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Family Friday, Family life

Family Friday: Making Time for Family

James Jasper, motor brakeman, and his family e...

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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?

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About michaelkingbooks

I write stories of faith and family, love and loss, heartache and triumph. Here I blog about faith, relationships, and genuine living.

Discussion

11 thoughts on “Family Friday: Making Time for Family

  1. Keep it up as long as possible. You will always remember. I wish I had family to get together with. We did do those things with my niece and nephew when they were young.

    Posted by Terri Conrad | July 20, 2012, 7:17 am
  2. Thanks for the reminder! Our kids are still young, but before long they will start getting involved with after-school activities. I think we’ll have to set a precedence early on that limits involvement so it doesn’t interfere with quality family time and church involvement, which is also an important value for our family. I’m really conflicted about this because I gained so much from the activities I was involved in in school. I didn’t spend as much time with my family, though.

    Posted by Harrison Wilder | July 20, 2012, 8:18 am
    • It’s a tough balance, Harrison, but we’ve taken the approach to limit the amount of “activities” the kids are involved in to one at a time. That way we’re not running to and fro all the time. And we just have to say no to them sometimes. We homeschool which helps too. Also important is that I get time with each daughter. That dad/daughter time is crucial. Hard to fit in sometimes but important.

      Posted by michaelkingbooks | July 20, 2012, 12:19 pm
  3. Family time is the most important thing to us, next to God time. We have memberships at the Toledo Zoo and The Henry Ford (The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village). We make lots of trips through out the year to both (or all three if you want to get technical). Lots of great memories and pictures while the kids learn a thing or three.

    Life is insane much of the time, but we make a point to involve the family in everything we can. Last week I was even able to bring the family with me to Cleveland and Pittsburgh on a business trip. I was able to get a lot of work done but still incorporate family time. We took a great boat ride on the three rivers in Pittsburgh. What a beautiful city!

    Posted by Shane Werlinger (@FMcButter) | July 20, 2012, 2:24 pm
    • Good stuff, Shane. A few years back we had a membership to the National Aquarium in Baltimore and still talk about those trips fondly. We need to do that again. Occasionally, I’ll take the family or at least my wife with me to a writer’s conference. They explore while I’m at the conference then we’re together for the evening. Love having them around.

      Posted by michaelkingbooks | July 21, 2012, 6:42 am
  4. My dad fiercely guarded meal time! Sunday’s and other times…just like you! When we got involved in after school activities as teens…he got kind of grumpy about it, but then just turned his loyalty toward whatever activity we were involved in. It makes a HUGE difference in all of life as a family! Keep goin’ my friend!

    Posted by Kim | July 20, 2012, 5:45 pm
  5. Hi there!

    I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blog Award. Check out your link here: http://wp.me/p2xuFz-2M
    Thank you for inspiring me!

    Best Wishes,
    Kay Lynté ♥

    Posted by THINKING IS WRITE | July 25, 2012, 12:01 am

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