Today’s busy and hectic lifestyles mean that we can often find that days have gone by without us having had the chance to spend much time with our family, and we might not feel as though we’ve been there for our children. That’s a pity because the more time we spend together, the more bonding we can do, and the happier everyone becomes. When no one talks to one another or even sees one another due to work or other commitments, life can be much harder than it needs to be. Thankfully, there are some easy ways that can help everyone be there for their children.
Change Your To-Do List
You may think that you have a lot to do and that it all needs to be completed before you can take any time ‘off’ and enjoy your kids and partner’s company. However, if you really look at that to-do list, you’ll see that it’s not quite as full as you might have thought. For example, there is sure to be at least one thing on the list that just isn’t going to be done. If that’s the case, cross it off the list and plan to do it another time. You’ve just saved yourself a large chunk of time that you can now spend with your children.
Look at each item on the list and ask yourself what would happen if you didn’t do it. If the answer is that nothing would happen, then put it off to another day if it means being able to have some additional family time, where you could listen to audiobooks together or go for a walk or play a board game. Other items might be suitable for delegation – could someone else in the household do the job for you while you get on with something else? Finally, remind yourself why you are doing the things that have to be done – some will be because they make you or the family happy, some will be for money, and so on. This is the motivation you need to get it all done quickly and efficiently.
Get The Kids Involved
Of course, you will probably be able to get your chores done a lot faster on your own without the help of small children who tend to take their time over their work, but getting the children involved in these household tasks is important. Not only will it show them how to run a household and keep their homes clean and tidy, or show them how to prepare a meal and cook it successfully, but they will also get to spend time with you even though you are still working. Children can learn to put their own toys away when they are done with them, which saves you time doing it later on. That time can be better spent playing a game or reading a story together.
Being stressed about finances or health, for example, can have a significant negative impact on the time you spend with your family. Firstly, if you’re worrying so much that you can’t think of anything else, you will never be entirely present with your family, even if you do find some time to be with them. Your mind will always be somewhere else, and you will never feel entirely happy. Secondly, chronic stress takes its toll on your body and can cause physical problems like heart conditions and high blood pressure. It can cause mental health issues too, including depression.
It’s far better to deal with your problem at the outset because not only will you feel much better, you’ll be able to enjoy family time a lot more.
Stop Wasting Time
If you think about your day step by step, you’ll notice something you may not have realized before – you will be wasting your time on several different tasks. If you can organize yourself, your family, and your home so that these tasks no longer take up so much of your time (or any of your time), you will find that the tasks that do have to be done are completed a lot more quickly.
If you find that you are spending a lot of time searching for missing items of clothing, for example, install a small cubby for each person in the household by the front door. You can place anything found around the house into these cubbies, and it is down to the person who needs the item to find it there. There are many ‘hacks’ that can help you and teach everyone more responsibility at the same time.
If you never ask about flexible working, you’ll never know, and while some employers don’t like to provide it, many more will. You may be able to start later or finish early, or perhaps work from home on some days. Although you will still need to get your work done, you’ll also be able to spend more time with your children. If your boss would prefer you stick to the usual routine and won’t offer flexibility, then perhaps it is time to look for a job that will provide it. That may feel scary and even a little extreme, but sometimes it is necessary, and it is always good to try new things from time to time as well.
Maybe it’s cooking the evening meal that seems to take up a lot of time for you. In that case, planning ahead is important so that you can prep as much of the meal before you come to cook it as possible. It is also a good idea to cook double the amount of food you need when you are making the meal. The extra food can be frozen or refrigerated and used as an additional meal at another time, saving you the job of cooking it. That means you can get a board game out or watch a movie, or even head out for a walk or a swim with your family and not worry about having to rush back to make their meal.