The New Year is just around the corner and with that comes the inevitable… the much-dreaded resolutions. You know… those ridiculous confines we put on ourselves to improve said life. Often times somewhere on those resolution lists it will read “Spend more time with family.” I have to admit, it is on my list, but when I hear “resolution for the New Year” I think of my shortcomings from the past year and really that is no motivation at all. I can’t be the only one out there, right? So, instead of a resolution, I have a challenge for you and myself. Challenge: Spend more time with family. I have a game plan and this game plan is DYNO-MITE! It includes guidelines, listed below. It is a three hundred and sixty-five-day plan, broken down into months, which are broken down into weeks, which are then broken down into days; oh, wait this is just my fancy way of saying take it day by day. So read on and customize your game plan for conquering your challenge!
1. Organized Flexibility
Meet my friend and soon to be a good friend Organization. Organization should be everyone’s friend. What does this have to do with spending more time with family? Well, I am glad you asked. When you are organized you can function better; leading to more time to free up and spend with your family. Have a family “to do” list for example. Have tasks divided up into tasks you (as a mom or dad) can delegate or do together as a family. Children are great at helping their parents! Even toddlers will put items away in a basket if you ask them to. For older children have a little competitive spirit and see who can do the task most accurately and quickly. Where does the flexibility come into play? As a parent who woke up at 4:30 in the morning to go to the gym, come home to get yourself and three children ready for work and school, get everyone to the correct sporting event for the evening, only after cooking dinner, and insuring that homework was complete and everyone is clean… issues will arise with your friend Organization. You are going to have to be flexible and realize that though you tried to be organized it wasn’t an A+ day for that. So be flexible! It is not a “Mom Fail.”
2. Mom Fail
As parents, we cut ourselves and our children short when we think or say, that is a “Mom Fail.” Sure your child went to bed an hour later than normal because you burned the macaroni and had to start the whole cooking thing over again. Or you forgot that Pajama Day was today at school. There are going to be days like this, but I bet you did remember to hug your child before they went to bed… Mom Score! Again what does this have to do with more time? When your lookout on parenting is positive you will be motivated and you will find those precious moments to spend with your kiddos! Ten years from now, they won’t remember you burning mac and cheese, but they probably will remember the first time they got to pour the milk into the mac and cheese and stir.
3. Make Time
I am blessed to work with many families who have a game night, movie night, or a fun night at least once a week and they are making memories. These parents are no different than the rest of us with one exception… they chose to make time. Put it on your calendar and make it a priority that is as important as that 10:00 am meeting in the morning!
4. Technology Free Day
I know… it is scary. Now, this one I have done myself and continue to do… most of the time. On Sundays, I do not use any electronic forms of communication… scary at first? Yes, feeling good and rested by Monday morning with continent children because you focused solely on your family… a much more rewarding, Yes! So this throwback tech-free Sunday has inspired my children and family to play board games, cook as a family, go outdoors as a family, and one time work in the yard as a family! Mom score!
As parents we have an intuition or that “gut feeling” when it involves our children; it hardly ever is wrong; follow that. Some of the great business people of the world oftentimes say I just followed my gut or my intuition was telling me… we have to do this as parents. Make your family a priority. If your intuition is telling you that your child is overwhelmed in gymnastics, basketball, art club, and underwater basket weaving, for their weekly activities, you are right and time spent one on one is probably what they need from you!
I hope this simple game plan guide will encourage all parents to spend more time with their families!