How to Make Family Time Fun Again and Dodge the Dreaded “What Are We Going to Do?”
Managing a household schedule while you’re working full time can be a real challenge. It can feel like you have 2 full time jobs sometimes. As much as we know how important it is to do things with our kids, work and errands and chores often gets the priority. It’s easy from here to forget how important it is to have family time together.
“Family Time” IS our time to connect, check-in and just “be together.” It’s down time, which we all need. It can be as easy as a game night or sharing a meal preparation, or as involved as a multi day backpacking trip. Big or small, creating these times makes memories, and gives us a “time out” of our day-2-day existence. We get to share ourselves with our kids and hear from our kids what’s going on in their lives and what’s important to them.
Take Action Today to Avoid Regret Tomorrow
A quick look at our email, work deadlines and social media can easily eat up all of our time, whether we are at work or not. And no matter how many hours we put in, we still wouldn’t get it all done or stop the endless flow of requests, deadlines and content demanding our attention.
Meanwhile, weeks and months pass you by and you wonder where the time has gone, when your oldest became a teenager and when your toddler suddenly started 1st grade.
For busy Dads, this is a never-ending cycle that leaves us feeling disconnected from our family and behind at work with no prospect of ever catching up. This can feel like an all-or-nothing approach where we’re either doing nothing or we feel like we have to drop EVERYTHING to create quality time with family.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
We don’t have to sacrifice what’s necessary (work) for what’s needed (time with family). It’s far easier to make family time a priority with the schedule you already have. And you won’t have to sacrifice your work or well being to do it.
Together we can do great things
"Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success. " ~ Henry Ford
No great enterprise was ever achieved by working alone. And working alone can feel like creating family time is just another “chore” that needs to get done.
You don’t have to be the only one choosing, researching, scheduling and rallying to create family activities. You only need to come up with the inspiration and a few ideas to get the ball rolling. Then It can be a team effort, and it’s much more fun that way.
We’ve created a fool-proof structure for making sure that you have the family time and experiences you want, without the dreaded “I don’t know” or the drudgery of “having to figure it out” or “more of the same” or activities! Below we will lay out the ground work, while the pdf we have is full of ideas and brainstorms for finding activities that fit your family!
First, the framework. This is a Team activity, so we need to gather our team. The first part is the most important: get your partner (wife, girlfriend, boyfriend) on the team.
Share with them what you’re up to (wanting to make more family time and fun activities) and get them onboard for creating more family events on the calendar.
Start small: Talk with your partner, then together choose one small activity you all can do together without expense or planning. Like a family game night, a themed meal, or taking a walk all together. The mundane sometimes can be the most impactful. Put it in the calendar for THIS WEEK.
Decide together how many days a week you’d like to do family activities together. For example: you think 2 days/week you’d like to do something as a family.
Choose specific days of the week for these activities. When they’re part of the family calendar, everyone knows what to expect and starts to look forward to them. (Added benefit is that it *may* get you home earlier for work if we know it’s game night!). Things like “Taco Tuesday” and “Wednesday Game Night” are totally fun ideas to try out.
Plan for a longer outing in the next 30 days. Shorter, easier family activities are easy. But there’s also value in “getting out of the house” and going to longer trips or outings (think ½ day or full day).
How can you make family time both predictable and consistent as well as fun? Diversity of activities, partnership with planning and making sure that fun is on the list can make all the difference. It’s nice to have multiple activities to choose that take different amounts of time. It gives variety.
Now that you’ve laid the groundwork, you’re READY to start deciding the what and the where of your family time. You’ve already figured out the WHEN, now it’s time to figure out the WHAT, and lastly you’ll figure out the WHERE. This is the best time to bring in the rest of the family into the conversation to help craft this new structure for time together.
We’ve created this “idea generator” to help you decide WHAT KIND of experience you’d like to have together. This is intended as a useful guide to help you nail down activities you’re interested in and what is available in your neck of the woods!