As a stay-at-home mom, you're probably familiar with the phrase, "the days are long, but the years are short." How true is this?!? Every day, we wake up with another long list of to-dos, usually including dishes and toys needing to be cleaned up from the day before. Even though our days can sometimes feel long, do you still feel like there are never enough hours in the day?
This is especially true in those few short hours after my husband gets home from work. As is probably extremely familiar to many of you stay-at-home moms and hard-working dads, my husband works long hours and has a long commute, so we often only have a few minutes of family time between dinner and bedtime. Because our time is short each evening, and because we know the years are flying by (how is our little boy almost FOUR?!?), we're trying to make the most of every little moment of family time we can find.
But this is easier said than done, right? The reality is that sometimes when my husband walks through the door at night, all I really want to do is grab a pint of ice cream out of the freezer and head upstairs to take a bubble bath ALONE! And that's assuming he actually managed to escape work and make it home before bedtime. Or that I don't have to race off to something the moment he walks through the door, quickly catching up on the events of our day between bites of the $1 hamburger he grabbed on his way home. Does this sound familiar? As our kids get older, I know it's also going to get harder and harder to find moments together, because not only will we have to work around my husband's schedule and my schedule, but we'll also be working around our kids' school and extra-curricular activities.
I know we are ALL much happier when we spend time together, so lately I've been on a mission to fit family time in anywhere I can. And even though it's not always easy, it is always worth it.
For example, I recently decided to pack a lunch and drive to my husband's office for a family lunch date. With minimal midday traffic, this drive only takes about 30 minutes. But it was a long 30 minutes. Getting out of the house is hard enough when you’ve had a decent night’s sleep and your child is happy, but this was NOT one of those days. Because we made a last-minute decision to go on this little outing, and because my husband had a meeting he had to be at, I raced around the house to find clothes, keys, and a wallet. And then I hurried our little boy out the door. But in our rush to get out the door, we forgot to grab something off the stairs that he had really wanted to bring with us, and he was devastated! After listening to him cry without being able to console him, I finally called my husband and explained that today just might not work. But the three of us talked about it, and we decided to dry our tears and continue on our little excursion. I am so glad we did! Even though it was hard for us to get out of the house, and the lunch I made wasn't anything special, those few moments together were totally worth it.
I know my little family isn't alone in this search for family time, so I thought I'd share a few things we've tried that have helped us make the most of our time together: