Do you ever feel like your family is all going off in different directions all at the same time?! That you’re spending more time in your car than at home these days?
(If your children are still in the preschool years, enjoy them, for they are the easy years!!! That’s right! Your kids are still on YOUR schedule. You may have to pause for a feeding, a messy diaper or work in a nap here and there, but they are portable and pretty much flexible. Treasure all this time you have with them and just make a small mental note of these ideas for the future.)
It’s when your children go off to school and begin to develop their own social calendars that life gets interesting, especially if both parents are working and there are music lessons, soccer practices, ballet recitals, gymnastics, swimming lessons, all those birthday parties, etc, etc, etc.
Come on, Moms. Admit it. There have been those times when you just want to scream, “Stop the world! We need to get off for just a bit!”
The first thing we did was made family dinners sacred! When life first started getting hectic, I insisted upon us having dinners together whenever possible. You had to have a really good excuse to miss one! Dinner-time was when we all came together and shared our day. We were all getting ready at different times in the morning and gone all day with homework to do in the evenings, so dinner for the most part was the only time we could come together and share, vent, and be affirmed by those we loved most; basically we got our tanks filled up to get ready to go out into the world again the next day.
Quick note: As the kids grew into their teens there were often weeks when family dinners got to be just once during the weeknights, but we kept them sacred, in that nothing could come between them!! All of us did our best to be there, and all of us felt it was vital during those days!!
The second thing we did was called :The Unofficial (your family’s name) Holiday. It all began one night when we all came to the table and every one of us was absolutely SPENT! Each of us had had a day that nothing seemed to go right, and no one had anything left to lift up another at the table. It was that night that we came up with a new holiday we called: The Unofficial (YOUR family’s name) Holiday!
I called the kids’ schools in the morning and told them the kids wouldn’t be coming to school that day. (I never told them why 🙂 My husband took a sick day, which he NEVER did! We turned off the kids’ alarm clocks and let them sleep in a bit. We kept the blinds shut all morning, stayed in our p.js, made hot chocolate and pancakes, played board games, popped popcorn, watched old home movies, and had the BEST DAY TOGETHER!! 🙂
By that evening, when it was time to gather for dinner once more, we all felt as if we were ready to take on the world again in the morning!
We had such a great day together that we decided to make it a yearly tradition. Whenever the need would arise, we’d call another unofficial family holiday. Each year we spent them in different ways, but they were always the most memorable days. I’m not sure if it was because we were getting away with something we weren’t supposed to be or if it was just treasuring our time together or BOTH, but God blessed those days and dinners, and I highly recommend your family try them should you find yourselves in a busy season of life.
‘Til next time,