Overscheduled families is an ever-growing trend in our culture. Our kids have too many activities, too much homework, and too many social media outlets vying for their attention. And we as parents aren’t much better. Between work, family and other obligations, we’re running as fast as we can, often trying to catch up. I’d like to encourage you today with three steps to slow down.
These two little letters create a powerful word in the English language. It’s usually one of the first words a child learns and wields like a sword to get his own way. overscheduled
Moms on the other hand are more attuned to yes, not necessarily to our kids but to other adults. It’s hard to say no. We choose to be involved because we want to be involved. Please know, I am NOT saying don’t serve. I’m encouraging you to be selective in how you choose to participate. You do not have to volunteer every time. Here are a some considerations before becoming over-committed.
• Be selective
• Make the family calendar into consideration.
• Respond with “Thanks. I’ll think about it and get back to you.”
• Pray about each opportunity. Is it a calling or obligation?
• Talk to your kids. Do they want you to help out?
• Is it truly a good fit for you?
Karen, one of my dearest and wisest friends, once told me, “It’s okay to say no to certain activities. When you cannot participate, it gives someone else an opportunity to serve.” She’s so smart…and right. Maybe some of the things I agree to do are really meant for someone else.
Volunteer with joy when you decide. If it’s a burden or added too much pressure, it’s probably not a good fit. And don’t be afraid to say no. You can always follow up with, “Give me a call next time.”
During a quiet time, assess what your personal priorities are as a woman, wife, and mother. At a family meeting, discuss what’s really important to your family.
• Do you have time to serve others?
• Is there downtime to relax?
• Is there time for your family to have meals together or a family fun night activity? Make some changes to the calendar to create time for your family to be together.
As a young mom, an older, wiser mom encouraged me to limit the number of activities in which my own children were participating. It was as if she gave me permission to say no to the culture. Veteran moms need to speak into the lives of our younger counterparts. One of the more popular classes I lead is Calendar Chaos. A mom recently pulled me aside after an event and thanked me for sharing my story and affirming her family’s decision to not get on the hamster wheel with an activity every night after school. LINK
“Busy” is not a badge of honor, yet we seem to use the term as if we’re in a popularity contest where the busiest is the best. A friend shared with me a valuable acronym for the word: B.U.S.Y.-Being Under Satan’s Yolk. Okay, that stopped me in my tracks and made me think about what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and for whom.
I used to be thrilled to see an empty space on the calendar. Now I plan those days and you can too. Mark a day on the calendar that’s just a day to catch up, rest, and refresh.
• Turn off your electronics, especially when your children are with you.
• Take time for your family.
• Get enough rest. (Click HERE for sleep tips for toddlers to teenagers.)
• Reserve days on the calendar for just you or your family.
Music has a calming effect. This particular song by Christian vocalist Jonny Diaz speaks to the heart of being over scheduled and too busy. His song can help set the tone, change your perspective, and hopefully help you to be calm and breathe. overscheduled
May your day be filled with peaceful moments!
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
By Becky Danielson
Wife to Scott
Mom of two college boys
Licensed Parent & Family Educator
Co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting
Co-author of three parenting books
Contact Becky to schedule for your next parent/family event or retreat.
Read more about over-committed families and how to put your faith and family first in Raising Little Kids with Big Love and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love!