In this 31 days series I’m looking at ways that I can make way for family life; choices that can simplify my lifestyle, making way for to me to live life with my kids! All posts can be found here.
Use the Evenings for Family Life
Our evening is a time slot that we need to utilise for family life.
When our children were young the evenings were mine. They went to bed between 6.30-7.30 (depending on how old they were and how much sleep they needed). But now as they are getting older, of course bedtimes are getting later, giving us as a family potentially more evening time.
I’m not talking about family night here but just chillin’ together – just being – just living life. Here are some ideas (some are things we’ve done, some are ideas we aspire to)
- Linger over dinner and talk (we do this a LOT)
- Family Read aloud
- Get dishes done quickly and play a board game, table tennis or nurf gun war
- Gather in the lounge room to read (we tend to read our own books, but do it all together instead of everyone in their own room)
- Listen to an audio/video seminar or sermon
- Work on creative projects (once again we do our own project, but all in the same room)
- Watch a movie (just for fun). We also like old TV series – like F.Troop, Hogan’s Heroes, To the Manor Born, Beverley Hillbillies
Two things that that encourages us to relax together as a family
- We have the afternoon and cooking dishes already done before we sit down for dinner. This keeps the after dinner dishes to a minimum.
- Most everyone is showered – all but ready for bed before dinner.
There are four big challenges that stop us from using our evenings for family life:
- Work beckons – the phone, the computer, the to-do list
- We have too many outside of the home activities
- We are too tired
- We go to our computer screens straight after dinner (social media is a big one here)
That all being said, we do need some time for individual rest, for zoning out, for recharging the way that we recharge. The key here though is to be available to the family and maybe every so often we can recharge together.
The challenge for me, is to not go into my office after dinner. One of the reasons I wanted to move to a laptop is so that I can be mobile. So I’d like to pick up my laptop – take it out of the office – and do my emails, blog reading (if I do any) and digital scrapbooking in the dining room so I can be available to my kids in the evening – not only is it a heart issue, but it is also a physical issue. Can they see me; do they know I’m available?