I remember as a kid being disappointed when I asked my mom what was for dinner and she said “leftovers”. For some reason the food just didn’t taste as good to me the second, or even third time around in the microwave. My kids are the same way-they grumble when I use that three syllable “L” word. But, after a long day at work or how ever we fill our time during the day, sometimes we just don’t have the energy to create a new meal, or we want to stretch last night’s dinner a little further.
When I worked full time outside our home and then came home at night to my responsibilities as a wife, mother, and homemaker, I was exhausted. And not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, too. I often felt like I had been run over repeatedly by the demands of the day and didn’t have anything left to give. The last thing I wanted to hear was “what’s for dinner?” So, leftovers it often was.
But what’s great for our time and even our budget isn’t always that great for our relationship with our kids.
I began to see I wasn’t just serving leftovers for dinner. I was serving my kids my leftovers, too. My job, my coworkers, and my clients were getting my best. By the time I got home at night I just wanted to park myself on the couch and mindlessly watch Netflix and scroll through Facebook.
One evening my kids said “Mom, sometimes it feels like your phone is more important to you than we are.” That was a much needed wake up call.
I love my kids more than life itself. But I wasn’t showing it, or showing up, in the ways they needed me. I realized how important it was for me to be present and fully engaged with my kids. Just being in the same room doesn’t count as quality time.
I needed to make some changes.
I looked for ways to simplify life so I could enjoy my life more with the people who meant the most to me. I began to menu plan and use my crock-pot more. I developed a housework schedule, which helped me with spacing out chores instead of doing them all at once and I began to look at my work differently-as temporal. Yes, my work had value and meaning, but not nearly as much as the precious lives of my children that God has entrusted me with to care for. And, yes, I put the phone down more, too.
How about you?
Do you find yourself overwhelmed and scraping the bottom of the barrel at times? What can you let go of, or restructure that will give you more meaningful time with your kids? What tips do you have for saving time so you can spend more time with your loved ones? I’d love to hear from you!