The Urgency of Slowing Down to Best Meet the Needs of Your Family

Just when life begins to pick up speed—school’s back in, sports are in full swing, and the holidays are around the corner—the best thing we can do is to slow down.

Have you heard the expression, “We’re building the plane as we fly it”? It means that what’s happening is so urgent that the process of doing it is being created at the same time as we’re actually doing it.

Sometimes, life itself feels pretty urgent. Between school carpools, work, kids’ homework, practices, making dinner (yes, you have to feed the kids every single night), and squeezing in a little time for yourself, the days fly by.

Parents often must get increasingly more done—meet more needs, check off more lists, make more plans—during this time of year, in the name of what’s good for the family. In all the rush, we miss opportunities to be the best versions of ourselves, not only as parents, but also as friends, family members, spouses, and employees or employers. We miss chances to truly connect with our children.

In all the activity, we (and our kids) become stressed and exhausted. Nobody’s on their best behavior!

And let’s face it: parenting burnout is real.

It’s a paradox: life is speeding up, but to do our best work as parents, we need to slow down.

Of course, some things are truly urgent: feeding the kids, getting them to school and sports and then to bed at a decent hour.

But slowing down is necessary for thoughtful reflection about how we can be truly present with our kids and families. We need to take the time to create the process for how we parent effectively so that we can then do the work in the way we want to—in the way that’s best for our families.

But, as we add items to our calendars, how do we slow down? We start by doing it when we can, and we commit to prioritizing it. We create time to slow down, to reflect on how we create meaningful connections with our families, and we protect that time—because it is urgent.

Editor’s Note: look for the Strong Families, Happy Kids column in every issue of Prescott Woman Magazine. It’s designed to support parents with actionable tips and strategies they can use to create optimal environments for their children to thrive. To learn more about Prevent Child Abuse Arizona’s mission and resources visit