It’s the Lenten season. If you are like me you begin thinking about what to give up some time after you’ve attended your fair share of Mardi Gras parades, but before the Ash Wednesday service. Traditionally, I usually give up a food – sodas, fried foods, or candy. One year I gave up cursing — let’s just say that was a challenge.
This year I thought I would look at Lent a little differently. What are some things I can give up that would benefit my children, my husband and my family? Here are a few things I plan on giving up this year for Lent (and maybe I will just keep a few):
- The overwhelming need to clean up after my children. Maybe I am alone in this, but my anxiety skyrockets if my house is a mess; therefore, I find myself cleaning from the moment I get home from work until we eat dinner together. During Lent this year, I am going to step back and do my very best to spend that time with my children instead. Maybe we will read a book together or have a silly dance party in our living room.
- Mom-comparing. We all do our very best to provide for our children the best we can. How Suzie choses to spend her days, discipline her children, or what car she drives should not matter to me. I am being the best mom I can be to my kids, and that is what is most important.
- Nagging my family. We all do it, some of us more than others. I am giving that up! I can ask or request that something is done, but let’s see if I can make it 40 days without nagging or fussing at my kids or husband to do the things they are supposed to be doing.
As I process what to give up for Lent there are also a few things that I would like to do MORE of during this time to build up my relationship with my husband and with my kids. There are a few things that come to mind:
- Date my husband. We have been together a while now — we have a couple kids, a dog and a lot of responsibilities, but my husband is still that guy that I started dating over a decade ago. He is in there, I know it. We will go on a date or two during Lent, find our happy place and bring home our happiness to our kids. After all, happy parents make for happy kids.
- No electronic nights. Instead we will play board games, build tents, play with dolls, or play house. I want time with my family with little to no distraction. We can do this quality time thing and even step away from social media (a little)!
- Random acts of kindness. As a family, I want to show my kids that we can spread love and happiness by doing random acts of kindness. We can buy supper for the family behind us at the drive thru (we ALL have those nights), gather all of our gently used toys and clothes for a family in need, or go to our local park and pick up trash laying around. There are quite a few ways as a family we can spread kindness this year during Lent.
However you choose to spend this time of Lent as a family do it with love. Let’s build each other up and show our kids how we can all improve our world around us. Does your family do anything different during Lent? Let us know!