Are You Living Your Best Family Life?

Random thoughts from my recent everyday …

Dinner is in the slow cooker, I remembered to put it on this time, thank goodness we won’t be eating takeaway again tonight. When did I last eat? Or drink a cup of hot tea… or just tea of any temperature really?

The cupcakes are cooked for kindy…on a day when the baby has done nothing but catnap. Win! Of course, I am not showered and the four year old is still in her pyjamas, and why yes, it is 3 o’clock. She has most definitely watched too much TV again today, well once I managed to get the DVD player to work that is. Why do these things always go wrong on days when the baby takes more than two hours to settle for a nap? On days when my patience is already wearing thin as my brain synapses continually ping with impatience about all of the other things I need to get done!

I was clearly deluded when I thought that I would have wonderful quiet times to work, while Immy was at school and AJ enjoyed nice, long naps.  Instead my everyday is filled with settling and re-settling the baby in one way or another – nursing, rocking, patting, jiggling, bouncing (sometimes all at once), in the sling, in my arms, in her bassinet, in the pram, walking the hallway up and back, up and back, up and back again. This baby of mine, whom I love more than I ever thought possible, says ‘routine schmoutine, mama,’ she is so different to the baby her sister was.

Is it any wonder then that in the moments when I am not rocking or jiggling or bouncing, when she does finally sleep, that I try to do one hundred things at once, at a million miles an hour? Preparing lunch whilst also preparing dinner whilst talking on the phone whilst helping the preschooler into a princess costume. Not that I can ever finish one job before the next one is thrust upon me, like being summoned to help clean up an arty, gluey mess while I am washing dishes… and pumping breast milk.

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Sometimes I wish I could find the STOP button. Just for a momentary pause to catch my breath. I wouldn’t change any of these individual elements of my every day, I just want the peace to enjoy them.

I don’t want to wish away these moments with our baby, even the hard ones, I want to be present and enjoy them, rejoicing in her growth, in the fact that she loves us and needs us, even when the neediness is hard.

I want to feel free to play more with Immy, especially with fulltime school just a whisper away. I will miss her so much.

I want more time for us all together as a family.

I want to parent with patience and purpose.

I want to get off the couch and exercise.

I want to find joy in preparing nutritious food for my family.

I want to live in a home that is welcoming and warm, and organised.

I want to allocate my work time more purposefully so that I can switch off the computer and focus on the other important parts of our lives.

I want to do one thing at a time and be present in that moment.

I want to be living my best life together with my family.

I need more time.

But there are only so many hours in the day. If I want more time then I am going to have to find it myself.

Do you wish you had more time? What would you use it for? Would it make you a better parent or your family life more peaceful and cohesive? Are you living your BEST life together as a family?

I can’t possibly be the only one, can I? I am not talking about creating a perfect, Pinterest-ing life. I know we have a new baby and are in the midst of constant (though minor) renovations of our home. I am talking about creating a life less busy, with less of the juggle, lived with more purpose and intention.

I am hoping that you will join me as through a series of posts I explore this idea of living your best life together as a family. Let’s tackle these issues and questions together, sharing our ideas and inspiration, and celebrating our success (because we WILL have success!)  Please leave a comment letting me know that you will join me on this journey.  What you would like to find more time for? What will help you and your family to live your BEST life together?

Read more about how I am finding more time for the things I want to do.


  1. Oh, I absolutely do not have enough time! I was one of those deluded people that thought that being home from work meant that I was going to get so much achieved! You know, all those things around the house you’ve always wanted to do. Not realising that simply maintaining a basic level of cleanliness and keeping children alive and happy was actually all I would have time for!
    Oh, and I too fall into the trap of thinking that when M is at 3y/o kinder that N will definitely have a nap and I’ll get at least an hours work done…. right!

  2. I will join u 🙂

  3. I was like that too, now we home school!!!!
    It’s better in lots of ways, and tricky in others(more good tho). I pay babysitter so I can work, it works for us?

    1. It is great that you have found what works for you. I think that is key, looking at your individual priorities and circumstances and finding a solution that you are most happy with.

