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Stephanie at http://www.hermommyside.com shared with us her article on spending more family time! You can read more from her at:
I have to admit, there has been those crazy days that led me feeling regretful as I tuck my little girl in bed. I should’ve sat down and played blocks with you little longer.
I realized that no priority is greater than making time to spend with our family.
Spending quality time is so important when it comes to building those strong family bonds. I sat down and really thought about how can I create more time for them.
As moms we get overwhelmed with daily duties and obligations too easily making it difficult sometimes for what matter most to us–our family.
Juggling between the roles of being a wife and mother and trying to find that balance, where I can create and maintain time for everyone was not an easy task. I knew I needed to make something to challenge myself to be more effective each day, so I can spend more quality family time.
PLAN AHEAD MEALS
Talking about sitting down and writing out your meal plan for the month.How I Made More Family Time #mealplanning
Basically, I thought to myself what I could do to shave some time off my hands each day, and not stress or worry about the dreaded “whats for dinner?”
I tend to throw together fast easy meals, or leave the crock pot on all day. I try to incorporate all the food groups- key word try anyway. Gather up your favorite family recipes that you cook often and make a list. When making the list, look over and see if you can find a meal you can double the batch so your have leftovers one or two days of the week. This really helps when saving time!
Here’s an example of my October lunch menu I use with the kids. I change it up every month, and this way you can plan each month’s grocery list, which also saves a bundle on money as well as time!Sample Menu!
GET A CLEANING SYSTEM
Keeping up with daily chores is something I’ve never been good at, but following a schedule that I can do!
The laundry and dishes pile up each day, and there’s no escaping it! I would end up putting it all off until the end of the evening when the kids were in bed. Long story short, this didn’t help me or my family. Mostly, resulted in one tired and cranky mom. Not to mention, I came to dread the evening because I dislike it so much. Some nights I skipped and told myself I’ll do extra the next day. Not A Good Cycle! There’s no benefit from this method of cleaning.I thought it was the best option, because I got to be with the family longer, but it only made things worse in the long run.
Here’s an awesome cleaning schedule that I really liked from The Good Home Blog ((Found here http://blog.goodhomestore.com/quick-cleaning-tips-from-the-good-home-co/. )) How I Made More Family Time in 5 Steps #cleaningschedule
I use the same layout pretty much, only I prefer to get all my laundry done for my family in 3 days every Monday-Wednesday. Doing this saves me a little extra time
Once you get in a habit every day, it becomes a second nature and makes everything so much easier at home.
Get yourself something that works for your family, whether you need a daily system like mine or decide to split the chores up with your husband, pick a system and stick with it!
You will see results in your home and end up having more time together as a family stress free.
Do you have a meal plan or cleaning system? I’d love to hear your schedule tips!
BEGIN A TRADITION
This could be as simple as a family movie night where you pop some popcorn and camp out in the living room or try your luck with game night! There’s so many different games to play, your bond to find a few the whole family will love.
Another good choice is pizza night, only get the kids involved and make one from scratch.
Not only are you beginning a tradition, your creating lasting memories! A tradition could be anything. Lets say, everyone could use some more fresh air, then go for an after dinner walk as a family. Maybe open a book and take turns reading stories together. This is a good one to use when you notice everyone is always on media devices, it opens up the door for more family communication.
The key is to keep it going either each week or couple times a month. The kids will start looking forward it and so will you! It is surprising how much we can learn from them!
Having a family tradition set in place really helps us stay in tune with each other, especially after a long week.
INVOLVE THE KIDS
I cant always play with my kids every second of the day, unfortunately that’s life. I would feel guilty having to tell my daughter “could you please go find something to play with while mommy cooks dinner”, or “please leave the kitchen, so I can sweep up real fast”. I came to realize that in her mind I’m ignoring her while she trying to talk or show me something interesting and would rather cook or clean. But that’s not the case at all! I love hearing what she has to say, I guess I took for granted these moments, just in order to get a few quick things finished. When on the contrary, why don’t I involve her more in what I’m doing?!
Young kids love to be around us! They crave that attention, and want to be apart of whats happening. You can easily sit them in front of the TV and have them watch their favorite show while you hurry to fold clothes, but why not ask them to help.
I do this now with everything!How I Made More Family Time in 5 Steps #involvethekids
You can create more time as a family just by involving them more. Both my kids love to help when I’m cooking. Make sure to give them age appropriate tasks and watch them glow.
When its time to switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer, my toddler loves when I hand him the clothes! He has such a blast putting them in the dryer and shutting the door for mommy. He even likes to pick up his toys, when we pretend it’s a game.
Not to mention the life skills, and values were teaching our kids as we involve them. Try it, you’ll see what I mean!
EAT MEALS TOGETHER
Growing up, my family all sat in front of the TV with our dinner trays out all ready and would eat silently watching a favorite program.
This became the norm, for my family especially in the beginning because that’s all we new how to do. It was too easy to turn on a show and slowly chew your food as you gaze at the screen.
As the days continued this way, I thought to myself what I am teaching my kids as they grow… Do I want them to learn table manners, respect, and open communication? The answer is yes I do!
I decided to change things up at home around meal time. I tend to put a lot of effort in preparing a nice meal for the family, and it just feels better to have it served family style where everyone gathers together and helps set the table. This really made a difference for my family.
This created more quality time just by eating meals together. The quintessential family dinner, is AMAZING! I started doing things this way, and never looked back.
We’re all able to talk openly together about our days, laugh over jokes and enjoy each others company while eating a great meal.
These days you have to also take into consideration the kind of presence to set. That is why we remember to keep the electronics off the table, hats off, toys or any other distraction away during this time. Really taking the time to eat together this way makes a huge difference.
Good luck with making more family time in your home! Its about creating those special memories each day, so slow down and enjoy them while you can and make the most of your time.