Family Obligations

Family Obligations

The weekend arrives and along with it relief. For two days there are no alarm clocks, no lunches to make, no buses to worry about or phone calls to make. Weekends are our hopeful haven from the real world; a chance to catch up on what we, the parents, need or want to do. 

Once Friday night arrives a bubble of excitement starts to grow as you think of all of the things that you have planned for the next two days; uninterrupted productivity or complete and total relaxation. Wrong.

I know I am not alone in having had the desire to make everything the best it can be for everyone around me. If someone needs something I have completely changed or totally obliterated my plans. There are a ton of opinions and theories as to why some people will always put their family's happiness ahead of their own. The reasons behind self-sacrificing behavior are less important than the most pressing question 'are you happy making them happy'? ---all the time?

Someone always has something for you to do. Family management will always come first. There will always be school work, rides to friends’ houses, sporting events, art classes, etc. Don't forget your spouse and your extended family, your in-laws, your aging parents? The list of things for you to do before you get to what's left of the two days of productivity or relaxation is never ending! That is unless you make yourself a priority.

Making you a priority does not mean disowning your family and friends. It does not mean you become a selfish unfeeling, heartless person that never does anything to help. Becoming a priority in your own life simply means that at times you may have to use one of the most difficult words in the any language, "NO". It means making plans for yourself and committing to follow through. The only exceptions in wavering from your plans are real and true emergencies. Your family will find a way to make their own plans and commitments happen with or without you.

You have spent countless hours, days, months, even years, taking care of others; it's time to take care of you. Start with one weekend at a time doing the things that you want to do. There will be an adjustment period for your family but it won't hurt them. You're worth it!