This week we’re talking about simplifying family life. Tune in all week for strategies and tips for every area of life, and if you’re looking for more in-depth resources, be sure to check out the Huge Simplify Family Life eBook Sale!
One of the dangers of reading blogs is that you can feel weighed down by all of the great ideas that other people share. Blogger A makes all of her food from scratch, and Blogger B sews all of her family’s clothes. Blogger C only spends $40 a week on groceries while Blogger D has a beautiful and spotless home. Blogger E homeschools her children and creates elaborate lesson plans for them, and Blogger F helps raise money and awareness for a wonderful charity.
Chances are that none of them are doing all of those things, but as we read about the things other people are doing, we can become burdened by the idea that somehow we should be doing all of them, and a dozen other things too.
However, that’s obviously not realistic, and like my post earlier today about simplifying your schedule, it’s important to remember that sometimes we have to forgo good things to make room for the best.
So how do you decide which are the best?
The best place to start is by defining your priorities as a family.
Although we’ve never sat down and written out a formal mission statement for our family, I love the questions that Tsh at Simple Mom asks to help you craft your family mission statement. Having a written mission statement isn’t necessary, but the discipline of thinking through it and writing it down will definitely make it more concrete. Either way, understanding your goals and purpose as a family is a great place to start in identifying your priorities.
One thing we all have a tendency to do is describe our priorities a certain way that sounds good, even if our life doesn’t reflect these priorities. If serving other people is truly a priority for your family, then the decisions you make about watching TV, doing extracurricular activities, etc. will reflect this as you make time for volunteering. If eating healthy or having a small impact on the earth is your priority, than your decisions about what you buy or how much time you spend preparing meals should reflect those as well.
If you find that you have trouble acting on your stated priorities, it’s time to either reevaluate your priorities and choose more reaslistic, less lofty ones or reevaluate your schedule and other decisions to make sure you have the time and resources to pursue those things.
Once you’ve defined your true priorities, making decisions on a daily basis will be easier within that framework, which simplifies your decision process as a family.
What are your priorities as a family? Does the way you spend your time and money reflect these? Do you have a family mission statement?