effort to provide and our undivided attention. They are nearest to your heart, don’t give them your scraps.

“But you don’t get it, I’m super busy! I can’t stop what I’m doing or I’ll never get anything done!” That’s not true! I personally believe that it takes determination and discipline, but it’s possible. You had to train yourself to carry such a heavy load, you can also train yourself to give your family your undivided attention. I totally understand that you want to catch those cute moments for SnapChat or Instagram – do it! And once you’ve captured it, put the phone away and live in the moment!

So how can we slow down and really live in the moment?

Focus

This is not an easy one for me. My mind goes a mile a minute. I usually can’t even finish a conversation without jumping into something completely unrelated. I must remind myself to stay in the moment and really focus on what’s going on right now. Is editing my blog more important than spending precious time with my daughter? Not even close. Yes, it takes time and effort to nurse but sooner than later she’ll be weaned and I’ll miss this time we have together. So, stop what you’re doing and focus on your baby. I promise whatever it is will still be there when you’re done.

Cherish

So many times I rush through my day just trying to get as much done as possible. I can admit that I often forget to stop and smell the roses. I mean this literally and figuratively. There’s nothing wrong with having goals and chasing them. In fact, you should have goals! But, it’s important to remember that time is something we can never get back. Time with loved ones is even more precious. I literally couldn’t imagine my life without my husband. Although I know I could survive, I’d rather not imagine having to without him. Every day is a gift and it’s famously quoted that tomorrow is not promised. This is a sentiment that I try to keep in the forefront of my mind when I’m interacting with him.  The text messages and the emails can wait. It’s important that my honey knows I’m all in when he needs my attention. After we’re done with our conversation, I can get back to what I’m working on.

Manage

I dare not label this section “plan”, because, let’s be real: We can plan our days, weeks, even our year and guess what? Life will cancel all those plans and reschedule for its own convenience. You may have planned your day perfectly and right when you’re ready to spend time with your family, you’re called to a work emergency. It happens! But be mindful of how often. Though we can’t control emergency situations, we can set our own standards. Make sure that your job, friends, and anyone else knows that when you’re with your family – it has to wait. Establish a “no phone zone” or a time-frame when all calls go to voicemail. It might be hard at first but remember when you’re with your family, there’s nothing else you’ll need (except to order a pizza. Pizza is always a necessity).

Designate

Designate a family day! If you’re married, get with your spouse and set a day of the week as family day. If you’re single, look at your weekly schedule and decide what day is best for you to bond with your babies. Then, let everyone know. Well, not everyone, but those people outside the home who pull on you the most. If you can’t designate an entire day, then set aside a certain time of the day. We make it a point to have dinner together every night. Mornings are unpredictable, but by evening, no matter where we’re at or what we’ve done all day, we sit down and have dinner as a family. We don’t just eat. We have a conversation! Right now, Cheyenne is tiny so she doesn’t know what’s going on, but, by the time she’s old enough, it’ll be a standard family tradition!

No one loves and cares for your family as much as you do. If you don’t put them first, no one else will! It’s not easy, but it’s totally possible and it’s necessary! Always remember what family is about and the legacy you want to leave behind. Switch up your family activities and get creative!

Here are just a few ideas for family time:

Movie night

Game Night

Cook together

Have a picnic

Visit a museum or the zoo

Exercise together

Get crafty

Have a dance party (my personal fav!)

Do a puzzle

Volunteer

These are just a few ways to enjoy time together. Don’t stress out trying to plan it all yourself, take suggestions! Ask your family what they are interested in doing and put that into the rotation so everyone feels involved. Don’t forget to capture these special moments but, don’t get stuck there, put the camera down and enjoy your crew! You only get one family and time goes by so fast!

Look each other in the eye. Listen with your heart. Hug. Laugh and enjoy each other, because… tomorrow is not promised.


This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalms 118:24


Jaqui-Lyn Hope

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