I Choose Family First

I choose my family first. Work and extra-curricular activities are important but come second to my family.

Today is Thanksgiving and I am thankful for all the quality time I have spent with my family creating memories, love, connections, traditions, and hopefully a legacy of strength and power in coming together and showing up for one another. I have made a conscious decision to prioritize my family above all else. For me, family comes first. When I say “family,” I’m not just referring to those who share my bloodline. Family encompasses the people who have been there for me through thick and thin, the ones who have shown unwavering support and love. They are the ones who have become my pillars of strength, my safe haven in a chaotic world.

Choosing my family first means recognizing the importance of love, connection, and nurturing relationships. It means making a deliberate effort to create a strong foundation of trust, understanding, and support within my family unit. It means being present, both physically and emotionally, for the ones who matter most.  Yes, that means putting the phone down and having real conversations.  Yes, that might mean giving up a fun activity with friends to just ask questions and listen to what a family member has to say.  It involves dedicating quality time solely to them, even if it means relinquishing something of personal significance in order to prioritize their well-being and happiness.

But, in the pursuit of happiness, achievement, fun, it’s easy to get caught up in the demands of work and the allure of extra-curricular activities and your family can slip unknowingly on the priority list. At these times it is important to become aware so that you can make new choices around your time and activities.

Benefits of a Strong Family Connection

A strong family connection brings numerous benefits to our lives. It provides emotional support, unconditional love, and a sense of belonging. Shared values and traditions create a sense of identity and unity. Lifelong relationships offer companionship and stability. Strong family connections contribute to emotional resilience and improved overall well-being. Positive role models within the family inspire and guide us. Shared memories and joy create lasting bonds and moments of happiness. Nurturing these connections fosters a sense of belonging, happiness, and fulfillment in our lives.

Family: where love knows no bounds, support is unwavering, and cherished memories are woven into the fabric of our lives.

Simple Ways to Protect Your Family Time

In a society that often glorifies busyness and achievement, it can be challenging to strike a balance between work, extra-curricular activities, and family.  Here are a couple of activities that can help you prioritize your family and make conscious choices around your time and activities:

  1. Family Time Audit: Take some time to reflect on how you currently spend your time and assess whether your family is receiving the attention it deserves. Create a list of your daily, weekly, and monthly activities, and evaluate how much time you allocate to your family. Identify any imbalances or areas where you can make adjustments to prioritize family time.
  2. Values Clarification Exercise: Reflect on your core values and what truly matters to you. Consider the importance of family in your life and how it aligns with your values. Use these values as a guide when making decisions about how you allocate your time and energy.
  3. Family Meeting: Schedule a dedicated family meeting to discuss and establish shared priorities and goals. Encourage open and honest communication, allowing each family member to express their needs and desires. Together, brainstorm activities and rituals that can strengthen your family bond and create meaningful connections.
  4. Time Blocking: Implement time blocking techniques to ensure dedicated family time in your schedule. Set aside specific blocks of time each week that are solely dedicated to spending quality time with your family. Treat these blocks as non-negotiable commitments and avoid scheduling conflicting activities or work-related tasks during these times.
  5. Technology-Free Zones: Designate certain areas or times in your home as technology-free zones. This could be during meal times, before bedtime, or during family outings. Encourage everyone in the family, including yourself, to put away electronic devices and engage in meaningful conversations or activities that foster connection and togetherness.

Remember, these activities are meant to help you become more aware of your time and activities, and make intentional choices to prioritize your family. By incorporating these practices into your routine, you can ensure that your family receives the attention and love it deserves, even amidst the demands of work and other activities.

This Blog is part of our Choose for Yourself 21-day Challenge. Chick HERE to learn more.

 

Your Turn:  Choose Family

Here are a couple of journal prompts to explore the theme of putting your family.

Become Aware

Become aware of your behaviors and patterns around prioritization of your family.

  • Using the 5 topics above and any other thoughts you have on what family means to you, do you notice any observations (gaps, triggers, patterns, and situations) where you would like to improve?  What is the impact?
  • Acknowledge your (insert observation) and it is (insert impact)

I am aware ______________________ and it is _________________________.

Be Grateful

Be grateful for becoming aware of times when you would like to put your family first, but did not.  Now you can use them to remind you to adjust.

  • Identify one observation you want to become aware of and use as a reminder to put family first.
  • What is the mindset you want to have once you become aware.
  • Change your perspective, be grateful for (insert observation), because it reminds you to (insert mindset).

I am grateful ________________________ and because now I can __________________________.

Take Action

Identify specific actions or steps you can take to put family first next time.

  • Name an action you will take next time you become aware.

Next time I become aware I will _______________________________________________.

Jen Weis

The publisher of Morning Cup.