Surviving or Thriving?

“Luke, how are you and Jena getting along with three kids now?” “Oh, we’re surviving.” I’ve said this countless times and I know my wife uses this phrase daily. Thinking about how busy and chaotic our lives have become, surviving to see tomorrow seems to be a pretty accurate goal. Jena’s up before 5 am to workout, shower, and then busting her tail to get Sawyer to kindergarten, pick up groceries, make her play date at the park, fix lunch, take Presley to preschool, put Austen down for a nap, do laundry, pick up Presley from school, pick up Sawyer from school, start preparing dinner, fix dinner, clean up dinner, get the kids in the bath, and then once the kids are in bed try to relax. Doesn’t seem like there’s much room to pack anything else in the day, but she manages to also coach, love, encourage, and develop the kids along the way. No wonder she keeps getting mobile speed camera tickets in the mail! Most, including Jena, would see this as ‘surviving,’ just keeping her head above water, but in reality she’s thriving.

The perception is that we’re so busy and consumed in our family’s lives that even the simplest tasks seem like a struggle to accomplish. If we step back and reflect on the amount of ‘stuff’ Jena is doing on a daily basis, she’s not surviving, she’s thriving. I’d argue she’s doing more than most of us do at our ‘real’ job and she’s more efficient. What employer wouldn’t want their employees to be this efficient and productive with their time? Unfortunately, employees would burn out in a week or two, but Jena knows that she’s working towards a greater good. Raising young leaders to impact the world in years to come. The simplest mindset change can help us focus on what we’re accomplishing in life versus what we’re not getting done.

As parents we all feel the struggle of just getting by, surviving. I’d argue if you’re a parent and you don’t feel this maybe you need to reexamine things? Parenting to raise young leaders isn’t going to be simple. What things in life that come easily are worthwhile? If you’re a parent and you feel this daily struggle step back and remind yourself this isn’t surviving, this is thriving.

About the Author

Luke is a father to 3 incredible young girls (6 and younger) and a husband to 1 amazing wife. He currently resides in West Des Moines, Iowa. Luke’s passionate about child leadership development and in helping cultivate our next generation of leaders; our children. Other interests include agriculture, sports, and CrossFit.

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