Making Decisions As A Family (Episode 147)
Making decisions as a family can always be tricky, especially the bigger the family (and the more opinions) you have to navigate! In this week's podcast episode, Nathan and I share about three big family decisions we've navigated through in our own home, and what tips we can share with you for handling decisions in yours.
Big Decisions Boil Down To Tiny Questions
Listen to this episode on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, TuneIn, YouTube, iHeartRadio or your RSS Feed *Now also on the Pandora app and Radio.com!
Plan, Pause, Repeat
Three podcast episodes back, we discussed the process of plan, pause, repeat. Having "anchors" in our lives that are planned are super helpful for our sanity in times of unknowns, as well as just helping to add those things to look forward to. Many of us need stability, and part of that can come from these "anchors" in our lives that we know we'll do, or be anticipating in the future.
There are four key components we address when making decisions that affect our whole family. Honestly, these components work for decision making in general!
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Where are we this week?
We've stayed put for a long time now. This is the longest we've been in a "sticks & bricks" (aka stationary house) since we launched in October of 2016!
Last week Nathan's mama (and one of the siblings who owns the family lake house) came to join us, and it was great to meet her new sweet pup and have some together time after a lot of isolation. Follow us on our journey on Insta as the FieldTripGypsies!
First, The Truck
If you've ever read the book, "If You Give A Moose A Muffin"...well, that is the classic theme for a high I personality style! When we first started considering a change, it was due to us wanting a sixth seat.
We went from looking for an extra seat to growing this to a van...and then, if we have a van, we could actually set it up to van camp and boondock beyond where our trailer can go! And then, as our van search kept coming up blank, we went further with our desire to have another camper option to give us more space. And that moved us toward looking at trucks with long beds to hold a camper topper. But that led to us looking at the logistics, and for around $3k we could start with just a camper topper on our existing truck to determine if we liked it. Well, we did, and ended up going from a shortbed, megacab Dodge Ram to putting a camper topper on that ("Bug"), and then selling our truck and getting one a year newer ("Mr. Grumbles"), and then selling the camper topper and getting a new 5th wheel, Luna!
So one open door of needing a bit more space in our truck ended up taking us along a journey to a brand new home in general.
Next, the Snake
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We had a bittersweet goodbye with our beloved snake, Jo Cotton. In our commitment to our “Compassionate Heart Philosophy”, we want to show love and support for animals, people and things out there, yet that doesn’t mean we have to own it all. Sometimes we love and let go. In the case of Jo Cotton, we had a few things to consider. First, Nathan has said since the beginning, “if I could pick any snake, I would LOVE to get an eastern hognose.” Then, lo and behold, we find one in the wild. Not only do we find him, this little dude had an awesome personality and showed us all his tricks while also being chill enough for the whole family to hold. But. It's a wild snake. At one point, we had FIVE snakes - the corn snake we bought that started it all, and then a red rat snake and a rough green snake we rescued, plus a big gray rat snake we were just enjoying getting to know. This hognose wasn't incapable of living in the wild, so was it fair to hold on to him? So we debated and weighed the pros and cons. Yes, we're in an area prevalent with snakes, and where snakes are killed for fun or fear pretty regularly. It's not uncommon to find 3 or more dead snakes along the road that have either been hit or shot. But ultimately, it just wasn't fair to Jo to keep him. He wouldn't eat, and that's the final straw. When his quality of life was in question due to him not wanting to eat, we knew the better answer for Jo was to set him free, so we found a sweet spot on the family property, away from roads and near water with plenty of toads to eat, and we said our goodbyes. We learned so much from observing him for a short time. Love without ownership can be hard, but it's in the letting go that we allow others to really be free. #kickinitunschool #compassionateheartphilosophy
4 Steps in Decision Making
There are four key elements we address when it comes to making any decisions, especially those as a family.
- 1The QBQ - What is the question behind the question? Have you really dug deep into the WHY behind this decision? Can you keep asking "why" until you get to the deeper reason? If you haven't checked out the book QBQ, it's excellent!
- 2Do the Red Light/Green Light Approach - This doesn't have to be a lifelong commitment. Can you look at 30-60-90 day increments to check in?
- 3Pay Attention Within - Your intuition is a powerful tool. Pay attention to how things feel. Do you feel ease, comfort and flow, or discontent, unrest, and dis-ease? Our emotions and intuition can help to affirm or check decisions we make.
- 4Have Grace and Flexibility - It's okay to change course. It's okay to rethink your decision. It's a-ok to determine that the decision you made was great for a season, and now it's time to reassess. Don't get so married to the decision that it becomes a life of obligation.
Some additional resources for you
Your Weekly Challenge:
Look at your want vs. your need. Ask the questions to dig deeper into your why. Use the red-light-green-light approach. Sit with how it feels. And don't be afraid to course-correct.
Questions or comments?
Personality styles, marriage/intimacy, parenting, education, minimalism or travel - what is pressing on your mind?
Or, hop on over to the Mama Says Namaste or Unschooling Families FB groups and ask your question there!
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