After working all day, packing lunches, getting dinner ready, and checking homework, the last thing on our minds is the dusty living room mantel or that the kitchen floor that desperately needs to be mopped. These things are always the last things on my mind! Constantly running from one sports practice to a birthday party here and an after-school program to a scouts meeting there, life as a mother is a life constantly on the go. Spending valuable time as a family is important and here are some easy ways to maximize your family time together.
Chores can easily fall behind. Do the chores together! As a family, designate an hour or two of time together where you can dust, mop, weed, and wash, each member taking on their own personal vital role in getting everything done. You can make it into a game, or turn on good music and dance while getting it done. This will teach the children the value of taking care of their fair share of household duties as well as lessening the load of the parents. For some, (definitely me!) chores are a bore, but they need to get done regardless, right? Working together can turn a drag into a delight!
During the work week, life can be an unvarying green light, but there are ways to take advantage of this. Use car rides as a way to turn off the radio and talk with your children. Ask them about their day at school: Who did they sit with at lunch or how did their history test go? Use this as time to discuss family weekend plans or future family vacations. Or even get to know them better: what great books have they read lately or TV shows that interest them.
If you find some free time in your evening schedule, spend time watching your child’s favorite TV show alongside them, or help them study, or act as a live audience while they practice their musical instruments. Once you begin dinner invite them into the kitchen to help you prepare that evenings meal. While it’s cooking, pack the next day’s lunch together. This will save you time in the morning and teach the children some great cooking skills early on! These small moments of a quality time can mean a lot to your children.
Give yourself more time. This means don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today. Cook a larger dinner if possible so that leftovers can be served the next night and you’ll have more time the following the day. Create a structured environment at home: specific place for schoolbags and sneakers or toys and books for your children to place their things. This will help eliminate clutter and save you and your child more clean up time in the end. Invest in a crock-pot. Throw ingredients in earlier in the day and dinner will be prepared right on time!
Moving forward, being a busy mother doesn't always mean that you are never around or too exhausted to be mentally present. Above are all easy and minimal tips to help make best use of your time together as a family.
What are some ways you try to maximize family time together throughout your weeks?