Does it ever feel like your life is on fast-forward? We’re all so busy with work, household chores, family commitments and the day to day tasks we find ourselves embedded in, that the weeks speed by before we know it. A lot of us wish we could make more time for our families, but let this stay as a resolution rather than taking positive steps to carve out time together. How can we make sure we put our family time first without dropping any of the other balls we need to juggle to keep things running? The good news is, there are some simple steps you can take to ditch the distractions and reclaim your togetherness – while still getting stuff done.
Find Family Spaces
It’s amazing how much our homes shape how we interact – but most of us have never considered if the layout of the spaces we share could be improved to encourage the family to be together. Creating an open-plan kitchen and dining layout is a big win – that way whoever is preparing the evening meal can still be connected to kids doing the homework at the kitchen table or watching TV in the family room. Similarly, make sure the family can all come together comfortably for meal times – insist on having them at the table. If you need to update your furniture find a dining table and chairs sale to make sure there is the right seating. Consider ‘zoning’ space, so there are cosy reading corners, space to play board games and areas to do different activities within the main room.
Get Rid of Attention Drains
Lost items and hunting for them can be a drain on spending time together, so create a station in your entryway that will keep the family organised. Set up some hooks, trays for small items and named cubbies where each person can put their shoes, bags and keys. This will streamline both your morning routine and clutter and chaos in your living environment. If you want to get even stricter, you could ask that phones are left there when the family comes in during the evening to stop the attention drain of constant mobile phone checking during the time you’re spending together.
Get Smart on Prep
Lessen the time you have to spend on routine chores, and you’ll win back time to spend as a family. When it comes to meal prep, batch-make and freeze extra portions of family favourites, or prep bags full of ingredients that can be popped into a slow cooker ahead of time. Find easy, family-friendly recipes that you can involve the children in the making for a double win – an activity to share and a no-fuss meal for a later date. Outsource whichever tasks you can – organise shopping deliveries online or look for someone to help with the ironing. Always involve children in the household chores – make a game of who can tidy up the fastest before a certain song finishes playing. Making them feel involved with the running of the household reinforces the feeling that you’re all on a team of people who contribute to help the family as a whole and teaches them valuable independent skills.
Create New Traditions
Don’t just celebrate special occasions – create your own family traditions to make each week special. A special breakfast of waffles on a Sunday, a Friday night make your own pizza, and a movie or a Wednesday board game can all fence off sacred family time and stop it slipping down the list of priorities. The rules are, everyone has to show up and take part. Don’t let busy schedules stop you – create some time to enjoy each other’s company.
Note: This is a collaborative piece.