by Judy Weyand for GoodLiving® Magazine
Family balance is a tall order. Dual incomes, jobs that require travel, longer hours at work, sprawling suburban communities that require a vehicle to get anywhere, technology … There are so many things that make it tough to balance life in the family. Most have to do with time constraints – the hurry, hurry routine – and the many distractions
that invade and clutter family life.
What do you think of when you think of family balance? Is it having the time to enjoy each other without feeling like something else is being cheated? One mom I recently spoke with told me that for her, balance is having time to spend on what’s really important – the kids
and their needs and supervision, as well as time to work in the yard or do some other projects around the house that she looks forward to: “I want my kids to have neighborhood friends and enjoy playing outside with other kids in the neighborhood, you know – sandboxes and swings, bikes and lemonade stands; nothing fancy, just normal ‘kid’
Based on my own experience, I’ll bet many of you want the same thing. But, is balance in family life achievable in our ever-faster moving world? The answer to that question really depends on what you value most. For some, running around like a taxi cab on weekends
driving your children to friends’ parties or play dates seems to work. Many parents are logistics experts – squeezing as much activity into as little time as possible in order to fit it all in. For others this routine doesn’t work well. Think about the comments of the mom above.
Here are some things to think about and reflect on:
When you think about the many things that comprise your family life, what things matter most to your family members?
On a daily basis, when do you feel most anxious about family life?
Identify one thing within your family life that no one would miss if it didn’t exist.
What most influences the way your family spends its time?
Now, think of one of your children and imagine them twenty years from now. They have just written an essay entitled “What I Value Most and Why.” As you read their words, an overwhelming sense of peace overtakes you. Now think of your own childhood,
“What do you remember most about growing up at home? What had the most positive and negative impact on your social, emotional, and moral development?” Self reflection helps in uncovering closely held values and beliefs that will lead to finding your family’s heartbeat. With the end in mind, start today by modeling and mentoring your most coveted values
and beliefs. Identifying and passing those values on to your children helps in clearly defining and directing activities and actions leading to family balance.
Judy is a certified professional coach, national speaker, and co-developer of Take
Charge! Raise Leaders! Takechargeraiseleaders.com a program designed to empower
families to find their heartbeat and use that heartbeat to create balance and leadership
at home and in the world. Weyand & Wendlek Associates weyandwendlek.com offers
consulting, coaching and a network of experts available 24/7 with Take Charge! Raise
Leaders! Judy welcomes comments and questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This story originally ran in the Fall 2010 issue of GoodLiving® Magazine. All rights reserved.