5 ways to spend more time with your kids- even when your schedule is jam-packed

Anyone else's schedule resemble a shopping list? Sometimes it feels like we are just going through the motions of the week ticking things off and trying to get through it without a catastrophe. 

Family time can get lost along the way especially with a full house and a full diary. To help you out, we have come up with 5 ways to spend quality time as a family even though your week seems chock-a-block...

1. Family time on four wheels

I always think of car journeys as therapy sessions for me and my family. Use the time between school, work and activities to catch up on each others' day. The car is the perfect safe space where everyone can have time to discuss whatever they choose without the interruption of the door-bell ringing or pasta about to boil over.

It's a mini mobile sanctuary that can also be used as the family's karaoke den where both parent and child can perform at the top of their lungs without judgment. 

Besides from the whole singing thing, this time for chit chat, ranting and laughing about something that happened at school, can be done on public transport too- just make sure you use your indoor voices to avoid dirty looks from other passengers.

2. A spoon full of family time?

Take a leaf out of Mary Poppin's book and make chore time family fun time. Whether you're peeling potatoes or hanging up washing, it's only traditional to have a good gab with your kids and other-half while you do so.

Ask about their day and tell them about yours. Try to avoid argumentative topics like grades and phones so that you don't waste the precious time tut-tutting- we've all been there! 

You are also more likely to get the kiddos on board with housework if it feels more like a chit chat than boring chores- a win for mums everywhere.

3. Make screen time a family event

We all know how easy it is to stick on a film or hand the phone over to our babies when we have a MOUNTAIN of stuff to do, whether it be housework or work-work.

Try to use some of the screen time as a way to spend time with your kids. Watch a movie with them. Play a video game or have fun messing with a photo app together. Think of it as cancelling out the bad vibes of screen time by adding some mummy-baby fun into the mix-  AND most kids movies are fantastic these days, I mean, have you seen How To Train Your Dragon?

4. Family night- for one night only

I know it is easier said than done but can you think of ONE night where it might be possible to get the whole fam together for a movie or a takeaway? If you block off one night a week where everyone must be present at the dinner table (sans boyfriends or playdates) it would be something to look forward to during the tiresome week.

If you think your own family would be better suited to a walk in the park, a family board game or quiz, go for that- finding something that suits everyone is difficult but key to getting some quality family time.

5.  When you're there, be there

The best way to make sure you spend the right kind of time with the family is by really being present during family time.

TRY to leave work at work. TRY to say no to things that pull you away from your family at the wrong time- you cannot be there for everyone, all the time.

Re-evaluate your time schedule and if there are things that do not qualify as 'me time' or 'family time', ask your self if they are really necessary. Maybe have a box where everyone surrenders their phone during family time. You should work towards being mindful of precious family time with the people who mean the world to you. 

 

 

Anna Murray is an Irish student mum to one little girl.

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