Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I Miss My Kids!

Yesterday, I was reading a friend's blog.  She shared her personal goals for this month and one of them is to spend more time with her family.  She made the point that homeschooling is not the same as spending "quality family time".  I agree!  Sometimes, after a busy week, the thought that goes through my head is "I miss my kids!"  Since I homeschool and spend all day with them, that might seem strange.  But teaching them and shuttling them from one activity to another is not quality time!  

Today, I have decided to share a few ideas for how we ensure quality family time in the midst of our busy lives.

1. Put it on your calendar.
I schedule at least one "date" with each of my girls each week.  Some of our dates are big outings and others are small.  Sometimes, we go out for lunch or ice cream.  We might also do a special cooking or art project together at home.  The important thing is not what you do, just that you have special 1:1 time together.  My husband also schedules "dates" with the girls and those "dates" are often the highlight of his week (and theirs).  

2. Incorporate your children into your daily household work.
While it will take MUCH longer to have "help" cooking dinner or doing laundry, your daily chores often provide a great time for spending time with your children.  I cannot count the laughs and giggles that I have had with my girls while we baked a cake together (and spilled flour all over the flour) or attempted to fold a fitted sheet together.  

3. Refocus your priorities.  
Sometimes, we overextend ourselves and take on too many commitments.  The end result is often that our family suffers.  When I begin missing my children and feeling that I don't get quality time with them, I often have to take a close look at my calendar and think about where my time is going.  While it is good for me to be involved in church, volunteer activities, etc., some of these things might not be the most important uses of my time during this season of my life.  I recently read in my bible study that "all things good are not from God."  Just because it is a good activity that serves God's overall purpose, does not automatically mean that God intends for you to do it.

4. Ask for help.
There are times when are lives are so busy with unavoidable commitments that we truly can't add anything else to our schedule.  When this happens, we need to ask for help from spouses, friends, family, fellow Christians, etc.  It is okay to ask for help!

5. Pray.
I don't have all the answers and neither do you.  But, the great news is that God does.  Get down on your knees and pray.  God will help you find the solution!

What other suggestions do you have for ensuring quality time with your family?

Marla is a former special education teacher and homeschooling mom of two little girls (ages 3 and 5).  She has her PhD in Special Education and loves to put her knowledge to use teaching her children and sharing learning/teaching ideas.  She blogs about raising and teaching her children at Marla's Motherhood Musings and her family's experiences living in Zambia at Our Life in Lusaka.

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