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When you think about the job description for a mom, it can boggle the mind. Who else coordinates the jobs of cooking, cleaning, chauffeur, maid service, referee, finance manager, administrative assistant, family historian, and about a dozen others… and that is if you don’t work outside the home! Add the pressures of a career to the mix, and things get even crazier. Perhaps both of your parents worked as you were growing up, and you’ve decided that you didn’t want to work while your children were young. Or maybe you work from home and work around your children’s schedule.

Finding balance between school, activities and time together can be a challenge. Society would have us think that our kids have to be in 5 different activities from the time they can walk to make sure that they get into the right college. Not true. In some ways, our culture has forgotten how to teach kids to have fun, use their imaginations, and just be kids. Family dinners can be rare, yet studies show that kids who participate in family meals at least 3 to 4 times a week are less likely to get involved with drugs and stay out of trouble. Even in the car, kids can be tuned into a movie, iPod, or some sort of video game. Remember when we used to talk to each other in the car? I remember family trips between Illinois and Wyoming filled with visual scavenger hunts… and a cooler packed with home made sandwiches and drinks since there was not a fast food restaurant on every exit. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in kids playing team sports. I just don’t think kids should be so overwhelmed with time commitments that they don’t get to unwind. And I long for the nostalgia of truly having family time. I miss the days when we weren’t so busy checking email, text messages, and social networking sites, that we actually spent time together.

I want to encourage you. As a mom (or dad), you are shaping a part of the future. As we approach the new year, take a look at your schedule. Is there something you can cut back on (or cut out) that would enable you to start spending more time together as a family? What about scheduling family dinner? There is something great about sitting around the kitchen table (without the TV on) and taking time to talk to everyone. Take time to connect as human beings. Once you make it a habit, you will be reminded of how great connecting face-to-face can be.

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