As a homeschooling momma of four with a part-time job, balance is often a struggle. As I have stretched to fit into my various roles, there are a few hacks I rely on in order to maintain balance. One of these is knowing my priorities. When I know what is most important, I’m able to focus on what is essential and weed out the nonessentials.
After reading “The Secrets of Happy Families” by Bruce Feiler, I began doing family meetings with my family as suggested in the book. These weekly meetings focus the family around a shared priority. Some of the items we’ve tackled are: getting to bed on time, reading aloud to the kids every day, being kind, and a whole assortment of other areas. Having a weekly priority has helped us to improve the areas in our home that haven’t run as smoothly as we would like. To be completely honest, there are some weeks where a family meeting doesn’t happen because life gets in the way, but most weeks we do have a family meeting, and our daily lives are better because of it.
“Know thyself.” This Ancient Greek adage is critical to keep in mind when living according to your priorities. With the abundance of so many choices, we are often pulled in multiple directions. Choosing one activity often means saying no to something else. Knowing yourself (and your family) can be a life-saver when it comes to knowing what’s important and choosing the best projects you or your family. When I start to feel overwhelmed and lose focus, I pause and take a look within. This helps me to refocus on my unique gifts and talents so that I can live out my life with purpose – not be tempted to be somebody that I’m not. Perhaps Shakespeare said it best, “To thine own self be true.”
Here is a list of helpful books related to this topic:
“Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown: This book helps you determine what’s essential for you and eliminate the rest, thereby simplifying your life.
“Strengthsfinder 2.0” by Tom Rath: Take a Strengthsfinder 2.0 assessment (included with the book) and read about your top five strengths in order to know yourself better.
“The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family” by Pat Lencioni: A great book to help clarify your familial priorities.
“The Secrets of Happy Families” by Bruce Feiler: A book bursting with a myriad of advice for becoming a better family.