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?