Listen To Our Family
Welcome to day 34 of the 40 Day Clutter Challenge. This week we will be chatting about peace and how it begins in the home. Hear, speak, listen, act, react, surprise, these are all actions that can be a beautiful way to build a family relationship. We will start with slowing down to listen.
SLOWING DOWN AND LISTENING TO OUR FAMILY
- Do you ever find yourself frazzled to the point that you can’t even take time to listen to what happened at your child’s school that day?
- Do you ask him/her out of obligation and then immediately tune them out to work on an email, start dinner or pay bills?
- Do you ask your spouse how their day went, only to jump right in a complaint about your day?
Slowing down and taking time to listen to our family is a beautiful way of showing them how much we love and care for them. And yes, at times it is not easy because we live in such a fast-paced, over-scheduled stressed-out world.
What can we do? Is it possible to learn to slow down and take the time we need to just simply listen to our family?
I think so.
I will be the first to tell you that my mind drifts when my husband talks about work or golf, I mean I am constantly thinking about bills, school work, my work, my health, my parent’s health, my kids and so many other things it is a wonder my head does not explode.
And when my son starts talking about video games and characters from something, something cartoon, my mind goes completely gray and then I find myself wondering… who is this person?? Where did he learn all of these things? What in the heck is he talking about? And then my mind goes blank and back to my mommy responsibilities. You know dinner, bath time, bedtime, taking notes for work tomorrow…
Can you relate??
- One thing I have learned about learning to listen to my kids over my 30 years of experience is that I have to first listen to myself. If I, as the mom cannot sit quietly and pray/meditate for more than 5 minutes without becoming completely unglued than I am simply not in a place where I can listen to anyone else. This is a symptom of being overwhelmed as a mom. When this happens I know I need to stop and regroup and take a good look at why I am so frazzled.
- Another is just allowing the time to focus on my family. To let them know honestly, that I am so preoccupied that I might need gentle reminding to be in the moment. To do this I turn off distractions and tell myself I am no having time with my kids. This is our time, it belongs to us and is truly a sacred time. ( this will sound insane if you have teens, but trust me it will get better, the mood swings will leave and they will become human again after college)
- Be Open – I have learned that sometimes when it is my turn to listen, I may hear things that I do not care to hear. It may alarm me and even scare me but I have to be still and listen. Because when they start talking serious, listening is my best offense and defense in being the figure of strength and guidance they may need.
- I have learned to hold my tongue and not be critical. When a loved one, especially a spouse or your children open their hearts to you it is simply a big fat no, no to be negative or critical. When they share they are being very vulnerable and for some children, especially preteens, this can be very, very difficult.
- I have learned to forgive myself. When I am not the perfect listener, I remember that I was not created perfect and am learning as I go. I am, after all, just a mommy not superhero or keeper of the perfect crown. I am just a regular mom just trying to do the best job I can.
Be slow to speak. Only after having first listened quietly, so that you may understand the meaning, leanings, and wishes of those who do speak. Thus you will better know when to speak and when to be silent. Saint Ignatius
QUESTION: What helps you to stop and listen to your family members, your loved ones or significant other?
CHALLENGE: Today we are clearing out clutter and tidying for 20 minutes and our suggest area is the bedroom. Go through your shoe collection and your athletic clothes and try to find 12 items to get rid of that you no longer use, love or need and can either donate, pass down to a person in need or trash if it is not worthy of either. If you have already done this area then simply pick another spot in the home that needs more attention.
TOMORROW: Under the Beds and we will be chatting about Speaking Kindly to the Ones We Love
Have a beautiful day!