Family is not an important thing, it’s everything. —Michael J. Fox
My family IS my everything! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it time and time again that I have been so blessed to be given this wild and crazy family of mine! They are my world, through and through.
Family is SO important to me that I even dedicated the months of June and July to talking about families on the blog and shared our favorite ideas for activities you can be doing this summer with your families! To continue my focus on family, I wanted to bring home one more point about families and what we’ve learned in the Powell house that helps strengthen a deeper connection with one another.
I’ll be honest, it’s difficult for us sometimes because Chris and I are so busy. We literally are traveling ALL the time for our businesses, and while we absolutely LOVE it so much, we tend to have to work a little harder to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep our family unit close and on track!
Most days it feels like we live out of our suitcases! Case in point: We wrapped up a trip to NYC for the Megyn Kelly TODAY Show AND a trip to San Diego for the IDEA World Convention…all within the last two weeks! We actually didn’t even get home from San Diego until late that Friday night, and we literally re-packed our bags and headed out on yet another flight first thing the next morning!
But this time, we hijacked the kiddos.
I’m going to be 100% honest here. When we got home that Friday night, the absolute very last thing I wanted to do was go on another trip. I was drained. I just wanted my bed, my home, and my family.
But we had promised the kids a trip to Park City, and since we only take about two family trips a year as opposed to the many business trips Chris and I go on (which, btw, I’m counting down the days until we get to visit Hawaii in October!), Chris gently reminded me that we couldn’t back out.
“But what if we just push it back a day or two? We can always leave Sunday or Monday!” No, Heidi. No.
The kids had been waiting for this trip, and although I wanted to disagree with Chris, I knew he was right. We preach it so often, but our word really is our everything. Just like we teach in The TRANSFORM App, if you say you’re going to do something, you do it. Integrity is SO important, and commitment is literally the basis of our transformations and of our life!
So we kept our promise, packed everyone up, and went to beautiful Park City. And I’m SO glad we did!
I cannot tell you how amazing our time together was in Park City. That trip was all about building memories with our kids through experiences and quality time together. We had one adventure after another, and honestly, I loved EVERY minute of it! From paddle boarding and going to the Rodeo (cowboy hats and all!), to river rafting (such a BLAST!) and the 4th of July Parade, we spent this vacation doing experiences together instead of buying things, cooking at the condo instead of going out to eat, and being together and present with our kids instead of working all day long. We needed this special time with our kids just as much as they needed this time with us…if not more. We all had a very hard time returning to daily life after this vacation!
As much as I love my businesses, making new friends, and helping people transform their lives, if it came down to it, I would give up everything for my family in a heartbeat.
After all is said and done, what really matters is our relationships with each other. We have ups and downs like any other family, but we all genuinely love each other so much that we are committed to doing whatever is necessary to keep our family close and connected.
This starts with keeping our promises to one another! It’s also so helpful because even though we soaked up every single second of this family vacation with one another, Chris and I were also able to roll a little bit of work into the week. Being able to enjoy and balance both work and pleasure as a family is possible, as long as we follow these 7 steps to make sure our family comes first and that our unit stays strong!
1. Make time for each other.
We all have the same number of hours in a given day, so it’s up to us to choose how we spend those hours. Having time for family is about making time for family. Stepping aside from your agenda to connect with a family member will always be an investment you won’t regret.
It’s important to remember that it’s not only about making time for your kids (although it’s definitely a must!), but in leading by example and making time for them, they’ll in turn also make time for you. Just last night, Marley and Ruby were both at a sleepover next door when I got the phone call from each of them saying, “Mom, can we come home? We really just miss you and want to be with you!”
2. Keep your commitments.
If you say you’re going to be there for a soccer game or a dance recital or a school party, (or a trip to Park City!), you’ve got to follow through. That’s how you build trust and show your family member that he or she is more important to you than the things that could get in the way. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but our goal is to always keep our commitments to each other no matter what else comes along.
3. Communicate openly.
Create a home environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing feelings and ideas—positive and negative. At the dinner table or before bed, you might take turns sharing something good that happened that day and something bad that happened. Talk about things you failed at or things that embarrassed you.
Take Cash, for example! This kid makes us laugh every single day. He has the best of intentions, but when you ask him to do something, chances are he’s going to forget what he’s doing, while on his way to do it, because he’ll start dancing instead. This exact scenario just happened yesterday. I kid you not. I had asked Cash to hurry and go take a shower because we were headed out the door soon. After forgetting a couple of times, and after practicing a few of his best moves, he finally hopped in the dang shower! But apparently, he overheard me talking to Chris about how distracted he gets.
Fast forward to the car ride to dinner, and Cash was sitting in the back seat, not saying a word. When I asked him what was going on, he informed me that he had overheard what I said and that it had hurt his feelings.
Hurting his feelings was the last thing I wanted to do, but I had to give him so much credit for being able to communicate this to us! It’s so important for kids to know they can talk openly with mom and dad, and that whatever their feelings are—good or bad, they’ll be praised for doing so. It will only help them (and you!) be able to more effectively communicate as everyone ventures closer and closer to those teenage years!
The more space you give for everyone to talk about things openly, the closer you’ll grow as a family, and the better you’ll be able to handle tough experiences. Knowing you have a family to come home to and feel supported by after a hard day is everything!
4. Show appreciation.
Expressing gratitude and praise to your kids and spouse for the good things they do is proven to lead to more improvement than harping on them for the mistakes they make. Cultivating gratitude also boosts your physical and emotional well being. Sharing a few things you’re grateful for as a family is another great dinner table or bedtime ritual!
5. Make a family motto.
Sit down as a family and answer some questions: What are our family goals? What is most important to us right now? How can our family contribute to our neighborhood and community? Create a family motto to remind you of those goals and that you’re working as a family team to reach them. Our motto goes something like this: Hard work. Respect. Kindness. Gratitude. These are the four pillars we live by in our family and teach our kids that success and happiness come from working hard, showing respect, being kind, and having gratitude in all things.
6. Have fun!
Loosen up and just have fun together. Have dessert before dinner, throw an impromptu dance party in the kitchen, tell some super corny jokes (your kids will remember and repeat them for years!), and just be silly together. Fun can diffuse a tense situation and bring a smile to even the grumpiest face!
Having fun was exactly what we did in Park City. We made it a goal to have something fun planned for the family to do together every single day of the trip.
I was just saying to Chris that Matix was SO in his element there. He was on top of EVERYTHING that was asked of him because he knew that the more he did, the more he could play and have fun! His own personal motto (like we mentioned above): Work Hard, Play Harder! And I can’t blame him one bit!
7. Remember that we’re all family.
Family doesn’t just mean a blood relationship. My kids are so blessed with an awesome family made up of more than just those linked to them through their DNA. I try to teach my kids to show unconditional love to each other and everyone they encounter—whether they’re technically family or not. I hope my kids will see the time I spend helping people with their unique issues and recognize that each person is important and should be treated with love and kindness.
What are some things that hold your family together? Better yet, what’s your Family Motto? I shared mine, now I want to know what yours is! Keep sharing in the comments and on social media with the hashtag #strongfamilywithHeidi.
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