Finding Time for Family When Life is Chaotic
The kids are back to school and I am certain just like my family things are still quite hectic. Trying to figure out when homework is due, trying to figure out who needs to be where and when. Trying to make time for yourself when you have work, school, kids and everything else going on can be difficult to say the least. Keeping up on everyone's schedule can be quite confusing for everyone. There are a few things that can help to make things go smoother during this time. I chose to purchase (years ago) a huge wall mounted dry erase calendar. This is a great item. The spaces are big enough to put multiple items in and then I use different colors for different people in the house. So that everyone can see what everyone is doing or where they are supposed to be. It is not a cure all because sometimes things get left off of the calendar or something new comes up on that day.
Things happen all the time. This is why I believe it is still very important to remember that kids need some type of structure. Something that is constant in their life; whether it is everyday or once a week. For our family it is the family dinner (now this is not possible every day of the week) but we definitely try to do it most days and especially on the weekends. Even if it is a quick dinner or if not everyone can be there we still try and meet for dinner and talk about our day.
One thing that I really enjoy about our family dinners is something that my kids started at a very young age. It has since evolved but the basics are truly great. We go around the table and there are four questions that are asked. "How was your day?" "What was the good part of your day?" "What was the bad part of your day?" and finally "What was the silly part of your day?". The answers vary but it is a great way to start dialogue with the family and to learn something about everyone. The kids love this time of the day where they get to share. They like it so much that when they are at other people's houses they ask if they can do it as well.
FAMILY GAME NIGHT
A second thing our family does is to have game/pizza night on Friday nights it is not always the same thing each week but we know that we will be together doing one thing or another. I try not to schedule things for Friday night as well so that we can all have something to look forward too. Finally Sunday is cleaning day, this might not seem like fun because really who wants to clean? But in all actuality we have made it fun. The kids get to turn on their music and each gets to pick what they want to do. This way we spend time together and the house gets semi cleaned, I have come to learn that there are more important things in life than an impeccable house and this leaves time in the afternoon for the family to go on a bike ride, to the park or for a walk.
A third thing we like to do is spend time together before bedtime. Even 30 minutes before everyone goes to bed spending time watching a movie or television show, reading or book or just talking is a great way to spend time together.
When life is chaotic it is always good to have a few things going on that are constant and dependable.