People tell me they ‘don’t have time“ to spend one on one with their family.By this I mean just your immediate family unit – mum, dad and kids – or however your family unit looks to you. No interruptions, no visitors, no birthday parties, no sports, no one else – just time alone with the members of your family, connecting and having fun together.Then there is of course that other small matter of having time ….alone….with your respective partner. I don’t mean the time you went to a wedding or your best friend’s birthday drinks without your children.I mean – alone – just the two of you, to remember what it was that you initially even liked about each other in that life you once shared, before having children.Life these days is so damn busy with all of the other things we are expected to fit in- extended family, friends, and extra-curricular activities such as sports or dancing, play dates, shopping, cleaning…need I continue? Some days it feels as though it just never ends!I want to say to people ‘have you ever heard that wonderful two letter word that starts in N and ends in O?’ Put it together and what does it spell – NO!Saying NO really shouldn’t have to be that difficult if you want to make creating family time a priority. Yet so many people seem to have trouble when it comes to saying no to things.Personally I am very good at saying no. I am secure in the relationships that I share with the people in my life. I can confidently tell you know that not one person in my life would ever get annoyed at me because I made spending time with my family a priority.For us Family day is Sunday. We make this day a priority for our family to spend quality time together – just us. We use this time to do things together like head out to the Zoo or take the dog to the park or visit a new playground.We connect. We talk. We play. We focus on our relationships- both individually and together.Family time does not have to cost you a thing.I can recall one of the happiest times I have ever seen our young daughter was a day we spent in the backyard mowing, sweeping, and tidying up outside the house. She loves to be outdoors and she also loves to help. Most kids do, if given the chance. I remember saying to my husband how relaxed and content she had been that day & we hadn’t even left the contains of our own backyard.I clearly remember thinking to myself that I needed to be mindful of the fact that children don’t always need to be entertained or taken places to be happy – truly happy in their little hearts. What they need is your time.There are so many things that you can choose to do as a family which allow you to spend time together, nurturing and strengthening your relationships. Getting to know each of the members of your family, and having individual relationships (within the family) with each person, is so important.Parents need to build on individual relationships with each of their children – they are NOT the same.All children are unique and have their own interests, ideas, thoughts and opinions about the world around them.Some creative ideas for Family Time that we enjoy are:Parks, picnics and playtime – Living in a vibrant city means what I am especially fortunate to be surrounded by abundant playgrounds and beautiful parks to find adventures in. There are so many webpages these days designed to give parents ideas for activities to do with their children. Someone has already done all of the hard work for you. Pack your blanket and picnic lunch and away you go. I love having adventures and finding new places to explore.Footy day - Now I have to admit that even though I am a Melbourne girl, I really do not enjoy watching football, but my husband does. So every now and then I ‘take one for the team’ and snuggle up next to him to watch his beloved Demons usually get their butts kicked! Watching football to me is similar to the enjoyment I would experience whilst sticking needles in my eyes, but in this particular moment, it is not about me.Movie night – Even though our daughter is still very young and we have to monitor very carefully what she views on television, we have snuggled up together under the doona watching Tinkerbell on a rainy Sunday, on the odd occasion. I am sure at this point my husband wants to stick those aforementioned needles in his eyes, but it is now his turn to take one for the team – for our daughter. She loves it. When she gets older I can’t wait to make the tickets for the movie and share a big bowl of popcorn or other treat with her, as we enjoy this time together as a family.Games night – What ever happened to the old board games of the past? I know that you can still buy them in Big W, but how many people actually take the time to sit down and make a fun night out of being silly and play a board game with their kids.Pyjama Sunday – A couple of weeks ago we spent the entire day in our pyjamas. We didn’t even have showers all day – shock horror! It was awesome. We were so relaxed and sat around reading the papers and playing with our daughter.
Love Chrissie xx
Chaos to Calm Consultancy would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurung people of the Kulin Nation.We acknowledge the elders past, present and emerging - particularly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents who walked before us supporting and connecting their children to the earth, water and community. Always was. Always will be.