We live in a world that is more and more reliant on technology, but what does that mean for families and relationships? Being fully present with family is so important – ESPECIALLY since we’re self-employed! Children grow up SO quickly. When we were pregnant with our first child, someone said to us:
“The days go by slowly, but the years go by quickly.”
Oh, if only we knew how true that was then. In what seems like the blink of an eye, our sweet little newborn turned into a crawling machine…only to blink again and find her a big sister to one, then TWO baby sisters. She’s becoming more independent every single day and blossoming into an absolutely beautiful girl. But oh…it seems like it was only yesterday that we brought her home.
In our own family life, we make it a priority to disconnect from the world & our business, and focus on what’s really important; each other. We’re sharing 5 tips to being fully present with family that allow us to recharge and maintain a healthy work-life balance as creatives!
1. Put Away Your Phone
We get it…this is easier said than done, but it’s our most important tip and that’s why we’re placing it at #1! Friends, we feel there’s a time and a place for everything. The reality is that sometimes…your texts and calls can wait. Your emails can wait. Social media will STILL be there.
It may seem extreme to some, but we’ve made a habit of putting our phones on vibrate and setting them on a desk or countertop, not in our pocket, when we’re home and spending time with our kids. Children are like little sponges, and will quickly start to recognize what you value by how you spend your time. We had to come to the realization and ask ourselves:
Do we want our children to think that our phones or our work are more important than them, simply because we spend more time plugged into technology than actually WITH them?
The answer for us was an obvious one, so we implemented these changes and it’s helped tremendously!
2. Interact with Your Kids on Their Level
This is easier for some than others. George, for example, has absolutely NO issue with this. He was born to be the fun parent. I, on the other hand, don’t as naturally think of this when I’m with our girls, so I’m sharing some tips on how you can make playtime fun for everyone!
I think parents often overthink spending time with their kiddos. The truth is, your children love you. In their eyes, you’re a hero. They just want to connect with you. It’s easy to be distracted because of all the “adult” things we’re always dealing with (work, bills, etc.) but loosen up, & have some FUN!
Tickle them. Read them stories in funny accents. Give them lots of kisses. Actually play with them on the playground. They’ll be SO much fulfilled by it vs. if you were just there observing them play; promise.
3. Limit TV Time
Ok, don’t get us wrong; we’re not anti-TV or anything. Haha! We’ve just noticed that since TV is an easy option, it can become a first choice for parents. The thing is, TV is a much more passive way of spending quality time than other options. Even before we had kiddos, we made a promise to each other to make a consistent effort to growing our relationship and getting to know each other better…so TV has never really been a top priority for us.
It’s so easy to find other things to do to be fully present with family! Go take a walk, head to the park, or go out to dinner together and have a nice conversation. Time is fleeting!
4. Show Your Love
This can be done in many ways, but MUST be done! Whether it’s regularly giving your spouse a hug or kiss while your kiddos are around, dancing in the kitchen, or snuggling up on the couch with your little loves…just make an effort every single day to SHOW them that you love them!
5. Don’t Bring Your Work (Or Work Stress) Home
Work life balance is so important, friends. When you clock out from a work day, actually clock out. If your mind is constantly elsewhere once you get home, your kiddos notice. They’ll probably still voice that they want to spend time with you, but it won’t last forever. Eventually, they’ll interpret (whether this is true or not) that your work is more of a priority than them, and they may stop trying. Trust me…I speak from experience as a child that grew up with a workaholic mother.
Once this has happened, it’s much harder to repair the relationship…but it’s often caught too late. That’s why, to us it’s SO important to follow this one simple tip every day, to make sure the past isn’t repeated the next generation down.
So…what if you’re self-employed?! Oh, friends, don’t lose hope! That just means you have to be even more aware of how you’re spending your time. Make work hours for yourself, and when it’s time to put it away – GO love on your family! Work will always be there tomorrow. We never know when our last day may be.
We understand that these tips to being fully present with family aren’t easy, and no one is perfect. It takes a lot of trial and error to find out what works best for each family individually. We hope that by sharing what we’ve found works for us, it’s helpful to you as well!
All our love,
Elizabeth & George are a husband and wife luxury photo + video team. Their award-winning work has been featured on billboards and in internationally acclaimed publications such as Style Me Pretty, Magnolia Rouge, Wedding Sparrow, Smitten Magazine, & more. Elizabeth & George strive to capture life’s most beautiful moments in a curated, fine art experience that radiates with light & expressive love. Having been in the industry since 2011, the duo has since become passionate about education within the photography and creative small business industry. You can now find them traveling nationwide to teach & mentor others who desire to follow their dreams and live a life they truly love as well.