Turn the Tables on Life’s Busy Guilt!

     With our schedules so busy at this day in time, it is very easy to let guilt creep in when it comes to the time you spend with your family.  Maybe it’s the feeling of missing pivotal moments in our children’s lives, or that we are not there every waking moment for them.  It could be that we tend to put our children before our spouse, which just builds upon the guilt that we already carry.  We feel strapped for time, and desire to spend quality time with our loved ones.  We live in a society to where we feel the pressure to “do it all.”  In turn, tension builds as we try to squeeze all of life’s demands in.  Feeling overwhelmed yet? Well, for those of you that constantly live with guilt, there is hope!  Quantity is way over rated.  What is important is the quality time you spend with your children and family.  It is all about prioritizing your life, and making the best of the moments we do have.

Your day has begun as it usually does, up at the break of dawn, getting ready for work, getting your children ready & fed, a quick good bye to your spouse, then off to take the kids to school, then work for yourself.  At the end of the day, you are exhausted, but still have to tend the to needs of your family.  Getting dinner on the table, whether you cooked or ordered out.  Settling your little one in for the night with their bath and bedtime rituals.  Then, let’s not forget, you still need to help your older children with homework, do some chores around the house that are never ending, clean up after dinner and get ready for bed yourself.  Oh, and all of this was without any down time for you.  It is an endless cycle that happens for the majority of the week.  We are so busy dealing with life’s demands, that we are missing it.  Missing out on taking the time to spend with the one’s most dear to us.  Sure, we take care of their everyday needs, but we are missing out on the relationship aspect.  It may seem impossible to squeeze in, however, it is necessary. 

3 Ways to Tackle “Busy Guilt:”

1.    Take the time right now to jot down what is most important to you in regards to your family:
     Written words on paper help us to fully grasp the idea of what we desire, and then it’s easier to put them into action.  Maybe you wrote something as simple as “to have more time during the day with my kids,” or “to be able to balance things better in my life, so I can be a better parent and spouse.”  These are common feelings that we all experience.  Instead of living with guilt, thinking this is just the way life is, bring change! 

2.    Go for Quality time, not Quantity time:
      It’s important to schedule time during the day that ends up being quality time, not quantity.  You can do so by scheduling relationship-building activities throughout your week.  Doing so will not only decrease the amount of guilt you may be feeling, but will also enhance your relationship with your family. We often justify quantity time because we are physically there with our family, but quantity is not what builds relationships, quality does. 

3.    Be Intentional about your calendar:
     In the morning, maybe you are able to wake up a little bit earlier, make a simple breakfast, and eat as a family before your day starts.  Once you get the kids after work, do something special with them, like stopping by the park, or going home and playing a board game with them before all the nightly rituals begin.  Maybe it’s stopping by the ice cream store one day, then, baking a special treat together right when you get home the next.  There are so many different ideas that you can come up with that will fit your family, and the stage you’re in right now.  Treat your family activities as your number 1 priority, not allowing your other scheduled events to over ride the quality time you set aside for your kids and spouse.

Stay motivated to be intentional with your calendar.  As mentioned before, our lives are so busy, that it’s easy for time to get away, and our daily routines end up ruling us.  Schedule as much quality time during the day with your family as you can.  Whether it’s having meals together, having game nights once per week, reading a good book together, or having one on one date nights with each of your children & your spouse.  Make it happen.  Schedule time for your self as well.  As the old adage goes, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”  Taking care of yourself is crucial for you to be the best that you can be.  And let’s not forget our spouses…they need our attention too.  If we make our significant other feel important and special, showing them that they are worth our time, that feeds down to our children.  You are leading by example, displaying the importance of a healthy relationship.  Putting your spouse first will make for a strong family unit, thus giving your children confidence and security in their home life. 

It may not be possible to schedule good, quality time every single day, but make the most of the week.  Even if it’s on the weekends, you putting forth the effort to make the most of this season in life right now is something you will never regret.  The sense of guilt that you feel constantly will ease, you will notice your family unit growing closer together, and will naturally feel as if a weight has been lifted from your shoulders.  Remember, be intentional with the time you have, going for quality over quantity.  We all get 24 hours in a day, make yours count! 

Brandi Watterson
Brighton Academy, Owner
10400 Gosling Rd.
The Woodlands, TX 77381