Hello! Today I have a special guest post for you from Megan all about the quality of our family time. Megan is a mom who blogs about where mom life meets personal identity, real mom life made fun! You can find more from Megan over on her blog, Megan’s Life with Littles.
5 Ways to Completely Change the Quality of your Family Time
Have you ever looked forward to a specific day so much, because you know that you have awesome family time planned? You tell yourself that the trip planned to the zoo, or to the amusement park, a state park etc… is going to be amazing. Amazing. Awesome. Astounding, you name it. You have painted this whole picture in your head of how cool this day is going to be. An all around epic win for the whole family! The kids are going to have so much fun. Your spouse is going to be so proud that you put this perfect day together with no glitches. They might actually have fun too. The weather is going to be great, you have lunches packed, you have everything you need for this day to be fun.
And then it happens. You take this pristine painted picture of this day, and you start to worry about it!! As a mother of small children, you know it has strong potential to turn into a disaster. You try so hard to quiet that pesky voice in your head. You start to have mom guilt for thinking this way. Being a mother is tough because you know the reality of how your kids are. You know that if they don’t get exactly the right amount of sleep, food, and structure they might be challenging to handle during an outing. Then it’s the snowball effect from there! Sibling 1 feeds off of sibling 2. Then mom goes from Mary Poppins to a scene from Jurassic Park. Then the husband gets mad simply because mom is mad. Ah, yes, now that’s the familiar day we know!
How Do You Get Past all That and Create Quality Family Time? Here is A Countdown:
The very best thing you can do is to plan for your outing, even if its just a quick afternoon at a local park. The last thing you want to do the morning of is to be running around for the kids’ socks and shoes, packing lunches, packing the diaper bag, and losing your mind. All that does is create more stress for mom and put you on edge before you even get in the car.
Plan out what you need at the grocery store for that day. Have the address of where you are going ready to go on your GPS. Plan what you and the kids are going to wear according to the weather. (Pack back-up outfits). Planning ahead alleviates some chaos in the house the day of your outing.
This goes hand in hand with planning. What is the difference? Planning is planning out what all you need for the day. Preparing is implementing it. Do yourself a favor and become an organized person, if you aren’t already! This will relieve so much pressure for yourself. Pack the food the night before, lay out everyone’s outfits, have the cooler sitting by the door, have a bag of ice for the cooler on hand, and gas in the car.
Ah, breath of fresh air that all you have to do in the morning, is get everyone dressed and fed. This will create such great family time for all of you because you are much more relaxed!
3. Let Go of Control
Most of us moms know our kids inside and out, and it’s our instinct to control situations so that the kids are the most comfortable. Good job mama, that is a great quality to have. On the flip side, we need to curb that on family days. My husband is constantly telling me to stop over-analyzing everything and relax. I always think its a bad time to go to the park, or a bad time to go to a restaurant because our toddler isn’t in a good mood. He always tells me to relax and it will be fine. Boy is he right! It is always fine! It’s me that is infringing on the quality of our family time, because our toddler usually ends up being ok. So, lesson learned for me. Let go of controlling everything, go with the flow, and have fun during your family time!
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2. Laugh it Off
This goes hand in hand with letting go of control. There are definitely times when you try to go to do something fun as a family, and the kids are just not having it! Instead of feeling upset that its not the kind of family time you had painted in your mind, embrace it. There are times my husband and I just bust out laughing because the situation is so ridiculous. Have fun with the trying times too!
1. Deeply Engage Yourself
This is the number 1 important aspect to completely change the quality of family time that you have. When you are together as a family, make a strong effort to deeply engage yourself. Activate all of your senses. Take note of the smell of the fresh air blowing through the air. Smell the popcorn at the amusement park, or smell the kettle-corn at the country fair. Share these thoughts with your family too. It’s great quality conversation.
Share with the kids how it feels when the breeze washes off of the lake and onto their soft face. Ask your husband if he knows how to skip a rock and if he can show you. These moments are priceless and you can treasure them forever.
These moments strengthen your family. Keep building on these experiences and create quality family time. If you keep implementing these steps, your family time will unquestionably be of quality.
Hi, I’m Jessica! I am wife to Chris, and mom to Kaiper, Alana and Koa. I am a graphic designer, website developer and aspiring author. In this space, I share about everything from parenting, working from home, food we cook, and lots of things for kids! Learn more about me here.