As we face another year, it seems we often reflect on the past and plan for a future. In doing so, I tend to always worry if I’ve done “enough” as a wife and a mother. This is my first and foremost job the Lord has given me, so it should take priority over everything else. Sure, we spend a LOT of time together and my mind is ALWAYS racing trying to figure out how I can make life as fun as possible for my family, but I often wonder if my time with them is “quality” time. Am I engaging them as I should, asking questions as I should, LISTENING as I should, being “present” like I should!? I know I do at times, but definitely know these are things I can improve upon, as well.
So, I made a plan! I decided to brainstorm with them things we could do as a family each month to get that quality time and make the kind of memories I want us to remember. Now, there may be some months we can do more than one, but we all know how crazy busy life can be when you have school, church, work, ball, dance, etc. And I only have two kids, so I can only imagine how busy schedules get with more. Soooo, planning at least one a month was a start. And maybe this summer we can even plan on one a week. We discussed this idea as a family and made a list.
Below you will see the poster I then made after our discussion as just a visual that we will to put in the kid’s playroom. They are taking turns each month choosing what they would like to do. I left room in case we thought of something else and wanted to add to the poster. Notice I did not put things like going to the movies or going to our local baseball or hockey team games, etc. I wanted to make sure these activities were things that engaged us as a family and had us interacting, laughing together, and talking. Those are not things you do while sitting at a ballgame or a movie theater (although we do enjoy those things as well). Our pastor was the first to bring this to our attention in a small group we were involved in and my husband and I both raised our eyebrows and thought how true it was. He said, don’t think sitting on a bleacher while watching your kids play ball is family time. It got our attention for sure!
Notice most of these things aren’t spending any money or either very little money. Things like going to catch lightning bugs, hiking, putting a puzzle together, or sitting at Diary Queen over a blizzard are all very reasonable, cheap, yet quality time I believe will make a difference. We were able to check one thing off our list this weekend. The kids had never been roller skating and my husband and I hadn’t been in at least 25 years. We did it on Friday and had a blast!
I have also discussed my phone interaction with my husband and we have vowed to hold each other accountable as to how much we have our phones in front of our kids. Are there times I should put my phone down and go in the backyard to play ball with my son or up to my daughters room to play “babies”? Absolutely! In fact, I plan to leave my phone behind on some of these outings and just not have it with me so I’m not even tempted to pick it up. We recently went on a golf cart ride and just exploring near our neighborhood in the woods and I purposely left my phone at home. It felt good! I was 100% present with my family and honestly, didn’t miss it! Just a thought, my friends. Those phones can be a blessing and just as much a curse in my opinion.
Also, I have read several books on parenting and thought I’d share a few below that I have enjoyed. The first two I highly recommend, as I have already read them and even been involved in a small group on one and am currently starting to read them again as part of my devotional time in the mornings. “Triggers” is a quick read with short chapters and can easily be a 5 minute chapter read everyday. There are 31 chapters and so, could easily be completed in a month with only 1 chapter a day being read. Really good stuff! Such good stuff that I need to be reminded again and again.
Just wanted to share a bit of my heart with y’all and some things that I have really been thinking about. These may or may not be things you deal with, but in case you do, I just thought I’d share how we are attempting to improve upon them for the new year.
I firmly believe #1 thing we can do for our family is PRAY for them and over them! I want my family to know they are covered in prayer by me everyday! I also want my kids to HEAR me pray over them. They know when we get in the car every morning for school that there will be no music until after I pray. This is a memory I have of my mom and am soooo thankful for it! She did this over my brother and I on the way to school every single day. Thankful! Let’s be praying mommas and let that be a memory they have of us!
I am praying for YOU too, every day! This is a tough world we live in, so prayer is our HOPE! Let’s rely on Him! Love you guys! Let me know if there is anything specifically I can be praying with you about. Have the best day!