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Happy New Year! As we have been packaging up Christmas decorations over the last few days, it dawned on me that packing Christmas boxes is similar to parenting. How? If you pack the little stuff first, you run out of room for the big items!

In parenting, we are pulled in so many directions each day. We have job responsibilities, bills to pay, homes to care for, maintenance, cooking, cleaning, driving kids here and there, friendships to maintain, planning and let’s not forget sleep! And what about unexpected crisis? How do we ever find quality time to spend with our kids?

The answer … you plug the most important items into your schedule first. Are you incorporating time with your kids each day? Whether it’s breakfast together, helping with homework, cooking dinner, washing dishes, bath time or reading a story before bed … where have you chosen to nurture that quality time connection? If it’s hit and miss, you are packing the box with the small stuff first. At the end of the day (when they are 18), you will find that you have run out of boxes and have a lot of valuable stuff left that will no longer fit.  

It’s not a huge deal to unpack a Christmas box and repack it to include what you missed. When you are talking about kids … not so easy. Before you know it, days go by, then weeks, months and soon it’s been years. Parents with grown children often share that the time goes by in the blink of an eye. It’s true.

The worst thing to have at the end of a life are regrets. Usually those regrets are time not spent with loved ones. We all have an opportunity every single day to reprioritize, simplify and choose where we spend our time. What will you do with those choices this year?

If you want to see if your values are in alignment with how you currently spend your time, do this exercise; it only takes a few minutes.

  1. Figure out how many hours you work in an average week. How many hours do you drive? Sleep? Watch TV? Exercise? And so on.  
  2. Write down the names of the most important people in your life.
  3. Look at your lists. Does where you spend your time in #1 include the people you listed in #2? If so, congratulations! That is AWESOME! If not, plug those people into your schedule starting today. Make time … even if it’s 10 minutes. Do that every day and you will have invested wisely.   

If you need help with balancing, prioritizing or simplifying your life in order to be able to incorporate your children and those you love, let me know. As a single mom of three, I have had to work hard to find balance. It’s not a one-time project. Things change and we have to recalibrate often. I have failed many times and learned how to get back up and work through the challenges. You can too!

To take advantage of a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation with me, simply call 951-240-1407 or email traci@alovingway.com. It would be my pleasure to assist you in moving forward in this area. We are also starting our next round of parenting classes on January 28th at the Temecula Library. You can find out more information about our classes at alovingway.com or contact me directly. Make it a great year!