We are constantly on a quest, to be not good parents, but great parents and I saw two amazing things this am as I browsed my email and took a quick glance at Facebook from my bed before I sprang up to start the day.
You Cannot Buy Time, So Spend it Wisely
First, the most poignant quote, probably ever made …
“If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money.” – Abigail Van Buren
Now take a moment to let that fully sink in. It’s an incredible judgement on today’s society, don’t you think? In a world of dual incomes and the priority of extra-curricular activities over family life, we are struggling as a whole. It’s as if we’ve somehow lost the meaning of parenting.
The majority of us feel like our hands are forced. In order to provide what society deems “the necessities”, we have to get a job. I mean, the cost of everything is through the roof. How can one income possibly provide? If we aren’t loaded can we still be good parents? It seems society is clearly saying no …
From every kid having their own room to 8 year olds with phones, and 16 year olds with their own vehicles, I mean, parents have literally been replaced by bank accounts.
It’s also been passed down the pipe that we are good parents and adequately providing if, and only if, our kids play every sport at school and have “perfect attendance”. This is nuts. I mean, since when did sports take precedence over family? And I’ll tell you what, “perfect attendance” is plain old sad.
But the fact of the matter is that our expectations of “providing” are over-the-top if not down right destructive. If we just think back to our childhood, did our parents lavishly throw money our way?
Did we spend our summers at expensive camps or was the community pool good enough?
Did our moms run themselves ragged driving us to all our “obligations” or did they value family around the dinner time over sports?
I remember my childhood like it was yesterday. Pool, sprinklers, KoolAid, bikes, rollerblades, swim team, a soccer team or two, a softball team or two, ghost in the graveyard, 4th of July parades, drinking from the hose, building forts, getting yelled at “In or Out” …
And my mom being home.
I remember that most. My parents sacrificed so much, nice cars, nice furniture, vacations even an oven to make that sacrifice. They never once felt they weren’t providing. On the contrary, they knew they were providing what we needed most … love.
Today, things have been stood on their heads. Everything is backwards. Somewhere along the way we’ve been made to believe that providing and spending are one in the same.
If you have children who have grown up, you know better than anyone, that time is our greatest gift, our greatest commodity, if you will. You owe it to you, to your family and to God to spend it in the best way possible. And I’m not going to presume to know what that way is for anyone but myself, however, recall the above quote and be sure to spend way more time with your kids, having fun, laughing, playing, reading, exploring than you do money!!
Make Time for Priorities
Now the other intriguing idea I read today came via FB. Now, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t scroll FB but every once in a blue moon, but when I do, I am usually pleasantly surprised as amid all the cheesy fb posts, I typically see something inspirational, enticing, even thought provoking. And this morning was no different.
“I don’t have time, is the adult version of The Dog Ate My Homework.”
That’s it. Just that one little sentence, but I laughed and then I thought. Holy cow. It’s true!
I used to think I didn’t have time for much of anything. Most important the one thing I paid lip service to for years … weight loss and getting fit. But in reality, we all have time for the things that are important to us.
As it turns out, what I didn’t have time for, was poorly used time, useless attempts to find the “magic pill”, complaining and bitching without ever sticking to a plan or at the very least, not stuffing my face full of junk.
Or maybe your thing isn’t weight, maybe it’s finding time to play dolls or go to the park or clean your house (the absolute bane of my existence) or read, or travel, or visit family … whatever the “thing” is, know this: If it were important to you, you would do it.
Now, I have been working out every day, without missing one day, for 3-1/2 weeks! For 2-1/2 weeks, I’ve been participating in a weight loss program and through this program alone, I have lost 16 lbs! I made the time … plain and simple. I finally had enough and found the time … albeit, my house is now suffering, but darn it, I’m losing weight.
Being busy is the new black. If you are busy, you are successful, the more busy you are, the more in demand you must be. Now, what I’m going to tell you may put you off, it may “offend” you … but I daresay there are not many family’s out there who can play the “busy” card with me. LOL, I have 12 kids, yet I still make time to volunteer, get to mass, work out, fix breakfast and dinner (lunch, is a free-for-all), homeschool, and have fun, play with my kids, my hubby. These are my priorities, not in any particular order, but everything else may or may not get done.
Now, I have been working out every day, without missing one day, for 5.5 weeks! For 3 weeks, I’ve been participating in a weight loss program and through this program alone, I have lost 16 lbs while at the same time gaining lean muscles!
How in the world does a mom of 12 do all this? I made the time … plain and simple. I finally MADE the time because it is important to me, it’s important to my kids and it’s important to Dan.
Why? Because we all want me to be around. Being out of shape and overweight is a health risk. Left unchecked it will eventually prevent me from being the best mom and wife I can be. My family deserves the best me … shoot, I deserve the best me, so I made time.