Are you enjoying your family?
Having a conversation with a parent today reminded me that what I best remember as a parent of young children were the special times when I was relaxed and completely there with them. I wouldn’t be thinking about work, or a problem, or about something in the future or past; I would just be enjoying whatever was happening. We could be having a deep conversation while I drove us somewhere, sharing a lovely meal we cooked together, playing on the floor (Lego, barbie dolls, play fighting), watching them, sharing a laugh. It didn’t matter. What was important was that my mind and body were relaxed and there with them.
Home is where the heart is.
Is your home a peaceful place where you and your family can recharge and relax? When you create regular ‘down-time’ for your family where you all can relax and enjoy each-others company or have time alone, you are also giving yourselves time to recover from the stressful lives you have been living, and live happier and healthier lives. My grownup children remember these moments too. I planned time to relax with my children because I knew that relationships are built and developed in those times, and that it was also good for my wellbeing. I’ve come across others who think like I do.
An article by Mary Grant (Autumn 2013, Parenting) is about the importance of spending unhurried time with those we love. She says the human heart feeds on time spent being with loved ones, time spend doing simple unhurried activities such as eating together, going for a walk together, talking and laughing together. However, these simple, deeply pleasurable moments happen less as we strain to accumulate all the things and experiences we believe will make us happy. Today people often spend more and more time on getting things, and less and less time just relaxing with their loved ones. Perhaps with our busy lives we need to set goals around creating daily/weekly times we relax with our family and with ourselves.
Stephen Covey (The 7 habits of highly effective people) always put the most important things first, his family and his own personal development. He uses the idea of a tiny tug-boat moving a gigantic liner to explain how with small changes we can improve the quality of our lives and our family’s life. His busy jet-setting career was built around spending regular quality time with his children and grandchildren, as well as regular time reading and thinking and writing. I meet his ideas more than 17 years ago. He helped me plan to succeed in my business, but more importantly he helped me regularly rethink what I wanted to develop or change about my relationship with myself, my children, my home, and with friends. My life is all the richer for the gentle coaching in Stephen’s books.
What can you change to create a richer more relaxed home for your children and yourself?
Maybe it is time to re-look at whether you spend time and energy on nurturing the most important things in your life. Small changes in your routines- 15 minutes at a time – create big changes in your life. Regular relaxed contact with those you love (which includes yourself) feeds your soul and helps you function more effectively in the world. Check out my coaching on how to set goals here.
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