  4. YES! this is totally where I am right now…having the same conversation in my head! And always saying: when x happens, then we’ll be good….but what are we missing here and now by focusing on the next step? I seriously need an exercise routine and am dragging my feet about it saying, well when the baby weans I’ll be able to get up and leave the house for early morning workouts….well, right now I need to take the night class, or let the baby hang out with dad a couple of mornings….I need to take care of me!

    1. That is exactly it, Kristal, I actually don’t want to miss the here and now, I just want the space to enjoy it as it happens.

  5. Since I write a blog on this very topic, I say that I do my very best most of the time. But, no, I do not have nearly enough time to be the mom or woman I want to be. Nope. Definitely not. But, I feel really good most of the time with how resourceful I’ve been to make every day count like a million bucks. We’re all wanting a little bit more than we have, I know that.

    1. What a fabulous, inspiring resource your blog is, Shawn. Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  6. Wow. You had put into words what I want every day. I want to treasure and spend more time with my 4 year old, but the baby is far more demanding than her sister ever was. She is constantly ‘waiting’ to finish a project with me or having to find something to do on her own. I want more time to explore with her before she goes off to school! I want to be there for each child more. I want a clean house that doesn’t feel like I am trying to shovel in a blizzard! I want to sew a little bit and to exercise more….
    Today was one of those days that just made it all come ‘out of the woodwork’ and make me feel like a failing mom and not a dealing mom. I would love more time, but I think I need to figure out how to manage the time I currently have and sometimes I just don’t know where to start or what I want most!

    Thanks for making me feel real and not as if I am the only mother who cannot figure out how to make it all work!

    1. You are most certainly not the only mother feeling this way, Veronica. I am hoping we can all help to inspire and support each other as we work it out together 🙂

  7. I can totally identify with your thoughts Christie. Life just seems to whizz by without a moment to catch my breath. Some days I would love to escape to an island to live with my family – and take the time to just ‘be’ together. But I also know that life is seasonal – and some seasons will mean survival, while other seasons will allow for more time for family and the other things that I want to pursue. I look forward to your series.

    1. I completely agree, Deborah, life is seasonal and I am really mindful of not wishing this season away. Our children are small for such a short time and I want to live in the moment with them and not have my attention diverted with busy-ness, especially when those diversions are really not important in the scheme of things.

  8. This is such a timely post for me. I think most of us mamas struggle with this idea of not enough time. And it is so very difficult to be present and focus on one thing at a time! I love your honesty and I look forward to what this lovely community can bring to this topic! I’m off to tuck the little one in . . .

  9. You are totally not alone!

  10. This sounds so familiar to me! I am really looking forward to the series and love how real your posts are! 🙂

  11. Absolutely hear you and agree with everything there! It definitely does get easier though, when bub gets a bit older and you’re not so dominated by their sleeps, feeds and nappy changes. I am struggling with wanting to do more, more, more all the time, especially since breaking my wrist 4 months ago. I couldn’t do ANYTHING much for quite a while, and though it was incredibly hard, it was a real eye-opener seeing how much more enjoyable it was going slow and being a bit more removed from all the minute-by-minute angst and drama. I do find that accepting the fact that I can’t do everything I’d like to and having slow days in the weekends helps a lot. Bushwalks, going to a café for icecream, going to the beach…these things are all great chillout things for my family. Getting away from the house is a must for us. I hardly do any cleaning and our place does get filthy, but I try to remember that the most important thing is maintaining our physical and mental health. As long as we don’t get food poisoning, I’m ok with some mess and dirt! x

  12. *When I say filthy, I mean just the average run-of-the-mill can’t-be-arsed kind of filthy, nothing really bad!

  13. That sounds like my life with my first little girl. The poor thing was not a settled baby.
    So with only 8 weeks from saying hello to our second baby, I am not under any illusions this time. I’m not planning on being any kind of super-mum and am already saying ‘no’ to lots of projects and events.
    I look forward to your series.

  14. Oh Christie. I so feel you here, having recently gone through this with our baby, who hates routine just as much as her sister!! It does get better. now that she has turned one she is sleeping for about 2 hours a day now. The best she’s ever done. I relish those quiet moments.

    On the other hand, it makes me feel so relieved to hear you going through this, only because I thought I was a chaotic mess, turns out maybe I was just normal after all.
    I feel like I try to do too much and I am endlessly running, but I like the running, I just want to slow it down somewhat. I have found myself doing it more now. Yesterrday I sat on the couch with a cuppa and the travel magazine and had a good solid 5 minutes of peace before the demands started flowing again. They were some good five minutes!!!

