I started to write this post since our life has been so chaotic recently with everyone going in different directions. The amount of time that our family of 8 is all together seems to be dwindling. Partially it is because the kids are getting older and have more obligations and partially it is just that we have a lot of kids! I wanted to write a list of 5 ways to make more family time for us. I am hoping I am able to follow the suggestions. Even as I was writing them I realize that some will be easier than others.
1. Put aside a certain time during the week or write on the Calendar FAMILY TIME. In today’s fast paced, over worked, over scheduled life sometimes hours turn into days turn into weeks, etc. before you know it so much time has gone by without anyone ever taking time out to enjoy the family. We did this last weekend and it was quite successful. We had to cut down the Christmas tree and decorate in within a small window of time. All of us made sure to not schedule anything Saturday morning. It worked! We were all together cutting down the tree and decorating the tree before noon. Family time completed and Christmas tree up and decorated – woohoo! We frequently get together for family game nights. We gather around the dining room table or the table in the camper and play games or card games. When my husband and I are old and gray (oh wait a minute we already are haha) so maybe older and grayer, I know we will look back so fondly on our game nights.
2. To create uninterrupted family time occasionally turn off all electronics including the phone. Even better, toss them in a basket so no one even is tempted from the vibration. Take time just to socialize and enjoy each other’s company.
3. Don’t over schedule the kids. Sometimes we spend so much time running everyone around and never just all staying home together. We have a one sport rule per season in our house. The only problem is this doesn’t eliminate other activities such as school play, church activities, odyssey of the mind teams, etc. so with six kids there are certainly days where we are over scheduled.
4. Say no sometimes. We definitely need this suggestion. We say yes to way too many things. On one hand it is great to help out with coaching, cooking, rides, babysitting, etc I truly get so much satisfaction in life by helping others. But that being said at times our life is chaotic because of it. We all go in different directions to this meeting or that game. We do try and volunteer together as a family a few times a year. This will probably be the hardest one for my to follow.
5. Family time can come in all shapes and sizes by making every day routines more special. It can be really nice to drive to a game with only one child in the car. Whether it be my husband or myself, we frequently stop for a special treat – coffee for the adult and candy for the child. I love these moments and really look forward to them. Very simple yes but special family bonding that works for us. As my children get older I realize that family time doesn’t have to mean all of us doing something together. We just need to make time to enjoy each other and live in the moment.
Need ideas for family time? Check out the instant downloads for family game nights here.