Imperfect Family Life

Imperfect Family Life

by Charlotte Siems

One thing that’s true for all families is that life isn’t perfect. We can’t smooth everything out as easily as ironing a shirt. Work schedules, financial pressures, issues with children and much more require decisions on the part of parents.

Those decisions relate not only to adjustments and working with what you have, but also to the attitude you’re going to have about your circumstances.

Recently a married couple asked me about how to work their schedule around the husband’s shift work. We talked about the hours that changed every four days and the difficulty of keeping the children quiet so Dad could sleep during the day.

During the conversation, the wife tried to think of ways to create the best atmosphere for her husband’s sleep needs. Meanwhile, the husband would interrupt with comments that he could sleep through their noise, and he didn’t want them to feel stifled to stay quiet.

We all agreed that there was no perfect solution and that their situation would require constant adjusting and shifting. But most of all, I was struck by their mutual attitude of honor for each other. They were both trying to do what was best for the other person.

I pointed out that no matter what solutions they found, their children would grow up remembering that Mom and Dad loved and honored each other. They would look back with fondness on the times that their mother reminded them that they needed to let their father sleep because he worked hard for the family.

With that atmosphere in the home, a constantly changing schedule and inconvenient arrangements will be a minor complication. The attitude is what their children will catch, not the perfect answer for their schedule. All is not lost if the love and respect shine through.

No matter what family situation we’re dealing with, our daily attitude is what our children are watching. Better an imperfect schedule lived with an attitude of love and cheerfulness, than rigorous efficiency with a cost of aggravation and disappointment.

Life will never be perfect. Schedules will never run perfectly. Just when you think you have it all figured out, life will change. But living that life with grace for yourself and others will smooth out the wrinkles.

Often what we’re so stressed about today doesn’t even matter by next week. What does hang around is the damage to relationships and memories caused by our negative attitude and words. Be sure to keep the big picture in mind while you’re ironing out the details to deal with your circumstances.

*******************

Similar Posts

7 Comments

  1. Wow, just what I needed to hear as I’m trying to tweak our schedule for this coming Fall. My definition of success for the day is whether or not I’ve been efficient, followed my schedule, and completed my lists- when that doesn’t happen (which I often can’t even control), I don’t respond right. This sheds a whole new light on what success really is. If I had a good attitude and built relationships, then it was a success! Maybe I need a new to do list! Thanks!

  2. Charlotte- What a beautiful article and a great reminder for me today! We have a crazy schedule at our house too with hubby home two weeks and gone two weeks. When you add in a 6 year old, 3 year old, and newborn to the mix things can get hectic trying to make everything “perfect!” Thanks for the reminder that perfect doesn’t exist but love, respect, and honor do. It’s not about the schedule it’s about the family. Thanks Charlotte!

  3. WOW!!!! Charlotte thank you soooo much, I cried with my hubby last week about being overwhelmed (it helped) but like Dee said, this sheds a new light on what really is important. Blessings to you and your family 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.