How to have more Family Time

Dear Friend,

I want time with my kids, I want to: play with, teach, cuddle, laugh, love, treasure and generally just be in the moment with them. But we have very little pure family time and most of it during the week occurs at the end of the day when we are all tired and often less patient. If I work late I get around 1 hour with my boys and that involves eating dinner, getting showered and going to bed, hardly quality time! It feels like there is more and more pressure being placed on our family time, especially as the boys are growing up.

Pressure on Family time is caused by
  • Work: getting the balance between work and home right is very difficult!
  • House work: There is always something to do!
  • Out of school activities: Getting children to DJ lessons, football practice etc.
  • Homework: Children appear to be getting more and more homework. 
  • Social time: Birthday's, drinks after work, meeting a friend etc all takes time. 
  • Appointments: therapy for the big lad, hospital visits, dentist, hairdressers etc




How to have more quality family time
  • Days out: I love family day trips, they are a great way of spending quality time together but they can be pricey. We keep an eye out for vouchers and always check the internet for special reductions before we book. Family passes can also be great value for money e.g. a museum pass, or yearly pass to an indoor playground you visit regularly. 
  • Active time: Going out on bike rides, walking, Swimming, playing in the park, playing football, an afternoon in the forest, walking on the beach etc having a dog has made us a more active family too.
  • Eat together: We eat 99% of our evening meals all together at the dining table. It is a great time to chat and catch up with each other especially on a day that I work.
  • Play games together: because the big man can not engage in imaginary or creative plan we invested in board games and regularly grab one to play after dinner.
  • Cook dinner or bake together: If your kids are older you can get them involved in baking and making the dinner too. 
  • Family agenda: I have moved on to an electronic diary and have synced my calendar with hubby's so we can see all the planned appointments, events etc When your children are older you can include their agenda's and then plan in family time for everyone
  • Read/study together: there is something really special about the closeness of sharing a book and engaging in the magic of a good story together. I often work alongside the big lad. I can then help without it feeling like I am interfering.
  • Take away the screens: we have a screen free time every day after dinner but this is definitely a challenge for us with two computer mad boys.
  • Build in quality time: Be there for them only no distractions for at least 1/2 an hour a day. Timetable this out and don't get distracted by household tasks, telephones etc this is 100% their time to do what they want with you. 
  • Family fun night: make one night a week your family fun night.
  • Create traditions: the first night of a holiday is always family time and we always have a gourmet together (cooking at the table on a hot plate)


How much real family time do you get each week? Do you think it is important?


This is a revised post.

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