WT 176: Keep It Simple, Momma!
From managing extracurricular activities and keeping our homes in order, to shepherding our children's faith and paying attention to our marriage in the midst of it all; on today's show we're talking about 4 aspects of family life that are easy to overcomplicate. If you're feeling overwhelmed by pressure to do it all and do it all well, this episode is one you don't want to miss.
Mentioned on the Show Today:
Episode 175: Launching Your College Freshman Well
Question 1: Any ideas for simplifying the daily onslaught of housework? I would love to hear how you and Sunny do chores, or how you divvy up tasks so that it gets done and it’s not ALL on me.
Karen’s Answer: Make a chore list. As a mom you have to decide if you want children who are just consumers or do you want children who are helpful and responsible. Most children don’t like chores, so get ready for the complaining, but don’t stop! Make up your mind as the mom first and then that is half the battle. I think sometimes we say we want help, but then when the kids complain we say, “forget it, I’ll do it myself.” But, we don’t need to do that, we need to stick with the plan. It will be hard to implement, but in the long run, it is SO much better!!!!
Question 2: How did you decide on extra-curricular activities? How did you evaluate what was a reasonable amount?
Karen’s Answer: This is really according to your family, you and your husband’s work schedule, AND your level of wanting to be on the move or enjoying more down time. I let my children do one activity at a time. But, even just one activity could end up being a lot when you have four children! I think you also have to realistically look at if your child is truly talented in the sport or activity or is it just a social thing for them? Every family has to make their own decisions, and I also want to say your level of involvement can change from year to year.
Question 3: Sometimes the idea of shepherding my children’s faith overwhelms me. Can you give a few tips or guiding principles? Like Dave Ramsey’s baby steps for money, only for faith and kids? :) I’d love to have a practical plan for helping them mature in their faith.
Karen’s Answer: Whew! This one is tricky because there is no fail -safe plan. I wish there were. We all end up choosing whether we want to have a relationship with the Lord. Ultimately, it is deciding if I want to rule my life, or do I want to submit my will to God’s will and allow Him to direct my life. Each person has to decide.
Now, I do think you can create an atmosphere in your home where your child hopefully will see the fruits of God in your life, and you create a home where God is portrayed as good and loving, which makes Him more attractive to your child. I did that by:
Walking the walk daily and not just on holidays.
I tried to tie God into our everyday life, not just a Sunday thing. For instance, when the children were upset about things, I tried to find stories in the Bible that related to them. We would also pray together about when they were upset. Taylor was scared at night when he would go to bed, so at night before bedtime we would pray God would protect him through the night. I would also play instrumental worship music on low in his room when we was going through a tough time with it. I also linked what Taylor was watching to his night terrors and those movies became off limits for Taylor. I truly believe that garbage in equals garbage out.
Greg and made church part of our lives, always but God was a priority, not just on Sundays.
Question 4: We are in the thick of it raising 3 kids at 3 different stages (middle school, elementary and pre-school) and sometimes my marriage is the last thing I want to “work on” at the end of a long day. What are a few key principles I can keep in mind to keep our marriage strong during this season when our schedules are full, date nights are few and far between and we are both working so hard to “keep the ship afloat”. Thanks for your help, Karen! I appreciate what you are doing so much.
Karen’s Answer: Great question! Okay, first things first, increase your date nights! It is a must, especially in the season that you are in. I know it is hard. I know it seems impossible, but you must make your marriage a priority. It is just like putting savings in the bank for a rainy day. You have to keep investing in your spouse, in your marriage in order for it to weather the storms in life. Date nights do not have to be extravagant, but just carving out time to talk, laugh, dream. You need it!
Try going on a date night possibly during the day, while the kids are at school. Greg and I used to do that, and it was wonderful. Greg and I also watch Netflix shows together, just when he’s home, and they become our shows. We don’t watch them with the kids, just us. We did that with Crown, Call the Midwife, Band of Brothers, to name a few. I love carving out time for our show, pop some popcorn and snuggling together. Recently when we went om our trip of a lifetime, we toured Normandy and all the D Day history. That was what Band of Brothers was all about. It was so cool to see it in real life. But, we first watch Band of Brothers over 10 years ago. We dreamed about going to France for over 10 years and then it finally came true. That is cool ladies! ☺ Invest in your marriage.
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