  15. Jen Martin says:

    Yes, I 100% relate to your feelings too! Thanks so much for writing this and I can’t wait to read the series. I have a 4-year old and a 1-year old and I just want to be fully present with them rather than constantly in my head planning, organising, wanting things to be a certain way.

  16. You brought a tear to my eye – someone else is going through the same thing as me! And then I read the comments and there is more than one of us! I think I imagined the time with bub#2 would be the same as bub #1 – hours of time to myself to sew, walk, cook, relax, clean unimpeded. But I forgot that there was another older, child in the house along with the baby this time. I have just reflected whilst reading the comments about why I love going camping – no chores apart from the basics, time to spend solely on your family, minimal electronic interference and sunshine. If only bub#2 would sleep through the night and we could escape again. One day – must not wish it away as I know how quickly time flies by.Thank you for starting this conversation

  17. I have just spent the most wonderful week of school holidays with my Munchkin – hanging around the house, painting our new chookhouse, going to a movie, going to the zoo. I so want to be able to do this for as long as he needs me to. This means ensuring my home-based business gets to a point where it will provide the financial freedom to do this. No, there is never enough time, but I am slowly realising that taking the time for the important things – reading with him, sharing a home-cooked meal as a family, allowing myself school holidays without stressing too much about the biz – also frees up my mind to concentrate on the most important things with the biz when I do work.

    It won’t be long before this will all be a fading memory 😉 Take care Christie. Looking forward to sharing this journey with you.

  18. Oh Christie! I wish I could hug you right now. I know this to be so true for my life too. I have no real advice to make it better and I’m 2 weeks shy if a year in to this juggle. I do need more time to do things as well as I would like. I used to organise myself out of these feelings of being overwhelmed but I can’t get up earlier or go to bed later if I want to function in any way. I think of you often and wish I could help you in some way. Xxx

  19. Omg i had this same conversation with myself this afternoon, like you read my mind 🙂 one half of me wishes for my two boys (2yrs & 9mths) to be a little older and more indepedant so im freed up to work on more house projects etc but then the other half of me is sad at the thought they wont be so little for very long!

    Glad im not the only one with the thoughts you have posted! Would be great to tackle this all together 🙂

  20. Totally have been there when my children were smaller but now they are both in school; one in Kindy and the other in Pre Primary, i have finally gone back to uni something i have wanted to do for awhile but did not seem possible with having 2 small children at home; thinking it was going to be easier now the children are at school most days, well it is like having another baby in your life. Trying to find that family time as well as doing everything else that needs to be done around the house and with uni. We are thinking of getting a cleaner just so we can have our saturday mornings with the kids and not have to worry about making sure everything has been washed, cleaned and tidied. I will join you on the journey

  21. Nicole Meyer says:

    wow this motherhood thing is hard work!!! im a mum to a 4, 2, and 6 month old and i cant keep ip with anything. Noone….and I mean noone is allowed in my front door. my house is a bomb!!! i chase my tail all day. i had returned to study but i cant fit that in. i am ok with some of this as my kids are happy and we do so much fun stuff during the day. it really do get my undivided attention!!! im holding onto the fact that one day soon i will get more time for the unimportant things (keeping a spotless house) and maybe even some time for myself. i also this mother guilt thing didnt exist!!!

  22. Whoa! Complete sense of de ja vu reading your blog Christie – I remember those days when getting a home cooked meal on the table at the end of the day was a huge achievement and if it was the only thing I’d managed that day I would still give myself a pat on the back. Each stage brings its own challenges and you’re so right about not ‘wishing’ the days away. I have to remind myself that wishing my youngest off to Kindy next year won’t necessarily mean an uber-tidy house, folded washing or more time to build my business. Keep up the good work everyone!

  23. This made me cry (in a good way!) – especially:

    I want to feel free to play more with Immy, especially with fulltime school just a whisper away. I will miss her so much.

    Exactly how I feel – Peter is 3.5 and Michael is 1 month today, and next year is kindy, then I lose him to school.

    Agree 100% with all you’ve shared.

    Thank you! (i.e. I am not alone!)

