Spending more time with family is consistently one of the top answers given by parents when asked what matters most in life. We can all agree that it is important, but how do we get there? What prevents you from spending time with your family in a meaningful way?
What doesn’t prevent you from spending more time (let alone quality time) with your family? could be a better question to ask. The time factor is one of many. The time when we are awake and our children are awake might pass very quickly. Include our time at work as well as all the daily responsibilities like cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, driving, and schoolwork. Yet none of us probably want to spend our “quality” time doing those things with our children in tow! The second obstacle to spending meaningful time with someone is energy when considering all the things that take up time (or really, the lack of energy). The finest intentions for spending quality time are defeated by tiredness when parents are dealing with a combination of poor sleep, stress, worry, and continual busyness.
There are further factors. Many of us manage side businesses in addition to our full-time jobs, care for parents, and have health issues. The list might continue forever. But, the truth is that no matter what else is going on, we need and want that time with our family. In order to avoid burnout, women have to traverse a new reality brought on by the pandemic years, according to Heather Odendaal, the executive director of the WNORTH organization that unifies female executives in business. So let’s start looking for answers. But a warning must accompany any solution. You are quite active. You really don’t need any further guilt. Seek for potential solutions or aid. Anything that can encourage guilt to consume your mind and emotions should be ignored. Please remember that just taking the time to read these suggestions is a positive step.
The nine suggestions for increasing family time are listed below.
1. Decide that Quality Time Is Going to Happen
The intention to spend more time with your family is the best place to start in this situation because intention can be very potent. An “I want” becomes a “I will” when it is motivated by intention. You don’t have to know exactly how you’re going to make it happen or even have all the answers. Start by making the decision that it will occur. “I’ll spend more time with my family in a meaningful way.”
Naturally, you must also take action to make it happen. But once you have a specific aim in mind, you can assess everything in relation to that intention. Will I be able to spend meaningful time with my family as a result of this? If the response is no, seek for other options that will achieve your goals.
2. Ditch the Fluff
Sometimes, we get so accustomed to doing things a certain way that we are unaware of the extra time and effort we are investing in them. This is the unnecessary waste of life that prevents us from investing in our families and ourselves. There is a proverbial story about a mother who always prepared the roast in a particular way. She responded, “That’s how my mum always did it,” when asked why. The issue dates back to an earlier generation. And the response? “I could only fit it that way in my roasting pan.” Are there any habits you have that aren’t helping you?
3. Create New, Easier Ways of Doing Things
The ability to somehow make things work when the odds are overwhelmingly against us is a talent shared by practically all mothers. Use this talent to spot the nonsense in your calendar and adjust or remove it. Go for it when you see something that is simpler, saves time, or both. Perhaps we’ll even make it such that the younger generation enjoys spending less time and effort on the little matters of life because that’s what they observed from their parents.
4. Monkeys and Circuses
The phrase “Not my monkeys, not my circus” has you wondering. The concept is that we shouldn’t be held accountable for something that isn’t under our control. That isn’t to suggest that everyone is wasting their time and effort by entering into conflicts we could easily resolve by walking away, but we have all done that.
It’s more about the mental and emotional energy we devote to issues and causes that we can’t actually change or that we don’t currently have the means to address. This can apply to anything, including family drama, social media, and the news. We simply lack the time to participate in everything that is wrong with the world. Yet for many people who have strong feelings for everyone, being exposed to crises and tragedies outside of our immediate obligations might drain what little energy we still have. You might want to revisit that goal and concentrate on the main goal you set for your life: spending more time with your family. Remove yourself from any text threads or news cycles that you don’t need to be a part of. Leave those monkeys in charge of someone else!
5. In Search of Easy Family Moments
An adventurous journey to a cottage in the woods where you’ll spend a week playing board games and climbing trees is not necessary to spend meaningful time together. (It may be fantastic for some people. Yet, several people simply felt their blood start to race in fear at the concept.) Seek for activities that are simple to carry out and maintain. There are no absolute standards for what constitutes excellent time. Every person, child, family, and circumstance is a little bit unique from the rest, so it’s okay if you design family traditions that suit your needs.
6. Use Your Phone
It’s true that a lot of articles advise switching off your phone when spending time with others. This does not always have to be the appropriate thing to do! Every day, sit down with your teen and work through the Wordle together. With your preteen, watch videos of amusing animals. Create a family Pinterest board where you may pin entertaining suggestions.
7. Choose Your Time
It could take some trial and error to determine the ideal periods for family time. It strikes a balance between your best interests and those of your family as a whole. Perhaps you shouldn’t try to prepare dinner as a family if your child suffers major meltdowns between the hours of 4 and 5 every day. (And if you occasionally experience big meltdowns, allow yourself the breathing room you require to get through!)
8. Be Gentle
Everyone would prefer not to add to the list of things we “should” accomplish each day by making them become a burdensome duty. Don’t let someone should on you, a wise woman once advised. And that includes you!
It’s okay if today’s family time just isn’t going to work. Tomorrow, try once more. Give yourself permission to try something else at a different time if it’s still not working. While developing routines and rituals has merit, there is also much to be said for being kind to your family and yourself.
9. Watch Out for the Suppertime Monster
For some mothers, this is a major source of guilt. Many publications stress the significance of having dinner together as a family, as if doing otherwise will ruin your relationships. Yet, eating dinner together as a family could be an unfair expectation if you have unconventional work patterns or your children are involved in almost any activities.
Instead, you could have breakfast together, take the kids out of school for a family meal together, or go out for ice cream every Sunday afternoon.