Now that school is in full swing, many families have returned to the hectic schedules that fill our
calendars. Meetings, appointments, lessons, practices, work, competitions and games can keep us busy from the beep of our morning alarms until the time we collapse into bed. As a result, our priorities as parents often shift as we attempt to negotiate how to meet these demands. Sometimes it feels like we spend hours of our day playing chauffeur to our children as they go from one thing to the next. At times, it can feel overwhelming, trying to ensure that our kids’ needs are met while also making sure that we get done what we need to do.
We have a calendar to track who is where when. Our house doesn’t live 9am to 5pm as was once the norm. Work requirements have both hubby and me at evening meetings and events. The kid also has evening priorities. We had dinner together Saturday and Sunday evening but Monday, hubby has a meeting, Tuesday the kid is in school until 6:30pm, Wednesday the kid has a dinnertime meeting, Thursday the kid is in school and at lessons until 8:30pm and I have an evening meeting. So, it will be Friday before we can have dinner as a family again and we are only 3 people. I can only imagine what it is like negotiating the calendar for more children!
Still, we try to make the time we have together meaningful. Every effort is made to ensure that we have at least a little time each day to reflect together on what has happened. Sometimes this is essentially limited to the moment before bed where we pray together, identifying something which makes us mad, glad, sad or scared, something for which we are thankful and what we hope to achieve tomorrow. This typically provides some insights into our journeys individually and as family. It is a moment in time, but remains something important for all of us.
We also pair off and connect. Time in the car going from one event to the next is spent in conversation giving us an opportunity to hear from the kid about the challenges and blessings of life. Hubby and I take time each day to share the challenges and blessings of work. Sometimes these are small moments, but, for us, these moments matter.
I know, our schedules are not unique. Families today face similarly hectic days that make it difficult to connect. How does it work in your home? How do you try to ensure that the needs of all family members are met? In what ways do you try to connect with every person, catching glimpses of life as they seem to fly by? What commitments does your family make to be together at least for some moments throughout the week?
Share your thoughts and practices in the comments. Who knows, it might inspire something new for someone else.
Thrive! A living manual for families uses the tools of social media and food and fellowship to facilitate conversation about the blessings and challenges of being family today. Check out http://stpaulstrinity.org/?page_id=2100 for more information or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThriveFamiliesManual/