When I first started my motherhood journey, it was not exactly the life that I had imagined. I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but I worked full-time during the first several years of my daughter’s life.
In addition to long hours, I sat in Los Angeles traffic over fifteen hours a week so time with my little girl was limited.
After my son was born, I was blessed to be able to stay at home with the kids. Unfortunately, my life took a drastic turn when my aging parents needed help and I had to balance my time between two diverse family groups.
Precious time with my children gradually decreased as I supported my parents through their individual health concerns. I wanted my kids to know that although I was often sidetracked with outside issues, they were my first priority.
I took a good long look at our schedules and carved out time for on-going “kid-focused” activities such as these:
Girls and Boys Night. After the family dinner on Friday evenings, we did the old “divide and conquer” trick. My daughter and I went into one room and my Hubby and son hung out in another. We watched movies, played games or cards and topped off the evening with a yummy dessert. I knew this tradition was a hit with my daughter when she told me that she wanted to have Friday Girls Night forever, even after she was married!
Movie Night. When I was growing up, Sunday was always a day of relaxation. That special time was almost impossible in our young family due to our busy schedules. I blocked out Sunday evenings so that our family could enjoy a Movie Night. With a tablecloth on the living room floor, we ate dinner picnic-style and watched a family movie. It does not sound like a big deal but since we never ate in that room, the kids were thrilled! We continue this tradition to this day.
Kid Dates. When our schedules allowed, we had special dates with one child at a time. They picked a special restaurant and an activity they enjoyed such as a movie, sports event or shopping.
I know that these ideas were not the perfect solutions to our decreased family time.
Still, I believe that even in small blocks of time, God was guiding us and bonding our family together.
He used the unfortunate circumstances of our lives to create unforgettable, quality times with our kids.
The motherhood journey that I imagined did not exactly come true, but if we did not have such limited time slots to focus on our family, we may have missed these special times.
Are you able to design high-quality family time in small quantity moments?
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. KJV
Paula White is the author of Simply Sandwich, a blog providing survival skills for women in the Sandwich Generation. With ten years hands-on juggling experience of multi-generations, Paula shares practical ideas, simple solutions and real stories to help fine tune the family balancing act for any busy mom.