Life can be demanding, with so many important things requiring our time and attention. It is sometimes difficult to find a happy balance, especially when it comes to our families. Here are 12 suggestions that can help families achieve that balance we all hope to find.

  1. Begin by looking at things from a larger perspective. Your children will only be children once, and they will only be with you, living in your home for a few short years. Time is short. Make the best of the time you have been given.

  2. Prioritize. Make a list of everything that requires your time and attention and then prioritize them into what needs to be done first and what can wait until later. Often we fill our days so full with projects that we label as urgent, ignoring our family to complete the tasks, when in reality, the projects can wait, and we could have made precious memories with our family.

  3. Leave work at work. Whether you work part-time from home or full-time in an office, when work is through, come home to the family and do your best to be available.

  4. Try to exercise each day, and make sure that exercise is a regular part of your family life. Exercise is necessary for a healthy body. It will provide energy for your day, which will keep you going through a busy schedule. You will sleep better at night and have less health complications to interrupt your family life. If you do this one basic thing, you will find you are more able to be there for your family in all other aspects of family life.

  5. Make sure to nourish your body and provide healthy meals for your family. A healthy diet will keep your family healthy, too. When your diet is unhealthy, your body is tired and sluggish, and you are more likely to want to slow down and check out from your family. Make sure to give your body the nourishment it needs so it can carry you throughout the day.

  6. Create a routine. With all of the activities thrust upon families, a routine is a useful tool that can make life a little easier. A routine allows for activities to be scheduled so the family never has to worry about fitting everything into a hectic day. Once a routine is in place, all of the essential things are already scheduled, making balance in family life a little easier to achieve.

  7. Schedule time for your spouse and your children. For some families, if it isn't scheduled, it doesn't happen. Plan a specific time each day for the family. For my family, it is after dinner, and I have many fond memories that I will cherish from this "scheduled" time together.

  8. Make sure, when you are scheduling, you schedule some time for yourself. When you take a little quiet time for yourself to clear your mind and contemplate, you can make yourself more available to your family.

  9. Don't overschedule yourself or your children. If you are spending all of your time in the car shuffling children from one place to another, consider cutting back on what activities your children are doing so you can spend more quality time together.

  10. Learn to give up some of your wants for your family's needs. If your hobby is interrupting time you could be spending with your family, re-evaluate what's most important.

  11. Learn to say no. When what someone else wants isn't what's best for your family, learn to say no.

  12. When in doubt, put family first.

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