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The modern family, it's time to unplug and enjoy each other.

Updated on January 15, 2014

A robot family is not fun!


Are you an automaton?

Ask yourself if this sounds like your life;

wake up, grab a cup of coffee, head to a mediocre job-check email, phone messages, finances and entertain ourselves with other various electronics, work, rush home, handle kids, dinner, groceries, cleaning, laundry, tackle household maintenance, shower, sleep...

Rinse. Flush. Repeat.

Technology was designed to make our lives easier, but in many ways, it's distracting us from good old socializing and bonding with friends and family.

Sometimes life's responsibilities get in the way of remembering how nice life can be. Or how grateful we should be, even if we have nothing more than to be able to take a deep breath.

We were not designed to feel or function like automatons or robots.

Here are some things you can do daily to put a little more joy in your life, some pep in your step, and a grin above your chin.

All it takes is a little awareness of your current routines and making some time daily to "unplug" from electronics and focus on your family.

Pick your battles

If you're OCD this is going to be a hard one for you. A year and a half into my new marriage I was thrust into full time parenting of a 5 year old boy. That was a huge change for me. I was used to my life, my things, my schedules. I ate when I wanted, and I did what I wanted, when I wanted. My husband and I previously had his kids every other weekend, so we always had a lot of time together. Full time step-parenting was a HUGE wake up call, and flipped my world upside down. My house had previously been clean and organized. Suddenly I was confronted with a little person that left a trail of mess wherever he went. Everything changed. A new personality was in the middle of everything I thought I had going on. Don't get me wrong, he is a blessing, but it was still a total shock to the life I once knew.

I stressed out for about 12 months before finally telling myself, this is just not worth it.

Pick your battles! Laundry and dishes can wait a day. You don't have to do everything at once, exhausting yourself and losing valuable time with your family will not make those chores go away.

So stop freaking out over these things. It will be there regardless, well...unless you are lucky enough to have a personal maid, shopper, gardener, etc...which I am not.


Limit electronic use

In our current world, we are constantly plugged in. Cell phones, texting, laptops, gaming consoles, and tablets. Limit time with these things.

When you get home to your family after a long days work, put these items down. Limit use to a few hours a day. Go ride bikes together, take hikes, watch family movies, cook together build memories! Unless it's a pressing work issue, you CAN afford to put the electronics away for a few hours of quality time.

Eat together!


The long lost art of a a sit down family meal

Schedules are crazy these days. Most households have two working adults to make ends meet. Make a point to have at least 1 sit down meal together a day, if it can't be breakfast or lunch, MAKE it happen for dinner. It really doesn't matter if you are even eating Hot Pockets or TV dinners. Having a meal together is a long lost practice and it builds time communicating and discussing everyone's day.

I am on 1st shift and my husband is on 3rd, it's difficult, but we MAKE it happen. Add in a busy 7 year old and most of the time we are exhausted, but it's one of the few times a day that we all get to share with each other. It also teaches kids proper table manners, and gives them a sense of family importance by setting or clearing the table, or helping to cook.

Build memories!

Play and plan a vacation!

Most people make excuses when it comes to planning a family vacation. I don't have the time. I don't have the money. It's to far away.

A vacation does not have to be rich and extravagant. It can be as simple as having a camp out in your backyard, catching firefly's, having a bonfire or stargazing. Most USA locations have great local campsites that you can quickly get away to for a short family vacation. The key here again is, building memories with the ones you love. Memories last a lifetime, most other daily grind activities do not!

Plan a staycation, a quick weekend get-a-way to a local hotel, water-park, or amusement park.

And if you have the money...take a real trip. Fly in a plane! Get out of town! You deserve it. Statistics show that employees are twice as productive 2 weeks before a vacation, and 2 weeks upon returning from one. We need to recharge our batteries and get off the hamster wheel of the daily grind.

The key to vacationing is start a plan! You are more likely to set time aside for traveling if you start planning it. Don't just talk about it. Plan it and do it!


Exercise together

It's a proven fact that that exercise improves health and reduces stress. It also elevates the mood, and increases self-esteem. For kids it helps them perform better in school,, learn how to win and how to lose, stay away from drugs, work with a team and follow-through on commitments.

You don't have to join a gym to make this happen. Set aside 1-2 nights a week to take a brisk walk together, ride bikes, even pop in an exercise tape. Cardio, Pilates, Yoga and Thai Chi are great for these, and you can do them in the privacy of your own home, or usually find a local community center or church to take classes really cheaply.

Date night!

Date night, VERY important

Just like a vacation, marriages need tender loving care and nourishment. Adults need time away from their children to focus on their marriage, friendship, and discuss life goals. And lets face it, when you have children in the home, wild spontaneous sex falls to the wayside. If you are not having sex in your marriage, then you and your spouse are friends, and that is a problem. I think it's safe to assume you did not get married to have a friend. You have friends. You need your lover, companion and best friend all to yourself sometimes. This is not selfish, this is healthy.

Invest in your marriage by planning a date night. Even if all you can do is go on a picnic or out to dinner, see a movie 1-2 times a month. don't have to spend money to get quality time in with your spouse. But you should focus solely on your spouse when you have a date night, rekindle the sparks that the every day grind puts a halt on. Remind yourself of why you married the person to being with. Get dressed up, wear that expensive perfume you have sitting in the cabinet, even if your kids are going to a sitter and you're on the sofa watching a movie together.

Ask yourself this...

Do you want to look back on your life and find that it's filled with loneliness and regret? Or coulda, woulda, shouldas? Probably not.


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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      Excellent suggestions for making life enjoyable for families. It is a blessing to have one that cares for each other and values time together. Although it's just me and my hubby, we do have a regular date night every week. It keeps life interesting and fun. Voted up!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Family life is so important, sometimes one realizes it when it is to late mostly when tragedy strikes well-pointed out in your hub.

    • travmaj profile image


      5 years ago from australia

      You make some very valid points - it's so easy for time to pass and then think back on what might have been. Clearly, you have impressed with some good feed back to make every day life meaningful.

      My family are grown but in the next generation I see no evidence of a family around a table having a meal, something I insist upon. To me it is an important time. Your views re exercise - vacation -not stressing re chores are all excellent - thank you.

    • matt_elmore profile image


      5 years ago from San Diego

      This has been in the back of my mind for a long time. Thank you for voicing it. It's easy to get caught up in the information age, especially with all these gadgets at our disposal. Thanks for the read.


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