This post is sponsored by the Bupa Team Family movement.
I just can’t juggle everything any more.
The kids keep fighting, the house is a disaster zone, nothing ever gets done, and I can’t find time to clean the toilet let alone time for ‘family connection’.
It feels impossible.
It is impossible.
But in the back of my mind a little voice keeps nagging at me to make it happen.
I know family time has been missing from our precariously balanced schedule. I know it has been chucked in the too hard basket, too often, lately. It just seems so impossible to manage, now that the kids are getting older and everyone has so much going on.
But that is just an excuse, and that little voice in the back of my mind keeps nagging at me. It keeps reminding me that when things start going to hell in a handbasket, that’s when it’s most important to make an effort to reconnect with family.
Our family is our team.
Being part of a family is being part of a team. A team that knows each other better than anyone. A team that supports each other. A team that can overcome challenges. A team that you can rely on, no matter what.
Right now our ‘team’ is a bickering, un-cooperative, mess, and I think I need to listen to that voice in my head, and work on it.
Six reasons Family time is worth the effort.
Family time improves self-esteem.
When we spend time enjoying our kids they feel like they matter, they feel important, they feel loved. The same goes for us adults. When we value family time, we value each other. Spending time together makes us all feel better about ourselves, and when we feel better, we do better.
Family helps communication.
The older my kids get, the more I realise that talking is my best parenting tool. The kids are much more likely to talk when we are doing something fun, than if we sit them down for a formal discussion. Family time is an opportunity to enjoy chatting with our kids (as opposed to screeching at each other which has been happening a bit here lately) about the little things, and sometimes, the big things.
Family time is an opportunity to role model positive behaviour.
Sometimes I feel like all I do is tell my kids to hang up their towels and put their darn shoes away. There must be times when pretty much all they hear is me nagging and all the see is me being stressed. This is not the behaviour I want to role model for my kids! I want to show them how to communicate respectfully, how to be kind and considerate, how loving adults behave towards each other and everyone else, and that there is more to life than ‘getting things done’.
Family time helps improve sibling relationships.
Sometimes our kids fight. Sometimes our kids fight a lot. Sometimes the fighting drives me bonkers and the last thing I feel like doing is spending time with fighting kids. But spending time together as a team helps my kids appreciate their siblings’ strengths and be supportive of their weaknesses. It reminds them that they can have fun together, that they can work out their differences without a punch up, and, in the long run, it makes sibling relationships better all round.
Family time helps connection and connection helps conflict.
If I have a strong connection with my kids, if they feel loved unconditionally, if they feel respected and supported, then when I need to set limits or deal with inappropriate behaviour they are more likely to work with me rather than against me. Having a strong family connection is the best way I know to manage difficult behaviours and other struggles. Time spent on connection now makes the rough times with our team much easier to manage.
Family time builds a strong home base.
As our kids get older, and more independent, and head out into the world, I want them to know that they will always have a place to come home to. I want them feel like they have a team that will support them no matter what, and a safe place to come back to. The memories, the silly family traditions, the connections we are making now, are building that place for the future.
I know it feels impossible to squeeze in one more thing. I know it feels like this whole ‘Team Family’ thing is just another item on our lists that we feel guilty about never getting done. But building your family connection doesn’t have to take a heap of time, or a huge effort.
It can be as simple as making it a priority to eat dinner together a couple of times a week. It could be planning a silly game together every once in awhile. Or grabbing the chance to join the kids on the trampoline, or in the pool, whenever you can.
It’s making the most of the small moments that counts, and a little effort now will pay off, big time for your team, in the future.
How do you make sure you family team stays connected?
I’d love to hear about the little things you do to build and support your Team Family, and how to make time to fit it all in.