Well, we have been in school for 2 full weeks now. I can’t help but sit back and think how fast it already has gone by!
We are into our school routine. Everyone knows what to expect for the week. We haven’t had much for morning drama. We survived one of the kids’ picture days…
I feel like, now I have time to stop and think about our family and what I want to make sure to add into our routine now that we have the basics established.
I have been reading up on different ways we can spend time together as a family. It seems like such an obvious thing. But, yet here I am wondering how we can squeeze in a little more time when we already have such a busy schedule.
There have been some great ideas and some nice reminders for me. I would like to share them with you in hopes that you may find these to be something you could do with your family as well!
10 Ways to Sneak in More Family Time
- Eat dinner together: This is a great one! Nothing beats sitting down and spending time over a meal. It’s a great opportunity to talk and open up with each other. Unfortunately, this one can be tricky for families with busy schedules. If you can’t do it every night, try to at least pick one night a week devoted to family dinner. Turn the TV off, put phones and devices in the other room and focus on each other. Need some new recipes to make family dinner night special? Don’t worry–“I got you boo!” I post a new recipe every Tasty Tuesday: Recipes
- Exercise together: Family exercise is not only good for you physically but, emotionally as well. You can take classes together at the gym. Or, do something simpler like take a trip to the park and kick a ball around together. Just get active. My family enjoys hiking. You’ll see several posts about our hiking trips here: Hiking
- Family movie night: This is something the kids and I do every Friday night. We love to pick a movie, pop some popcorn and snuggle on the couch with a movie. It’s a great start to the weekend for us and something we look forward to all week!
- Family game night: Another fun way to spend time with your family is with a family game night. Sometimes, we combine this with our family movie night. I actually wrote a whole blog post about family game night. You can read it here: Benefits of Family Game Night
- After dinner walks: This is one I would LOVE to start implementing for our family. We have several parks nearby and making a habit of taking a family walk to the park would be so nice. I know our little Lexi would enjoy it too!
- Leave notes: Sometimes it’s the little gestures that mean the most. I know finding little notes from my kids always put a smile on my face. I try to make it a habit of putting a simple “love note” in my sons lunch box every morning. You can read more about that here: How a Lunchbox Changed My Day: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness. This year, I was so excited to find actual “lunchbox notes” at the store. All I would have to do is stick it in his lunch box! Well, 2 days of that and my son told me, “mom I really like the notes you write for me better. They are more special.” Awe. I guess he really DOES appreciate them!
- Read together: My family reads A LOT! As a former librarian, I appreciate the importance of having books be a big part of our life. We enjoy reading together, to each other or separately but in the same room together. Phones off, tv off. Distractions away and just enjoying some quiet time together.
- Worship together: Our faith is the foundation of our family. We spend Sunday’s going to church as a family. The kids and I also do a family devotion together in the mornings before school. It helps us start the day off positive and ready to tackle another day.
- Serve others together: I think it’s important to serve as a family. It doesn’t have to be part of a church group to serve either. We DO help serve in our church. But, also, we serve the homeless by handing out Blessing Bags. You can read more about that here: Joe: How a Homeless Man Changed My Life. We also like to serve our community by volunteering for various environmental projects. We have helped with a group called 808 Cleanups here on Oahu as well as Sustainable Coastlines where we help keep our island clean. Serving together as a family gives you something to be proud of and you gain that sense of accomplishment by working as a team.
- Spend time alone: I like to do “mommy dates” with each of my kids. This is where we spend a little time alone just the two of us (while daddy watches the other kid or they are in school/playdate etc.) Sometimes, we go bowling, a movie, park…anything they choose. During this time, we get to talk just us with no other family members fighting for attention. These are my favorite days of the month. It’s something I’ve done since my little guy was a toddler!
Life can get busy.
Especially now that the school year has begun. Time seems to just slip by and before we know it…we haven’t seen each other all week!
It’s important not to forget how vital it is to prioritize time together as a family. Not only does this build a stronger relationship with each other, but it gives plenty of opportunity for open communication and simply sharing life together.
I hope you find at least a few items on this list that you can do with your family. Family is such a blessing. It’s up to us as the parents to create the family atmosphere we want to have with our kids. I have found I had to say “no” to certain extra-curricular activities because I just don’t want them taking the place of our time together.
When I look back some day, I don’t want to remember being too busy. I want to remember those family game nights we had. I don’t want to think of all of the rushed meals but rather the meal we took the time to share as a family.
Nothing says “I love you” more than devoting time for one another!
Show some love this week and set aside some family time! You won’t regret it!
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