Reset After Work Day After Spending 10 Minutes With Family
I’ve always been a disorganized parent. I remember how my first child, who was only a few months old, became inconsolably moody, and I could not understand why. “Well, has his sleep time already passed?” someone asked me and I thought, wait: is there time for sleep ?
I’ve gotten better at a lot of things, but the general feeling of chaos still reigns supreme. Now my husband and I sit at home all day with our three children, who mostly take care of themselves while we work. After we have finished the day, we have the same difficulties in disconnecting and relaxing that I believe many of us are dealing with right now. A family dinner would be a great way for all of us to reconnect, but for a variety of food and time management reasons, it is not necessary for everyone to sit down at the same time to eat the same thing.
Another alternative is a late night family snack , but what turned out to be the best for us was cutting off the time spent together from any particular food. Instead, we announced 10 minutes from 5:50 pm to 6:00 pm “family time.”
Family rules are simple:
- All report to the living room.
- Everyone puts their phones or video games down.
- Everyone has a chance to share one thing.
Your “thing” can tell us about something you did that day, or share the thoughts that were in your head. My youngest likes to name the toy she wants for her (distant) birthday. Sometimes my oldest child tells a joke or amuses us with the newest animal fact he learned on YouTube. My husband told the news about a sick tree in the yard that he looks after.
We constantly record family time throughout the month, and it lasts because the kids love it . The alarm goes off every day at 5:50 am, and they surround us all, and then enjoy fighting with each other for the best seats on the couch, basking in the rays of everyone’s radiance, giving them (and each other) attention for a full 10 minutes. …
When I say that, it seems silly. The smallest of hacks. But they love it, and I appreciate the punctuation marks at the end of the day, and I almost feel like a parent who got all their shit together.
Sometimes we all even manage to have dinner together afterwards.