How to Spend Quality Time With Family This Spring
Finally, FINALLY spring is here! The snow has melted away, and I’ve put away my heaving winter coat. As the seasons change, I like to (read: make myself) look inward and examine any routines or habits that I might need to change to ensure I’m living my best life. Sounds pretty tedious . . . but, it’s true. And, this spring, I realized one habit I’d like to change is spending more quality time with my family and kids.
I know many Grid + Glam blog readers feel the same way about wanting to establish healthy, happy habits, so I thought I’d share the process I went through to prioritize more quality time with my family.
First Thing’s First: Get Organized
No surprise to anyone, I can’t get into a good headspace without first having a clean and organized physical space. This means accomplishing not only my my weekly and monthly resets but also my seasonal resets.
So . . . I began my spring cleaning reset. I got a lot done! My house is ready for spring and looking beautiful, and my garage and lawn are pristine!
Is it weird that I get a little high when I complete a major cleaning project? Well, that’s how I felt when this was all done. YAY ME! But next it was time to focus on my habits.
Making Quality Time With Family a Priority
While there are a bunch of things that could fit into this category, one goal that has been weighing on me is spending more QUALITY time with my family — especially my kids. Before the pandemic, families were spending just 37 minutes of quality time with each other per day! During the pandemic, we were all home, but not necessarily together. (Can you relate?)
Now that the pandemic is slowly coming to an end (fingers crossed), I want to be sure my family spends more quality time together. After I pick them up from school, we have about three to four hours together every day. Sometimes, we spend that time well by talking and playing together. But (a LOT of) other times we were scattered to our own spaces – sometimes doing productive things (like resetting and homework) and sometimes not (the kids watching TV and me scrolling IG). I don’t want to continue missing these opportunities to connect with my kids while they are at such fun ages!
So, I decided to start . . . you guessed it . . . a new routine. A WRITTEN routine. I am a firm believer in writing down your goals in order to stick with them for the long term. Just hoping that my kids and I will spend quality time together sans devices hasn’t been working. So, I needed a new approach. I decided to devise a plan, hold a family meeting to let them in on my plan, and then implement it.
Step One: Make a Plan
OK, so . . . the plan. The plan. What should the plan be? I knew for it to be consistently implemented by me, it had to be enjoyable to ME. So I thought about the activities that I like to do, and then how those overlapped with what my kids enjoy (Venn Diagram anyone?).
Step Two: Schedule Quality Time
Next up, I needed a schedule. If you want to be more organized at home, creating schedules is key. I felt like going from 0 to 60 overnight regarding electronic usage was not the best strategy. So I decided to build in some electronics time every night, to break up the family bonding (bonding is tiring, friends).
As soon as we get home, I like to unpack and reset for the next day, which takes about 15 minutes. The plan was to spend the next 30 minutes on one of our new activities. Then it would be homework time, followed by 20 minutes of electronics time for them while I either prepared dinner or responded to emails.
Step Three: Communicate the Schedule With Your Family
My schedule was set! I called my family meeting on a Sunday night. I told them that I really wanted to spend more time with them. Then I introduced the new after school schedule, and the list of the activities I thought we could do together. I encouraged them to think of things that THEY’D like to do too, assuming that would garner more buy-in on their parts. We came up with quite the list!
Step Four: Focus on the Quality Time (It’s That Simple!)
I am so excited to see how this transforms our spring. I know there will be days where outside commitments and activities fill a chunk of those 3 hours. And other days where we may be too tired or cranky for a game. But it feels so good to have this framework, even if realistically we only implement it a few days a week. I can’t wait to report back.