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Making time for family

Making time for family
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Hectic schedules can really get in the way of family time. Even if you manage to spend a decent amount of time with each member of your family every week, how often do you all get to spend quality time together? Many families find one parent is rushing off to football training with one child while the other is taking another kid to drama group. Or perhaps you and your partner work opposite shifts so that one of you is always around to look after the children. Whatever your family circumstances, it can be difficult to squeeze in quality time for the whole family.

Do what you love

One way to ensure you get to spend time as a family is to enjoy shared interests together. Whether it’s following a sports team, hiking, music, visiting galleries or simply watching a film, doing it together will make the activity more enjoyable you won’t resent not being able to take part in your old hobbies and interests.

Cut back on activities

Extra-curricular activities can sometimes get a little out of hand. Between sports, music, drama and homework clubs, it can seem as though every evening is taken up. However, kids really don’t need all that stuff going on. Talk to kids to find out which ones are most important to them and then consider dropping one or two after school or weekend activities to make time for family.

Making time for family

Make the most of the mundane

Shopping or cooking can seem like a chore but it can be valuable time spent as a family. Cooking dinner as a team is a great way to teach kids the rules of the kitchen and how to prepare their own food. However, it is also a great chance to chat and catch up with what’s going on in each other’s lives. Young kids will enjoy a ride in a supermarket trolley (especially with spins and the odd burst of super speed thrown in!) and older kids can be given a list of things you need them to look out for. Even tidying and cleaning can become a team activity that both brings the family together and frees up more time to do fun stuff.

Leave work at the door

One of the biggest things to have a negative impact on family time is work. Obviously, you can’t and/or don’t want to give that up but there are ways to minimise the effect it has on your family. The first is to leave it at the door when you leave. Unless you have brought work home to do, forget about your job as soon as you leave the building. Get rid of any pent up frustration on the way home and avoid complaining or gossiping about your workplace when you greet your family. Secondly, if possible, you could consider cutting back your hours. Of course, this will impact on your finances but if you can afford it and your employer allows it then it could set aside a lot more hours for quality family time. Finding time to spend with the family can be tricky but you’ll probably find that once you’ve worked out the best way to make it happen, it will become routine.

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About Maria Brett

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About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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