My Clean Start Challenge for 2011
Inspired by the Lifetime Moms’ 2011 Clean Start Challenge, I sat down to think long and hard about a change I could make that would have a healthy impact on my life, my family’s life and my community. So many things came to mind, but one really stood out as needing immediate attention, and so I decided my personal Clean Start Challenge for 2011 would be taking control of a family schedule gone mad. By doing so, my goal is to improve the overall health and mental well-being of my family and teach my children that family comes first. It may sound like an exaggeration – but stop and think about it, I bet it’s the same for you and millions of other Moms.
What’s crazy is that the problem is also what’s good for my kids: Youth Sports. For me, it’s three boys who play ice hockey, but it could be baseball, soccer, dance, lacrosse, or any other activity these days. Youth sports have gone off the deep end and to what end, I am not sure. Mind you, I’m not against them, quite the opposite - I love that my boys are physically fit because of sports, have learned team play, and are developing great leadership and time management skills. However, there are no boundaries anymore. I was actually at an ice rink for a game on Easter Sunday and missed Thanksgiving with my family so we could play in a tournament in another city. Each youth sport is now a 9 - 12 month commitment and it’s not just time, it‘s money, lots of money! Practices, lessons, games, clinics, camps, it turns out to be 7 days a week - God rested on Sunday, why can’t I?
So, I will need to be strong and committed to this challenge, the pressure can be strong from organizations and clubs, not to mention my own kids. I want and need this change to happen. I’m determined to succeed and I truly hope to take some time back by being brave and saying no to the extras. I want to show my children that family time is important.
My goals for 2011 are to spend more time:
- Connecting with my husband - months go by and we are strangers to each other;
- Relaxing and enjoying time as a family. It’s hard to even eat a meal together most weeks; and
- Rediscovering the things I used to love doing and do them again and allowing my children time to free play and be creative.
As a fun way to kick off this Clean Start Challenge in our lives, I am going to give special coupons to family members as a gift and a nice way to put everyone on notice that this time is block-out for family. Check out Rightathome.com, an SC Johnson Family Company site to see how to print out personalized coupons for “The Gift of Time’ for yourself. It’s really a great way to get started.
As an offshoot of my 2011 Clean Start Challenge, I also hope to inspire other Moms to take back time for their family, their marriages and themselves and take control of their own out-of-control schedules. I would love to hear from you and I will continue to share with you my progress in the comments below.