How do you fit quality family time into a crazy schedule? You adore your children and want to spend more time with your family. Are there easy ways to squeeze more meaningful moments into your day?
You are busy. I know. Me too.
We sacrifice quality family time as we work to provide a nurturing environment for our families, trying to make ends meet.
But could it be that in all our striving, we are actually missing the potentially nurturing moments available in each day? Are we giving up precious family time with our children as we clean, sort, type, call, and drive?
Call me sappy – or maybe I have just realized how short life is during our season of tremendous loss – but lately I have placed less emphasis on striving and more on reflection.
The results? I’m noticing how tall my children are growing, which leaves me with some painful regrets.
Please understand… I am not the kind of person to wallow over missed opportunities. I simply refuse to allow Satan to poison my mind with Mommy Guilt.
But, I am a realist. I know the days that I have all my children at home are quickly coming to an end.
Consider the future
So, ponder the future with me. Imagine yourself in a time where your children have grown into respectable adults raising families of their own. Imagine the all the time that has passed from your children’s lives that you will never have a chance to revisit.
How does your future self feel?
Do you have regrets of NOT creating memories with children?
Is it painful as your future self to realize there is nothing you can do to change the past?
But don’t wallow in self-pity there. Snap out of it! We still have lots of time left.
We don’t need to make our future selves miserable with regret. We can change the future beginning today by spending more quality time with family.
How to Squeeze Quality Family Time into Life
If you don’t think you have enough family time, remember that creating time is a choice.
I encourage you to choose wisely by following these six tips:
1. Discover the power of 15 minutes.
Can you find at least 15 minutes in your day to spend with your family?
So shake the belief that family time should be defined by trips and thrills. The best family time ideas involve cuddle time, reading books together, spending time looking into their eyes as they speak, cooking a meal together, or sharing conversation at the dinner table.
Just 15 minutes with your family each day where you are fully present can add up into significant memories.
2. Have a weekly family night.
Create a time block on the calendar each week for a family night.
You could stay in and have a movie night or mix things up.
Take turns deciding what you will do for family night. This week you might pick dinner out. Next week your son might choose to film a family video or your daughter will want to have a family game night.
And, most importantly, make family night sacred. This is quality family time to be together, enjoying one another.
3. Plan a monthly “do nothing” day.
Sometimes, your calendar will run away with you and one month blends straight into another.
Take control of your day planner by setting aside one day a month where you do no work. You don’t think about work, talk about work, or do work – no cell phone, email, or paperwork – nothing work related.
That entire day is for spending time with your family. You don’t have to do anything special, just be together, rest, and experience being together.
4. Have a Love Feast.
At dinner time, or any together time, share things you appreciate about each family member.
Tell the others what you appreciate. Be focused on what is working and what is good about each person. Point out their unique talents and abilities. Share how much you appreciate them and how joyful you are for who they are.
This is a great way to feel connected, appreciated, and to amp up family unity while building your child’s self esteem.
5. Date your children one-on-one.
Plan a date night with your kids. Do something they enjoy or just get lunch together.
Focus and really tune in deeply to what your child says. Listen with your heart and keep your phone in your car.
6. Intentionally smile at your children.
Recently, I was listening to my youngest tell a story from her day when I felt the tension in my forehead. She was looking anxiously from me to the wall as she tried to share something funny. But I was scowling at her!
I gave myself a little shake and forced myself to smile.
Two amazing things happened: 1) I felt myself relax, and 2) She smiled back.
What a difference a smile can make!
Now I try to give my children one EXTRA smile a day.
7. Make family time a priority.
If it were your last day on earth, what would you do? I would want to be with my loved ones.
Be intentional about planning and maximizing time with your family.
The memories you create with your family will be moments your children carry through life. Those meaningful exchanges, quick lunches, and date nights will be a foundation for how they remember you and how they treat their own children.
How do you make room for quality family time?
Is there a hack or way you keep time with your children as a priority? What is your favorite way to create family time? Leave me a comment! I truly want to know.