So, it is time to have some conversations with our daughter and for myself. I have to make sure I am holding her accountable for her own work, that I am teaching her how to manage her things and how to be prepared for her week. In turn, I have to check myself about our calendar...mine is already filling up and I feel the uneasiness welling up inside. I am having the "inside" talk with myself about how I'm going to get it all done and hurrying from one place to the next. I don't like that feeling and I have promised myself to place boundaries that will protect our church time, family time, and our emotional well being.
I thought possibly some of you might be feeling the same way about now. I know many of you work, serve in your church, have children in a variety of activities, and you want balance in your home as much as I do. And I would say to you (and me) that balance and boundaries are what we need to model for our children so they will feel secure and grow up to live balanced lives as well.
Here are a few tips that work for our family; ones that help with healthy meals and setting boundaries:
- On Sat. morning I look at our calendar and plan my meals accordingly. For busy days I plan with "cook once-use twice" in mind.
- For example, place frozen chicken breasts in the crock-pot and pour a jar of salsa over and cook for 6 hours. Shred and place back in the juices. This is great for tacos, nachos, salad, enchiladas, chimichangas so it will go far and freezes well for another day!
- Another idea, place frozen chicken breasts in a zip-lock bag, pour 1/4 Cup of white wine (the alcohol cooks out and adds so much flavor and tenderness), squeeze the juice of a lemon, add garlic and Italian seasoning and let sit in the fridge throughout the day. Grill up and serve with baked potatoes you have placed in the crock pot. Super easy and fast clean-up! Next night, make chicken salad or place in a green salad with roasted veggies.
- Sunday evening make sure everyone has Monday morning items ready and placed where they can grab and go.
- For example, measure out and place in baggies all the snacks/veggies for the week's lunches - easy access and kids are more likely to eat these if they are ready to go. Now, I would have them help package...it's always good to see how you determine what a serving is!
- Sunday evening is, most often, off limits to outside activities. This is our family time, time to wind-down and get ready for the week. We spend time at the table, relaxing, and that is our early to bed night.
- Last, there is power in the word "no." A friend once told me, "No" is a sentence in itself. I like that. Too often we feel guilty about saying "no" and feel as though we must provide an explanation. I like to add "No, that isn't going to work for our family." It places the priority right where it belongs - on what's healthy for our/your family. So, it's OK if we don't do everything that we are invited to, asked to be a part of, and when we are asked to serve.
I hope the beginning of your school year has been smooth and enjoyable. Here's to finding balance and knowing when it's time to adjust a bit and calibrate our schedules to what we know is best.