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Posted: April 5, 2014

Family laughing

The movie, “I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT” (starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Pierce Brosnan) caused me to ruminate about the feminism movement in the 60’s and 70’s. Looking back I realize I was a culprit in this portion of history to make women believe they could have it all.  I was determined to do it and I was able to pull it off. But at times the fatigue almost killed me.

I hope we have all learned something from the craziness of trying to juggle demanding careers, involving our children in every activity under the sun, and still keep up meaningful conversations over the dinner table. (What dinner table?)  After watching that movie it brought me to the harsh reality that “if we don’t take the take for companionship with our family, we will lose everything.”  We will lose the safety net and intimacy of our marriage, the relationship and trust of our children, and the fulfilling aspects of doing fun activities with the people we love the most.  At the end of the day, we may have won the successful career and the big mortgage on the house, but we may lose the most important components of our life.  When we are sick and old, the bank account and RRSP’s will not hold our hands.

I am crucially aware that we are living in a generation where husband and wife have to work to support the increasing demands of owning a home, driving cars and giving our children the opportunities we believe they deserve. But please let’s glean something from the insanity of this movie and from the 1960’s and 70’s.  Each family is unique and needs to fashion their boundaries into what works for them. But I believe there need to be “non-negotiable indicators” that are set up to be as markers and safety nets so that this will work for YOUR family. Because: “Nobody can do it like you.”

 1.         Remember that the companionship in your family is the most important aspect. This includes the love, laughter, fun and the fact that your family needs to be your “safe place.”

2.         Realize that strong boundaries need to be set up in order to make your family your priority.

3.         There are times you will need to say NO to your boss, and there will be many times you will have to disappoint your friends and miss out on fun activities.

4.         Be deliberate about making take time to cook meals and eat together as a family around the dinner table. Statistics prove that families that eat together give their children better social skills, higher self esteem, better school grades and will function at a higher level in their adult years.

5.         Husband and wife need to work together to make lists, schedules and share jobs around the house. If this is all too much, then you need to hire outside help to share some of this burden. The family MUST make time to build snowmen, have fun birthday parties, go to the beach, read bedtime stories and listen to each other’s accounts of “the best and worst time of the day.”

6.         You will have to learn to let go of a lot of little expectations. For example the handmade Christmas cards, homemade pies for the children’s bake sale, ironed shirts, dating left-over’s in the fridge, and perhaps not being at every child’s hockey game or dance recital.

7.         Put down the dreaded i-phone and i-pad during meals and family times together.

I believe with all my heart that families can successfully function with both husband and wife having fulfilling careers. But sacrifices will have to be made to keep the family strong, loving and healthy.  I believe you will be able to figure it because “Nobody can do it like YOU!”


Posted in: Balancing life, Boring marriage, chaos, Communication, companionship, Encouragement, Expectations, Freedom from Busyness, Friendship, fUN, Harmony, intimacy destroyer, Laughter, love, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Pleasure, Understanding each other

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