Thank your your MANY wise and varied tips.
It’s so interesting – parenting can be like whack-a-mole. Just when you get one piece figured out (or mostly figured out), another pain point pops up.
A “perfect” family life is never going to be achievable (at least not at our house!).
But “better”? Yes. I believe we’ve gotten to “better” with a lot of aspects over the years. It takes time, creativity, and energy — more than I feel like expending sometimes. But it is worth it.
Our current bedtime routine proves this to me. Mornings too! Both were messes. Now they aren’t. It took some thought, effort, and trial and error. But this was all 100% worth it in the end!
In doing a lot of reflection, honestly — I think we got really really lazy about screens on weekends. It was soooo alluring to have a few solid HOURS of reading time or non parenting time or whatever. Almost magical! But it did come at a cost. Not trying to be melodramatic but . . . I think my kids (some of them more than others) are not best served by staring at stimulating games for hours on end.
I’m going to talk to the kids about it this weekend. We are going to come up with some much lower limits and plans for an ‘off ramp’ to avoid the horrible post-iPad behavior crashes. Josh and I will have to give each other breaks if we need breaks (on his non-call weekends) and do more dividing + conquering. And yes, play dates + social time for the win! It’s not always achievable but when it works, it’s fantastic.
PS: the timing of this post in mid-September is not coincidental. I know that going outside helps so much. BUT this is still our off-season and it always drags at this point (because the end of the humidity is not near!). Still, it’s not like we live in Death Valley. We will deal.
This weekend Josh is on call.
- getting up early to get my workouts in so that I will feel like I got to do something *for me* each day
- outings both days – first, the library (open 10-6 Saturday!). Then probably science museum one day because our membership expires in a week, and Urban Air the other. Normally Saturday AM is taken up by gymnastics (all 3) but sadly there’s a meet or something so not this Sat.
- inviting our neighbors over (kids A&C’s age sadly no G equivalent)
- discussing with the kids our plans for afternoon – working on at least trying a short stint of ‘relax on your own without screen’ time
- movie night saturday night (newish movie recs welcome! Luck?)
- bedtime 30 minutes after the usual time but not super late
Will report back. And refer to your comments.
PS: newest fun planning tool (that sort of relates to this post – or time use in general):