When you look back at 2014, is a year full of family memories? Did you take the vacations that you wanted to? Did you have a family game night once a week? Or was it a year of flying from one activity to the next and eating fast food in the car for dinner? For many, it was the latter. Between all the commitments my family has, carving out time together takes effort.
When I think of spending less time working on work, housework, driving to activities etc., I begin to fear that everything will fall apart if I don’t continue to invest as much time in each activity. On the other side, my fears crowd in and feed me the worst scenarios about what would happen if I didn’t make family time. What is comes down to is fear. Fear is driving why I keep up this harried schedule.
What I want for you and me in 2015 is to be free. Free of fear. Free from keeping up appearances. Free from the opinions of others about my family. Free from fearing a landslide of tasks set aside. But what does a “freed,” but not empty, schedule look like? Its not like all these commitments are going to just vanish. I want to share some of the ideas I am thinking over as we start 2015.
- You don’t have to go to EVERYTHING: I know its scary to think about. We are fearful that there is something that we will miss out on. If our child doesn’t attend every weekend tournament they will lose their spot. If I don’t file my paperwork every night, then I will be backlogged. If I don’t attend every swim lesson, I won’t be getting my money’s worth. I’m not saying that skipping out on these things isn’t risky or not cost-effective. There will be sacrifice when if comes to creating family time. These are the decisions you make as you create your family’s schedule.
- One-On-One vs. Whole Family: It would be nice to have a whole family night every week, but maybe that’s just not possible right now. Maybe once a month is more do-able. In the mean time, try to spend one-on-one time with your children and spouse. It doesn’t have to be too elaborate, but a 30 minute trip to DQ is just as special. Those little moments build in a child’s mind into beautiful memories. Maybe after bedtime is when you and your spouse reconnect and disconnect from technology.
- Do your work strategically: Do you usually workout after work or do all your home office work after dinner? Instead of doing these activities while your children are awake and at home, consider moving them to before they wake up in the morning or after they go to bed. That will free up time when you can be spending quality time together watching your favorite show or playing a game. It will take sacrifice on your part, but that’s no surprise as a parent.
Do any of these ideas seem like they would work for your family? Family time is a “BIG ROCK” that I put in my calendar first. It’s the important time that other things can take priority over. That takes effort though. I’d love to hear more stories and ideas about how you create family time in your busy life!