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Springtime Bonding

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.

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 routine resets, but also my seasonal resets.  In addition, if I’m running a Bootcamp, I try to accomplish the Bootcamp tasks before I launch it to make sure that each task is doable for everyone participating. So . . . I began my spring cleaning reset.  I won’t spoil the Bootcamp by sharing too many details here, but 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.  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 kids.  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 all scatter into 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.

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?). I enjoy playing board games, so I ordered some that I loved from my childhood, like Clue!

Next up, I needed a schedule.  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.  

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!

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.

I’d so love to hear from you. If you have kids, how do you fit in quality time with them?  If you don’t, do you remember the quality time you spent with your family as a child? What are some routines you might be reexamining now that it's spring? 

What do you say — are you ready?

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