We are in the busy years. Help! How do we keep all our schedules and activities in perspective and choose the right priorities?

Barbara: I’m reminded of all the times when I was asked, “You’ve got six kids, you volunteer at your children’s school, you have a ministry with FamilyLife … How do you do it all?” And my answer was always, “I don’t!” And I didn’t try.

And guess what? Nobody else does it all either. There are only so many things parents can do, and while we’re doing one thing something else isn’t getting done. Yes, you may be involved at your child’s school, but at home the laundry is piling up. When our kids were still at home, Dennis and I were not as involved in social activities as we would have liked to have been. I think many parents just need to look at their schedules and choose their priorities. Then they must be willing to say “no” to what isn’t essential and decide where they must win.

Dennis: I think one of the ways you find out how far you can go with your family is by over scheduling. Life is one long process of determining what the borders are for your family at each point in time. For example, we let each of our kids have one outside activity. If each kid had two activities, we all would have been overloaded.

It’s also important to talk regularly with your mate about schedules. Our church doesn’t have a Sunday night service, so every week Barbara and I would use that night to go out to eat and do some planning. We pulled out our calendars and looked at the next week, the next month, the next six months.

In today’s culture I think we have lost the art of quiet time—just being at home relating to our family. All I can say is that, if you are running yourself so hard that you are spoiling the very relationships you are trying to build, then you need to slow down and reevaluate your priorities.

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