LIVING INTENTIONALLY

Dear Lord,

Thank you for this lovely day and all the time you have given us. I pray that we all are taking time to live this life to the fullest. Help us to focus on spending our time intentionally.

Amen

Hey y’all! 

The other night my husband bought me The Magnolia Journal. If you are not familiar with it, it is a magazine by Joanna Gaines. I absolutely love it! This issue is focused on living intentionally and spending time doing things that are really important in your life. This really hit home with me. For the last few months my daughter has been exceptionally fussy, clingy, and emotional. She gets very frustrated when she does not get her way and even more so when I do not hold her at night. She likes to be right beside me while I fix dinner. When I say right beside me, I literally mean on my hip! As a working parent I love this time with her, but it becomes very exhausting when she fusses so much. Our son has started crying in the mornings when I drop him off at daycare, which used to never happen. He wanted to “hang out on the couch” with my husband and I at night rather than go to bed. I love that he misses me and wants to spend time with us, but it breaks my heart. 

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What makes the journal and these instances hit home with me? A few weeks ago, my husband and I were sitting on the couch watching TV while the kids played. They came into the living room. They were full energy, loud and demanding of attention. We sent them back to their rooms to play. A few minutes later the same thing happened. It hit me then that we are putting the TV above our kids. I was crushed and disappointed in myself. I told myself then that I would be more attentive to the kids and be in the moment more with them. While I have tried to this, I have become overwhelmed with the continued clinginess, constant whining, and fighting between the two kids and have found myself sending them away to play. I hate that I do this. I love that they will play with each other and give me a few minutes to collect my thoughts, but I want to be in the moment. 

So, I have come up with 4 things that I am going to do to be in the moment with my family and build a stronger, healthier relationship with them. These are simple things that I think every parent nad spouse can try. For some, there may be changing schedules a little to make things happen, or personal sacrifices but I think it will be worth it in the end! We are all wanting to raise happy healthy kids and have strong healthy marriages. That is all going to start with the relationship we build with them! So, here are my 4 changes I am making to do this! 

  1. PUT MY PHONE DOWN. My kids see me on my phone so much that they know how to use it. They ask for it when we are out to eat! While it is good for them to know technology in today’s world, at this age they need to be using their imagination. So, while I am home and around my kids, I will be phone free, unless it is to listen to music because we like to have dance parties! Did you know that some researchers are saying that you can be addicted to your phone like people are to drugs? How sad is that? In the last 20 years cell phones have taken over people’s world. I want my kids to know that life will can and will go on without it glued to my hand. My husband and I sit in the same room and don’t even talk sometimes for hours. Putting my marriage first is more important than any amount of drama I will read about on Facebook!
  1. COOK DINNER 5 NIGHTS A WEEK. I love to cook. I hate to clean up. This love hate relationship has made me not want to cook as often so I find that we are eating out 3 to 4 times a week. What a waste of time and money! The kids love helping me cook and I love teaching them how to at the same time. In The Magnolia Journal, Joanna talks about how she thinks dinner has become the most important meal of the day because of the family time that happens at the dinner table. I love the conversations I have with the kids while they eat. I love the memories that I am making with the kids as they help me cook. I am going to be better at cooking dinner and spending that time with the family. Also, I want a new table that will accommodate our family so that we can sit down and eat together! 

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  1. BECOME BETTER AT MANAGING MY CLEANING SCHEDULE. Yes Mom, I will look at the FlyLady! My mom has been trying to get me to use this system for almost a year now and I keep pushing it off. I have felt that I am pretty good at keeping the house clean or picked up anyway, but I find myself wasting time cleaning on the weekends while I need to be spending time with the kids or my husband. I want to become more routine in my cleaning habits so that I can spend more time with my family and focus on the memories we will make.  I am going to work on this and I will be sure to post about the options I find or develop so that maybe you can find one that work for you as well! Finding a balance between house work and family is hard for most people I know, but I am confident that it can be done! 
  1. TURN THE TV OFF. Believe it or not, this is really important to me and I am not the TV watcher in the house.  I know that I am not the only person, not even parent, but person in general that has noticed the amount of violence and nonsense that is on TV these days. I used to love watching Law and Order and NCIS before I got pregnant with our oldest. Now I get anxiety every time it is on and my heart breaks for the world that our kids are growing up in. The normality of violence is unsettling. Reality shows are filled with garbage and show conversations that include slander, profanity, and hatred.  No, don’t get me wrong, I love my reality shows just as much as the next person, but they are not appropriate for my kids to watch in my house. You can decide for your own house. I for one do not want my kids to grow up thinking the communication styles and violence is acceptable. With that said, while the kids are awake, the TV will be off. We will be coloring more, reading more books, build with our blocks, and playing with dinosaurs and baby dolls more. We will be developing strong and imaginative/creative small humans! I will be building a marriage that is based on verbal communications and emotional connections.

To some this may be the norm, and to you, congratulations! To the others, like me, this can be done! We have a world that prioritizes social media and TV over human interaction and communication. I want my kids to have fond memories with their parents, not that we always were on our phones or watching TV. This change starts today. I am going to make my family a priority. I am going to intentionally be present with them. Show them love and respect. 

If you have not read The Magnolia Journal, you have to! It is full of inspiration! From parenting to food and design! This strong Christian family has provided me with the inspiration that I need to be a better mom and wife. I am inspired to be intentional. Are you?

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