Posted in Parenting

Finding Family Time

We live in a hectic world.  I’m lucky this year as I’m off work for maternity leave, but when I work we find ourselves with a family of two full-time working parents, one of which is also studying to gain another degree.

My days are pretty hectic.  Wake up, nurse Elliot, fix breakfast for the kids and myself, remind the kids a gazillion times that they have to brush their teeth and yada yada yada,  get all three kiddos in the van (this is especially fun during winter), drop off the kids at daycare and come back home (1 h round trip).  Usually, I’m back home around 10am and I spend the day caring for Elliot and the house (and myself when I get a nice nap out of him!).  By 4pm I’m back in the minivan to go pick up the kids.  Once home, I get supper running, my husband generally arrives once I’ve gotten everything going.  After that it’s bedtime preparations (which sometimes, sometimes not include a bath).  By 7:30pm, the kids are generally in bed.  Whew!  Then, there are weekends: groceries, laundry, gymnastics for Charles and swimming for Amélie.  It just.  Doesn’t. Stop.

I’m sure this is pretty indicative of the average family’s day.  Sometimes, I feel like a temporary parent.  I see my kids for a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening.  It’s hard to balance family life, personal life and marital life.  Yet, it’s important to try to find a way.

So, in an effort to maximize our together time (beyond just meal times), we decided to try out the movie night concept.  On the last Saturday of every month, we’re going to have our supper downstairs and watch a movie of the kids’ choosing together.  We tried this last Saturday and, though I wasn’t too sure what to expect, it was great!

We made some nachos, spread a tablecloth on the floor in front of the tv and the five of us (yup, Elliot hung out with us too!) had a “picnic” whilst watching Kung Fu Panda.  I put Elliot to bed at around 7pm, the my husband, Charles, Amélie and I cuddled on the couch to watch the remainder of the movie.  The kids had a blast and it was fun to spend some real quality time all of us together.  We are definitely going to do this again next month.

It’s so easy to get caught up in life to neglect family time.  Between work, fatigue, the need for personal time and those darned screens (y’know, tablets and smartphones and all the jazz), it’s easy for everyone to be physically together in a room (or in the house), but not make the most of that time.

How do you spend family time?

Author:

Thirty-something year old discovering the joys and bumps of motherhood.

6 thoughts on “Finding Family Time

  1. I know it’s not something that everyone can or wants to do, but we love homeschooling for this reason. We definitely have lots of time together. We like to watch movies together too. And play chess. And cook. And eat together. And love to travel together. I loved my family growing up, and I hope that my kids, when they leave, will look back and love our family and create bonds just like that for their kids.

    1. It’s really great that you can homeschool!

      Though I don’t think I would be willing to go the homeschooling route, my husband and I actually looked in to me becoming a SAHM last year because I found I didn’t spend enough quality time with the kids. Unfortunately, despite the fact that my husband makes a good salary and despite the fact that we’d save by having only one vehicle and not having to pay for daycare anymore, we calculated that we wouldn’t be able to cover all of our bills with just his salary. We would have had to either move into an apartment or move pretty far away from where we live and that is a sacrifice we weren’t willing to make.

      Playing chess! That reminds me, we used to have a game night together when Charles was about 2 years old, but we stopped for some reason. I think we’re going to bring that back!

      Have a great day!

      1. I know. There are so many variables that come into play. We (my husband and I) both grew up in rural places, and we like them. But if we lived in California or New York, then we’d have whole new factors.—- My husband and the three oldest play chess. The baby makes game-playing kind of tough for me to get in. But I love that the kids are playing with Dad. Before the baby came, we were playing games together. It was fun!

  2. Stephen’s car died in late fall. Initially, we thought we’d buy another one right away because we were very accustomed to having our own vehicles but then for a number of reasons, we decided to share my van. Well, I am loving it! The kids and I have more quality time together at home on days that I don’t take him to work, and then on days I do take him, we all get to see HIM more because of the driving. It’s working for now! Btw, movie and game nights are still a fave here. ^_^

    1. It always seems so much easier for both to have a car, but having only one family vehicle can have its advantages too 😉 We used to do game night a couple of years ago, I’m thinking of bringing it back as well. Amélie is old enough to understand simple games now.

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