Things have changed since I was a kid. No doubt, you feel the same way. I don’t remember life being so busy, families so strained by obligations outside the home. When we had our first daughter thirteen years ago I swore I would never let that happen, never let family time become something we had to put on the calendar.
Maybe I was naive; maybe it was just wishful thinking. I don’t know. It seems that almost daily now I tell myself we need to slow down, scratch stuff from the schedule, cut the busyness from our daily lives. Maybe we need to move to a different location. Maybe we just need to learn how to say no or enough is enough. I don’t know. I wrestle with this.
But there are a couple things we do to maintain family time and keep it sacred during the week.
One, we almost always eat dinner as a family. I enjoy this time together even with the baby throwing food on the floor and the kids talking over each other. Before #4 came along and before things got really frantic we’d light candles around the dinner table in the winter and my wife would read to all of us after the meal. We were working our way through Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia.
Two, we have a no-TV rule during the school week so we’ve designated Friday nights as Family Movie Night. The kids really look forward to this. Sometimes we do something else and sometimes movie night gets bumped to Thursday or Saturday night but mostly we hold that time pretty tightly.
Three, Saturdays are usually a family day. Whether its staying home and cleaning and working in the yard or going for a day trip we have unofficially set Saturday aside as a day we spend doing something, anything together. Maybe not for the entire day but at least for some of it.
The test will be to see how well those three hold up when we have three teenagers and a kindergartener running around. I have a feeling sooner or later we’re going to have to make some drastic changes, maybe sooner than later. We’ll see which way the wind blows.
Question: What do you do to protect family time?