In this house, we have five people with five different schedules. Sometimes those schedules overlap and sometimes they don’t. We’ve got three extroverts, one lingering right between extrovert and introvert, and one introvert. So many preferences and personalities happen when five people live together. Add in appointments and activities, and finding family time can be difficult. Plus for the past five weeks, my mother-in-law has been staying with us while she works through some health troubles.
We believe making time for each other, especially during busy times, is important. Here are four ways to bring your loved ones closer during hectic days.
Have regular family dinners
This is one of our favorite ways to spend time together. I’d prefer every night to be a home-cooked meal that my oldest daughter or husband helps prepare. But that just isn’t our reality right now. Our dinner together might be chicken nuggets in the air fryer, a Red Baron pizza heated in the oven, or a drive-thru meal during soccer practice. We had an omelet bar last night for dinner, which meant everybody got what they wanted in their eggs and us parents got to cook together. Perhaps I’ll try this crispy baked pulled pork recipe soon.
I’ve had to reshape my views of family dinner, but it remains one of my favorite ways to connect with my people. In fact, I wrote a whole book about how gathering and nourishing loved ones change lives. I’m thankful that happens here in our home – or on the go together – most every night.
Play family games together
Games are a great way to have fun and bond with your loved ones. Truly, there are so many good games out there – card games, board games, and video games. We like to take turns picking which game we’ll play because everybody has different favorites. We don’t do many video games, but we do like the original Wii for Wii Sports and Wheel of Fortune! Game Nights foster opportunities for inside jokes, healthy competition, and connections that go beyond the score. (Here are some of our favorites!)
Stay involved in your kids’ activities
One way to spend time with your kids and show them that you care is by getting involved in their activities. Our kids’ soccer and basketball games are family events. It takes special circumstances for one of my kids to miss their siblings’ event. It’s just not an option because we value doing things together as a family. Of course, now that our kids are getting older, they have some of their own commitments that sometimes cause scheduling conflicts.
Getting involved in your child’s hobbies and interests is a great way to connect with them and support them at the same time. The times are one way we spend family time together, but they also help foster community outside the home with other families who enjoy some of the same activities.
Make time for yourself
Being able to work part-time from home allows me to have some time for myself to regroup and be ready for our busy evenings. I’m thankful for that kind of balance in my life. I know if I’m constantly running around trying to take care of everyone else, I will get burnt out eventually. I make sure to schedule regular preventative medical appointments, see a counselor when I need to process the chaos of life, and treat myself to massages. I also enjoy lunches and walks with friends. And y’all know I like to read.
Yes, we live a busy life. Yes, I sometimes wish it would slow down. But I also want to make the most of the season we’re in – right here, right now with my people.