Wednesday, November 14, 2012

inspiration : family night

Source: via Regina on Pinterest

Hi y'all! We've started something new on Thursday nights in our household... well, the concept isn't new at all, but it's something new to us. Family nights. 

{ he built this tall tower all by himself. he's definitely one smart dude. }

It started a few months ago, and no, we have not stuck to it every single Thursday evening. Sometimes, life happens, things come up, and we aren't able to spend our Thursday evening focused on our family. But we try. And sometimes there's not a lot of effort behind our try, but one of us usually remembers why we started this and so we follow through with it. 

We started this because we wanted a time when our evenings did not consist of Joey in the living room watching tv, me in my office crafting or on my computer, BB running around between us, McCrae playing on the floor, and the evening passes us by without a single moment of us together enjoying each other's company. And eventually, all those evenings add up, until one day the kids are in school, then too busy, then out of school, then out of the house, then busy with their own lives. That seems dramatic, but really, it's that fast. 

{ on one of our walks }

And there's no way to slow down how quickly time passes. But I can slow down our lives. I don't have to spend every evening in my office working on something. My Live Delightfully business, my blog, those aren't so important that I have to spend every evening working on them. Sometimes I've felt that way. Sometimes I've ignored my husband, put my children on the back burner, and submersed myself in building my "brand". All in the name of making my side hobby more of a full-time job, so I can stay home with the kids. But, by focusing on that, I'm not focusing on the time I have with them right now. 

{ you know you're a parent when every flat or semi-flat surface in your house becomes a road }

We also started this because I want to make memories with our kids. I look back over my childhood and I remember soooo many instances where Granny stopped what she was doing and played cards with me. Or in the evenings, with my twirly skirt on, I would dance around in front of Granny and Papa pretending I was an ice skater. Or the endless hours of playing with Granny's shoes, necklaces and dresses, before putting on a "fashion show" for her and Papa. Or talking to Granny while she peeled fruits and vegetables.  Granny always took time out of her day to spend doing something with me. And in doing so, she made memories with me. Memories that I still reflect on and evoke feelings of happiness and love. It wasn't like she put forth a ton of effort, or even spent lots of money on me. But it was the time she spent with me. And I want to make memories like that with our kids. I want our kids to one day look back on their childhood, and remember how mom and dad always stopped what they were doing to play a game, or read a book, or listen to them sing, or watch them dance, or played catch, or whatever it is that they want to do with or for us. I want to be a memory-making mom. 

So, we picked a night of the week, Thursday, and we do our best not to schedule anything for that night. We take turns (Joey and I) choosing what activity we do for family night. We don't take any phone calls during family time, and we just spend a little time, sometimes a couple of hours, sometimes 30 minutes, together, doing whatever activity, and enjoying our time as a family. 

{ not my best fort, but it did the job. BB crawled through this over and over and over. }

Some of the activities we've already done include: 

played with cars
played with building blocks
gone for a walk to the park then played at the park for a while
gone for a walk
watched a movie and ate popcorn
played outside, exploring and talking about things like grass, leaves, acorns, rocks, etc.
built a fort for BB to play in (he LOVED it)
read a book

Some of the activities on my list to do: 

make and play with moonsand
make and play with salt dough and/or play dough
bake something
bake and decorate cookies
make a craft together
make salt sough and do hand/feet impressions
play a game (when he's a bit older)
do a puppet show
write a story
make up a game
do a science experiment
go swimming

And really, there are many, many more ideas bouncing around in my head, but these are just a few of them. Also, there are literally millions of ideas around the internet that you can find to do. And don't be afraid to repeat them. We've gone for several walks, and played with cars and blocks a few times since that's what BB's interested in right now. 

{ A lovely sunset on one of our walks. }

Like I said, we're not always spot on with our family nights, and sometimes it take a lot of effort to stop what we're doing and spend time together. Not because we don't want to, but because we get so consumed with whatever we're doing, we lose focus on what we should be doing. And there are times when it's been a rough start, but it's what we're doing, making memories, that is really what matters. Like the quote at the top of this post says, "this business of training little humans for life is a mind-boggling process" is so very true. And since it's absolutely inevitable that we're going to slip-up sometimes a lot, I really want to make as many wonderful memories as possible so when our kids look back on their childhood, they see that their Mom and Dad were human, made lots of mistakes, but loved each other, loved them, and always took time out of their days to spend with them. 

Do you have a family night or sometime during the day or week that you focus solely on your family? If not, I strongly suggest you get one. If you don't have kids yet, have a family night with your spouse.

Do you have any suggestions for kid-friendly family activities? Feel free to share them! I'm sure I, or someone else reading the blog, would love to try out your ideas!

1 comment:

  1. This is such a great idea - i love the idea of having a special night to do something fun w/ the kids. we're taking the week off of tv (it's currently "broken") so we'll see what new activities we come up with :) And your Granny sounds like an amazing lady.


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