Who Gets My Best ... My Family or Others?

We call it the "telephone voice." It has become a silly joke in our home, but it began with the very sobering discussion that I could go from a serious, less-than-amorous tone with my children to a sweet-tempered, patient voice when answering the telephone.

Most of us can relate because we all have times in our families that bring out the serious stresses and major mood changes we would never dream of displaying online or in public.

Such behavior begs the question: who gets our best -- our families or others?

It is strange to think that we might have a "good," "better" and "best" to our lives. I wish I could say that my family always gets my best, but rather, they often get the "leftovers."

When my husband arrives home from a long day at work, he will sometimes get my leftover energy with a halfhearted attempt at the family dinner table, when all I really would like to do is climb the steps to my room waving a white flag. I sometimes have to muster up the gumption to smile and be pleasant in conversation to get through the rest of the evening. This is my "good."

Packing the van for a trip to the park with friends brings out a few stresses that I continually work on to simplify and improve, but my family feels the brunt of every activity that takes extra work. Our friends at the park share our smiles, fun and fellowship, but the stresses remain in the car, or at home.

Why do we save our best for others, when our families should come first? It seems we are saving the best for last.

[Read the rest of the article at For the Family.]