Here’s an actual conversation I had with my husband recently.
Me: “I need to take a shower.”
Him: “Do you want me to stick around while you do that?”
Me: “No. I’ll just turn on the tv for the girls.”
Before you think I’m about to be judgy about the tv, know that my kids watch tv every single day. There are certain things that have to happen first – school work, a quiet rest time after lunch, and general good behavior – but it happens every day.
What bothered me about this conversation was that the tv babysitter had become such a natural default that I didn’t even think about it before speaking.
And it’s not just television.
What about food? I admit that I’ve been lazy lately when it comes to preparing nourishing food for myself and my family. There have been many more sandwiches and meals in bags from restaurants than I’d normally like.
And again, I’m all about balance, and cutting yourself some slack, especially when you don’t have energy. But when that becomes the default answer, it’s time for some reevaluating.
Is that what you want the default to be?
If it is, continue on as you are. But if it’s not, how can you shift to a new, better default?
For me, this means encouraging my children to dig into free play again, knowing that especially at first there might be some whining and resistance. It means finding some easy meals I can prep at least partially ahead of time so that I have something to quickly cook without sacrificing the quality that I want.
Basically, it means being intentional about the things that I know I’ve been slacking on.
Look at how things are going for you right now. Is there an area of parenting, or home management, or [fill in the blank] that’s bothering you? What’s your default for that thing? Is it what you want it to be? And if it isn’t, how can you get closer to the default that you want?
Be realistic here.
But also be honest.
Only you know what’s best for you right now, and what you can actually do. While it will take some time and some effort to change your default, it’s effort for the better.
What’s one default you’d like to improve on?