In case you missed it, you can read this post to see what this series is all about.
It seems that the older I get the more I realize just how fast time truly does fly by. As time goes by, we seem to add more and more things to our daily schedule which leaves little time for anything else. But what I’m hoping you all are finding is this – we need to make time for the things that are important and that includes our family and our friends. It can be easy to get caught up in the rush of this or that and before you know it, it’s been months since you’ve talked to your closest friends, seen your parents or had an entire day devoted to just your kids.
Here are some ways that I’ve brainstormed to help me find time to spend with friends and family:
1) Plan ahead and lock in dates throughout the year for “girls’ night out.”
2) Make sure and find time to call at least one friend each week to catch-up on life. While Facebook can be nice for quick chats or seeing random updates, nothing compares to hearing a friend’s voice and sharing in some laughs.
3) Swap time with spouse so we each get at least one day a month to hang out with a friend – even if it’s just a quick lunch together on a Saturday afternoon.
4) Invite friends over with their kids to a dinner at my house. Who needs a birthday to all get together–random dinner nights can be a lot of fun! My friends and I used to do this awhile back calling it the “Dinner Club” and we’d each take turns hosting one.
5) Try to plan at least one major event a year with my friends to do things together like a concert or a 5K race, etc.
6) Go out together with our kids to places such as the zoo or the movies.
7) Get out of the frame of mind that “meet-ups” have to be long periods of time and just find a place to meet randomly for a cup of coffee and a quick chat.
1) Set up one day a month that is “our day” and nothing else. No housework. No work. No outside obligations. Just a whole day devoted to whatever the kids want to do.
2) Include the kids in my workout sessions. This helps me squeeze in fitness time and spend time with the kids. And to be honest, they always have the best ideas on how to stay active and have fun! Add to this things like hiking, biking and scavenger hunts together.
3) Set one day a month where the kids cook us a meal. Of course, this would be a supervised event as my kids are still little. This helps us spend time together and get dinner on the table!
4) Quarterly overnight trips somewhere. These won’t be big trips but just somewhere that we can enjoy a full day’s activities and enjoy an overnight stay in a hotel.
5) Surprises! Oh how my kids love surprises! Try to get in a fun activity every once in awhile after school. Simple things like a movie day or ice cream store visit, etc.
6) Weekly Library Visits – A free activity and some new books to make each week a new adventure! Continue to find new chapter books that interest the kids.
7) Continue to check our local area for free activities to do together and get them scheduled on the calendar so the day doesn’t get filled up with other things.
8) Take the family fruit-picking when in season. So far we’ve done blueberries, apples and strawberries. It’s a fun thing to do together and I get to freeze the extras for smoothies and treats later.
9) Playdates – Take turns with friends having a short playdate together at each other’s houses. Just make sure time is spent with the kids and the focus doesn’t turn into friend chit-chat.
10) Themed Days – Find themes that I can turn into week-long fun by finding meals, books and crafts that relate to that week’s theme.
11) Power Cleaning Sessions together followed by a treat. We’ve done this a few times over a weekend. We set a timer for 30-60 minutes and everyone helps out cleaning parts of the house. When the timer goes off, we sit down and have a treat together and a fun chat.
12) Make sure something is scheduled on the calendar each month for family time with parents and/or siblings. We usually have luck with this just with birthday parties and holidays. Plan a Crockpot Night when the weather gets worse so we can still feel we are doing something together.
These are just a few of the ways I’ve brainstormed to find more time for family and friends. In what ways have you found that help you stay in touch with friends and spend time with family throughout the month?
Stay tuned for another day of brainstorming tomorrow on another “stresser.”