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.
You can find out more about Bupa’s Team Family initiative here.
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.
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
I can definitely relate to this. Life gets so busy and we all find it hard to make time for family in our household, but really, it should be top of our priority list. Lately I’ve been making time to put down work, technology, and everything else, and spend one on one time with my son and husband. Sometimes we go to the park or the pool to get away from all the distractions.
Yes! Sometimes you need to get out of the house to get away from all the other ‘stuff’ that is going on!
Great post Kate. I love the point about how connection helps conflict. I think it helps with conflict outside of the family too, because they’re much more likely to want to reveal what’s bothering them, or fess up if they’ve done something wrong, if they feel like they have that connection. It’s one of the reasons why my husband and I have quit our high flying jobs and instead are choosing to stay at home / work from home / work part-time while the kids are little. It means the house gets trashed every single week cause there’s four people using it 24/7, but I think it’s worth it.
It’s worth the mess as well as the time! LOL
It can be so easy to put family time on the back burner when life gets busy. You had some great tips!
I needed to read this today. Struggling with school holiday/work overload. This was a good reminder of where my priorities lie.
I’m finding the holiday/work juggle rough too at the moment… Sometimes it’s hard to just switch off from work and focus on family isn’t it!
This was wonderful to read. Just when I’m feeling seriously overwhelmed, I read something like this and feel better. It’s worth the effort. :)
I hope it helps. Often when I am feeling the most overwhelmed is when I forget this stuff!
I am a stickler for having dinner together and ignore the complaining that often comes from the older teenagers at the start. Once we start eating and talking it is always worth the effort.
Lovely post Kate
We are a ‘dinner together’ family too… my kids don’t know any different, so I am hoping I won’t get too much complaining as they all get older!
Kate @ the craft train says
I try to take time to do something with my kids most days, in the school holidays it is much easier but during busy times it is often just reading together in the evening, or having a talk at bed time. It definitely strengthens relationships and is important I agree.
trixi symonds says
The time you spend with your kids is the most important thing for their well being. And really it’s just the little fun things you do together that they’ll remember. When my kids were little I’d often surprise them by saying we were going somewhere boring but really we’d be off on a surprise adventure and that could be something as simple as going to get slurpees. They still remember those adventures!!
That is such a fun idea! I might plan some adventures for my kids this year!
Anastasia, Montessori Nature says
Such a wonderful reminder. Number one is especially important! Kids need to know their identity through forming strong bond wit their family! Thank you for sharing!