When is the last time you really enjoyed being with your kids?
No pressure. No complicated planning. Just good old family togetherness. Just being.
If it’s been quite a while… or if you can’t even remember the last time that happened… well, then maybe we have something in common:
Life is too stinking busy sometimes!
At this very moment, I feel like I’m juggling a mountain of “must do’s” and “need to do’s”…
- family birthday celebrations
- a funeral service at church (I have to leave the house in about an hour)
- prep for the upcoming homeschool year
- blog emails and deadlines
- a new website that needs to be designed for a friend
- baskets of clean laundry to fold, piles of dirty laundry to wash
- housework, housework, and more housework
- grocery shopping (the pantry is bare since our out-of-town trip last week)
Life is busy, yes? Always busy.
And, sometimes, too busy.
It’s true: I can’t control a lot of what kicks my life into turbo mode (sickness, stress, ministry needs, traveling).
Sometimes, especially during the busy summer months, life just feels terribly demanding of our time and energy.
As a mom, I’ve learned that it’s also true that I can’t keep going in turbo mode all the time.
I need to breathe.
My children need to breathe.
My husband (a busy pastor) needs to breathe.
If you haven’t noticed, life doesn’t generally hand us a hall pass and say, “Hey, Girl, you need a break!”
No. We have to be wise enough and proactive enough to give ourselves a break. To create space and cultivate quietness.
Last summer, I felt like I was at the breaking point. Life felt full, but not in a good way… full of demands on our time, energy, and mental and emotional focus.
We came home from church camp at the end of July to a messy house, piles of laundry, more to do’s… and a little boy’s birthday.
I’ll be honest, I felt like doing anything but getting ready for a four-year-old’s birthday party. I am a task-oriented mama to a fault (notice that “birthday celebrations” was on my “need to do” list at the top of this post!). I was emotionally and physically spent, and planning a birthday party (even a small one) just felt like another thing to do.
My husband and I decided that a fun day out of the house was in order, so we closed the door on the clutter and laundry and took our little crew of five kids to the park. Our son got to pick out a brand new scooter, then we headed to beautiful Trinity Park in Fort Worth and just enjoyed the day.
By the time we came home and put the kids down for a late afternoon nap, I had a whole new perspective on the messes and to-do lists. I felt refreshed. Like I could tackle life again, one day at a time.
Obviously, every day can’t be a birthday, but Jeremy and I decided that we do need a “down” day like that on a regular basis. We call them Family Days, and we make time for those once a month.
Sometimes we plan something fun, like a trip to a museum or amusement park. Sometimes we simply load up in the Tahoe and head to a local park for a picnic. And, sometimes, we simply stay at home and play games, swim, and eat pizza.
The point is that we have fun together as a family. We ignore the schedule and turn off cell phones.
We plan to rest!
We plan to enjoy!
I’m a minimalist mama, so our Family Days are never complicated. For this task-oriented mama who tends to take life way too seriously, the simplicity of just being with my family is what makes our Family Days so very enjoyable for me.
I just get to be. No demands. No to-do’s.
If you’re exhausted from a jam packed, overloaded, stressful summer, why don’t you create a little down time for your family?
How long has it been since you enjoyed a fun day with your family? I’m not talking about a complicated vacation or a stressful road trip.
A fun day.
Depending on what your family enjoys, here are a few ideas for simple and FUN “family day” activities:
- picnic at the park (turn off the cell phone)
- trip to the library (then make tents in the living room and read books together!)
- popcorn and movie night (our family enjoys Pure Flicks for clean family films)
- camping trip (this would be stressful for me, but maybe you love to go camping!)
- spend the afternoon swimming with your kids (eat popsicles or ice cream when you’re done)
- game night at home (make homemade pizza, or order out if you need a break)
What would you add to this list?
What does your family enjoy doing together for fun?