  24. Thank you for this post Christie! I am a SAHM of 1 DS who is 19mo today, and I often feel what you have iterated so perfectly for me, and wonder how I can achieve the same things you have outlined above. Hubby and I are discussing having #2, but there are still many days where I wonder how on earth I’ll manage 2 when I seem to have difficulty managing 1 and a household, especially on the days he wants Mum to read him stories all day. I’d love to have more time (and energy) for preparing nourishing meals that DS will eat with us, and not revert to take away again; more time for bowling over all the housework with time to play with DS and connect with hubby everyday, with some space for me too. But I just face each new day hoping to do better that day and trying to pick out the most important things to spend the most time on – usually DS 🙂

  25. looking forward to following along with this series. I feel like life is way too crazy busy (and while I like to be busy I do not like to be stressed!) Thinking that 2013 is going to be all about finding the balance (but the next 5 weeks is just about survival as I will be working full time!)

  26. I feel the same. Never enough time to do one thing “right” only enough time to do it all things good enough…

  27. I hear you! 🙂 We are working out our best plan here too. Currently switching off our devices more and switching in to playing, reading, gardening and exploring with our girls. It’s a long road and I look forward to reading all you have to say on it! 🙂

  28. You are definitely not the only one. And when I do get that rare moment to myself I turn around in circles because I know I want to do so much and can only do a little.

  29. Oh Christie…i felt such a strong sense of belonging when i read your post….you are not alone and i often walk the same steps as you it seems. More time is something i so covet at the moment and i wonder if it is going to get easier to split my time and parenting style between the teen and twin toddlers…both demanding such different things at their stage in life!
    I’m still struggling to find the balance…just hope miss teen hasn’t left home before i do! Thanks for sharing a piece of you so honestly with us!

  30. I will join you.

  31. I want all of those things too Christie. Sometimes I’ll center myself during a moment and remember to cherish it but those can be rare. The series will be wonderful!

  32. oh yes I would love more time! the only way i get anything done is with emerson in the ergo on the front of me. He sleeps up to 2 or 3 hours straight in that baby and I can bake, hang out laundry and look after elodie. I seriously think I forgot what it was like when we bought elodie home because I know it was crazy but I can’t remember any of it!

    and if I have work to do I stay up crazy late to do it!

    I just remind myself it gets easier and no one cares that a weeks worth of clean laundry is still waiting to be put away in wardrobes:)


  33. It is so true that time with family, kids has become so scant. After running after money, career and other things in life I now realize the importance of those few moments that I could have spent with my kids, watching them grow up.

  34. This is exactly where I am at the moment. Feeling frustrated that I’m not creating the life I want for my family, but striving to change things one bit at a time. I yearn for the simple life, time to enjoy the moment and make the most of every opportunity because we all know our little ones grow up all too quickly. Thankyou so much.

  35. Alissa : Creative With Kids says:

    I so hear you Christie. I also write about living intentionally with children, yet I have been really struggling lately. Sometimes the phase our children are in together with other life circumstance just maxes out our energy and time resources and then it’s SOoo hard to make the tweaks to your routine that would help because you’re mired in your day to day just staying afloat. Wishing you well and looking forward to reading more of the posts in this series!

  36. Yes, I will join you!!! I have today discovered Childhood 101, and I love it…I have Miss 3.5, Master 21 months and Master 5 months! I keep asking myself when will it get ‘easier’ or when can I get a moment to myself to regroup, when can I do one thing (properly) at a time for just a few minutes, and I have no idea when this time will be and I fear (real genuine fear!) that I will become more time poor in the next year with my three, when Master 5 mths becomes mobile…however, I also know that there is something incredibly special and magical about the ‘right now’ in my house, particularly in the small moments and I crave everyday “the space to enjoy it all”….I want to push the pause button on Miss 3.5 (except the tantrums) as I feel that I am missing too much and Kinder, School etc are knocking on my doorstep, and I want them to just go away until I have the space to really enjoy everything….and it seems I am not alone. I read you post to my partner and he didn’t believe that I didn’t write it myself, as I have mirrored many of your words to my partner in the last 5 months, but in my sleep deprivation my mode of communication was not always rational. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Becky. What an amazing mama you are. I hope you have had a chance to look through some of the other best life posts and have found some ideas that might work for you. Let me know how you go 🙂

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