How To Set Priorities
Every family needs to fine-tune its calendar to achieve the right balance between scheduled activities and free time. Here are a few strategies to get you started. Make a list of all the activities youíre interested in, and then choose the two or three you two really want to pursue. Weigh the demands of each activity against other factors, like the amount of time you will need for work during the day, housework each night, the logistics of getting from home to the activity, and how much the activity will cost. Do the same with every member of the family. Perhaps a family meeting to sort these entire activities out.
Create a Schedule
Using an oversized monthly calendar, sit down with your wife, and devise a family schedule. Planning ahead gives you both a sense of control and helps you learn to use your time effectively, Be sure to leave room in the schedule for free time and unstructured play. Make sure to add any remodeling projects, childrenís after-school activities, and major cleaning or organization plans.
Establish House Rules
Give your wife some ground rules to follow. For example, let her know if there are days that are "off- limits" such as meetings, or church, etc. Also, plan for the same off days for your children and yourself as well.
Know Your Limitations
There are times when it's appropriate to "just say no." If you feel your schedule is getting out of hand, don't give in to pressure or the feeling that you're not a good spouse. Allowing yourself and/or your wife to keep adding more activities to an already overloaded schedule is a mistake. Some people feel better about themselves if they do more for others and involve themselves in more and more activities. But the key is moderation; this way a person has the chance to do each activity in a little more depth. We also know that it would look real nice if both the inside and the outside were all changed and remodeled, but remember that getting involved in too many projects at once will only leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Prioritizing means making some choices, and sometimes that means saying good-bye to certain activities. After all, if you arenít having funóin fact, if you or your spouse is losing confidence and interest because of all the time it takes away from the family--then whatís the point? It's important for people to give an activity a good try, but it's just as important to let them drop itóand leave the door open for them to come back to it later." Of course for some projects, it is necessary to finish them. Especially if you have the yard tore up, then you do need to finish it. If the task is too big, then try to set aside a few days to take a break from it, and a few days in which you may be able to get some help. Also try to keep in mind that any large project takes time to do. There will be moments when it looks too big to conquer, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Sometimes doing nothing is plenty. Mark off time in your weekly calendar for spontaneous play. Chances are you will remember the times you spent time together more than you remember the extra classes you took, or the time you spent helping out at functions. As adults we've all too often forgotten the importance of play. When we are programmed from morning to night, we have no downtime to be creative. Over programming stunts creativity and the development of creative powers. In fact, the lack of free time for unstructured play can actually interfere with the development of mutual respect, or respect for others. Spontaneous play provides the foundation for healthy social relationships throughout life. Establish and enforce rules. We all need structure in our life, whether it's a regular bedtime, rules about what housework to do or when it needs to be completed, what clothes are permissible. People need predictable patterns so they don't feel as anxious. Don't abandon all attempts to impose limits on your spouse. Some loving husbands find it difficult to say no to their wife. You want to make sure your wife knows she is loved, but donít bend over backwards for her. By setting consistent limits, spouses can actually help ease a wife's stress levels. People are used to having rules, structures, and boundaries. Our society is dependent upon laws and guidelines. When structure, routines, and boundaries are kept in place at home, people feel a lot more secure. They don't feel like they're losing their total world. There will be times when it seems overwhelmed as she continues the same misbehavior, but donít give up. Sometimes these behaviors are so habitual, that it may just take a long time to change them.
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Consistency and Structure
Hitting the wall
Taking a break
Myths and Facts
Hormones Affecting Spanking
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