Written By: Beth Schlendorf
As a mom of 4 and business owner I found myself becoming overwhelmed by daily life. Constant activities, sports, play dates, entertaining, keeping up with the wash, food prep, answering work emails/calls, my endless work and home to do lists, etc. all ended up in a tangled mess of me feeling like I could snap at any moment. I felt exhausted from all the multitasking. Sometime this Spring, I finally said enough is enough of juggling this world of non-stop information overload and activities. It was time to re-asses my daily life and what was most important to me. We have control over our time and how we spend it but technology makes for many interruptions. This makes it difficult for us since we are easily distracted at work and miss out on precious time with our family and friends at home. As a working mom, I also found it stressful to meet the expectations of everyone in my life. I thought I was doing the best thing by having constant play dates for my little son, Joshua, since I worked and always wanted to make the most out of every moment. After snapping at my son one day because I was so stressed with the non-stop activities I realized we needed to slow down our life. I also noticed my husband and older children were having issues balancing their lives too. Everyone seemed overwhelmed. It wasn’t just me. It’s the way of the world these days to over book our days to get the most out of our time. We even go as far as depriving ourselves of sleep just to get more things done or participate in more activities.
This summer I finally took the necessary steps to slow down my life. We have a big family and the business so I had to prioritize my time better with both and do my best to keep these two areas of my life as separate as reasonably possible. It meant saying “no” more than ever before but that simple word helps us slow down our lives so we can enjoy them fully. Not an easy task when you own your own business or are working. It meant not checking my business emails on my phone at home during family time and when at work really focusing on completing all the important tasks so I wouldn’t worry about them when I was at home with my family. It meant saying no to many play dates, moving away from technology, prioritizing the most important things for that day and most importantly being present whether I was at home with my family or at work. I love my business and wanted to be able to focus on bringing in new products and making changes to make it even better. I also needed more downtime and quality time with my family so I could be renewed and more creative at work. This summer I planned less and enjoyed more. I spent as much time as possible enjoying my home and backyard. I felt my family relationships renewed. My quality time with my son, kids and husband were enhanced. I gave my little guy time to be creative, play and just enjoy the outside without rushing to the next activity. Technology usage was restricted by my entire family so we had more meaningful conversations and time spent together. We enjoyed most nights outside enjoying dinner together as a family. We spent time with our friends and family but we were more thoughtful about planning our activities and enjoyed them even more. After seeing a difference in my own life, I wanted to share my experience and remind everyone to take a deep breath and plan less to enjoy more.
Follow these 5 simple tips to slow things down for you and your family…
1. Place restrictions on technology & enjoy time without TV, iPad, phones, social media, etc. We restricted our children and ourselves to no technology from 5:30pm-7:30pm.
2. Say “no” to the endless expectations of activities. We all need downtime and if you are stressed so are your kids.
3. Prioritize your time with a calendar. Sit with your family to go through the months schedule and plan activities thoughtfully.
4. Be present whether at home or at work. This may be a challenge but you will be so thankful you were.
5. Be mindful to spend the extra time with loved ones and take some time for yourself since this will help relieve stress and promotes a healthier life.