Warning: Do NOT Feed Your Family Leftovers
Allow me to explain. I am not actually referring to last night’s supper or food in any way. I am referring to a concept that clicked the ‘ol lightbulb on for me, while reading John Maxwell’s book TODAY MATTERS: 12 Daily Practices to Guarantee Tomorrow’s Success.
It’s a fantastic book and I’ll get to that more in a minute. First, let’s get back to those leftovers.
Here is what I really learned: Make time for your family. Give your family the positive energy they deserve. Put your family first.
We all have many things that require our attention: hobbies and careers, projects to finish at home, second jobs, third jobs, school functions, sporting events, volunteering, etc., etc., etc.
We give and give and put our best foot forward for other people and other things that are not necessarily our top priority. We give the best of our time, attention, and pleasant attitude to others. So, by the time we get to our family, all we have left to serve is…leftovers.
We’ve given the appetizer, main entrée, and dessert to everyone else and we bring home a Styrofoam box from our day filled with grumpiness, tiredness, and lack of enthusiasm.
“It needs to be fed continually, or it will starve.”, Maxwell states in reference to marriage, but it relates the same to the family as a whole.
It’s like a “time and energy budget”; you know you only have to so much to give. Consciously, stash some time and energy away to save specifically for your family. No matter what your day consists of, save the figurative dessert to savor with your family.
No matter what time of day you’re available to spend with your loved ones, no matter if the day allows for 2 hours together or 10 minutes, make that time sweet and delicious.
I am with my kids all day, every day. I am physically around them. Sadly, there are days that I haven’t truly spent that much time with them. Dishes need to be done. Laundry has to be washed. Bathrooms have to be cleaned and a long to-do list must be conquered, I want my kids to know they are special. They are loved and that I enjoy spending time with them. They deserve dessert. And lots of it.
Jason works hard and works many long hours. There have been an abundance of days that he has headed to work before the kids get up in the morning and doesn’t return home until after they have gone to bed. The kids miss him and ask often when he will be home. So, Jason always has to prepare himself that even though he’s exhausted, when he walks through our front door, these little monsters have been waiting for him all day and they are bursting to play with him. Sometimes he is ready to give them his full attention right away. Other times he needs a bit of break, which allows him to decompress a bit, and then be able to give them more positive attention.
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