“Family is not an important thing. It is everything” – Micheal J Fox
On Sunday evenings, have you ever looked back at your weekend and wonder what in the world you did? I have! Sometimes at the end of a weekend, I can’t even remember what we did. I remember feeling busy, having periods of laziness, but can’t remember any specifics. I know we didn’t use our precious weekend time very wisely. A few minutes of advanced planning can change that.
Consult Your People
The first step to forming a plan is to check in with all your people. Does your child have a project due? Is there an activity going on that isn’t on the calendar? Did your child forget to tell you that she is babysitting? If you plan without all the facts, even your best intentions could be for not. Make sure you hear from everyone before getting too involved in planning.
As a family we get together every Monday to discuss our week. Plans do change, but doing this simple thing at dinner will help you keep track of where everyone is for the week. Especially as the kids get older and busier.
Calendar Your Weekend
Now that you know what everyone has going on, you can create a rough timeline for the weekend. Who needs to be where and when? Only include non-negotiable items on this timeline. Hopefully if you still have free time available. If not, you might need to make some priority changes.
Now that you know you have free time, it is time to decide what to do with this time. Having a variety of things to do can help each weekend be different and exciting for everyone. We have a couple of goals, Adventure, Productivity, Family Fun Night, and Service. Each family is different so find categories that apply to your family. Write down 2-3 things per goal.
Is there something you like to do together? Is there an event going on in your city that would be fun to attend? This category is for things you like to do, but don’t always have time. We like to take our kids to new places around the city. We also like to hike the different area parks. Getting outside, exploring new things together, and making memories is what we hope for with this goal.
Are there things around the house that need to be done? Errands that need to be done? This is my least favorite one. Haha, but this can be the weekend for projects, planting gardens, getting some shopping done, and doing chores together.
Family Fun Night Goals
Sometimes the best days are playing board games, baking together, having a movie night, going for a bike ride, etc. Write down 2 or 3 things that your family loves to do just for fun. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. The goal is to be together as a family.
Occasionally we have opportunities to serve others. We like to help other as a family. We’ve helped clean a building, helped a new family move in, helping a neighbor. You can check with a local food or diaper bank, pet adoption agency, etc. Look for these opportunities and more to serve others as a family.
Now that you have a list of activities to help fill our weekend, take a look at your initial schedule and see what activity you can do. Be sure to allow time to get to and from each activity. Be flexible and realize things happen. Sometimes a much needed nap is a high priority. You may find that some weekends are full of adventure, while others consist mostly of productivity. I think the important thing is that you come away from your weekend feeling achieved. Don’t over-schedule yourself. I know it might seem like more is better, but it isn’t. An over-scheduled weekend ca be worse than an unstructured one, especially for little ones. Make goals, set priorities, and have fun together.
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