So you have the best of intentions when the day begins? You wake up. You do your daily journaling, devotion, and meditation. You make your coffee instead of heading to the local Starbucks. You set out your kids clothing and backpacks the night before. You even head out the door with a banana instead of skipping breakfast like you usually do. You are rocking it!
Then you happen to glance at your to-do list. You dump out all the items in your head onto paper or your phone. Your heart sinks as you recognize immediately that no amount of prioritization and decluttering can help you get all of this done. And it all HAS to get done. Cooking, paying bills, washing and drying laundry, grading papers, ordering uniforms, fundraising, lesson planning, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, birthday shopping…oh wait! I digress…
You know that family comes first. Your purpose is directly aligned to the people who live in the place you call home. You need to spend quality time with the people you love most. But how? When?
1. Eat Family Dinner
Put the phones down and sit down a few times a week for dinner together. Dinner does not have to be fancy. My family has eaten McDonalds at the table in the past. Mealtime allows for talk about the day, the week, high points, low points. It also give the family a way to enjoy all of the personalities at one place and one time.
2. Read books.
This especially works when the kids in the house are younger. Let your young ones bring you their favorite books, and read to the book to them one on one. This can also work with devotions for children at any age. Read the devotion, and follow-up short readings with a set of reflection questions.
3. Play games.
Find games that everyone in the family enjoys, or take turns letting the kids pick which game to play for the night. I can recount so much laughter that occurs around a game board. It brings out the kid in everyone who decides to enjoy the fun.
Recently, I have started using journals with all of my family members. For my children, the journals ask them to document one thing they learned that day, one thing they are grateful for, and one kind thing they did for someone else. Then, there is a bonus question daily which could ask them anything from who they would trade places with for a day to what bullying is. I also have a journal with daily reflections that I do alone or with my husband. Quality time requires just that – a few moments a day to reflect with people who mean the world to you.
5. Get outside.
The temperatures have finally started to warm up. Take full advantage of beautiful weather whenever possible. Ride bikes. Play basketball. Play baseball. Or, do any of the above mentioned quality time activities outside. Eat dinner outside. Play games outside. Read and journal outside. Fresh air and sunshine are the perfect ingredients for family time.
Quality time is so necessary in a social media, cell phone obsessed society. Nothing can substitute for face to face encounters with your spouse, children, other family, and friends. While you may not have hours a day, you do have chunks of minutes here and there. If you do not have them, you will need to make them.
When you create these moments consistently, you not only improve the quality of your time. You also improve the quality of your life.
What do you do to create quality time with your family?
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Need some more information on how to enjoy all the moments as a family? Here are some more of my favorites:
- Decluttering Your Schedule – Overcoming Overwhelmed
- How Working Moms Achieve Work-Life Balance
- Decluttering Your Life to Make Room for What Matters
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