When we were younger newlyweds, we both worked an insane number of hours. We worked too late, had too many projects, and, unbeknownst to us at the time, we were sitting on a whole lot of free time. With that free time, we took trips and explored, discovered new foods, focused on our health, spent time with friends and family, and had many wonderful shared experiences.
Fast forward to today.
Now, we have two awesome little kids, a house, and we work fewer job related hours, but we have very little free time. Raising our two tiny people takes most of the time and energy that we once had. There is just not a lot of time in the day to fit in all of our priorities. Especially our main priority: Our Family!
This is where our schedule comes in. At first, we were very bad at scheduling anything other than work and outside events and commitments. A schedule for anything other than these seemed restrictive to us and not conducive to real family bonding.
This thinking didn’t work for us.
We, obviously, failed badly, and found ourselves scrambling to fit everything in. Everyone was tired and spent by the end of the day.
The truth is that, by not scheduling our family time, activities, chores, bedtimes, we were actually working against our goal of making our family a priority.
We knew something had to change, so we shifted our thinking when it came to our schedule. Today, I am happy to say that our schedule works for us, and not the other way around. Does this mean that we miss certain activities and events? Of course. We would be lying to you if we said no. That having been said, I think that the trade off is worth it.
For us, scheduling has been a way to keep our routine, our health, and our sanity. It has been a way to put limits on our time, and to guarantee that we have regular family time.
Now, we schedule our family time and activities first. Only then, do we fit other activities in as we can. By scheduling our family first, we are asserting that it is valuable. Our weekly game nights are important enough to be put on the schedule. They help us grow and connect as a family, so they get a reserved block of time during our week.
Our twice a month date nights are crucial for our relationship, but they were being forgotten and put off when they were not listed on the schedule. Now, they are on there, and we are not giving them up. Our relationship and the health of our marriage is just too valuable.
Other activities and events were filling up all of those family time slots, and we were missing out on our top priority.
Our family is loud and messy sometimes, mostly due to our two tiny people, but this period in our lives is not going to last forever. It is a snapshot in time, and we don’t want to miss it. We will be available for different events in the future, as the kids grow and become more independent, but for now, this schedule and this short period of time is our priority.
Owning our time takes work.
Owning our own time is something that we still work hard at getting right. The balance between our schedule and different activities is, at times, hard to manage, but now, we are actually managing it.
It’s funny how such a small task like scheduling has given us so much insight, joy, and more of the freedom that we were originally looking for. Have you found a way to own your time? How has it changed your life?