How much do you and your kids do in one week? I always feel like we “do the same old thing” every week but when I stop and take inventory we do A LOT!
When you have a spouse that travels there is a tendancy to fit all “family” activities into the few days a week. We did this for the longest time. My husband would come home from 6 days away (exhausted) and I would have a list of 100 things for us to do in the 2.5 days he was home.
Keeping up that kind of schedule is exhausting. It will also become less and less enjoyable over time. Good news, you can avoid exhaustion and still enjoy your family time!
I’ve created 2 “Bucket Lists”. One for the week when my husband is gone and one for the 2.5 days when he is home. When he is away I want to accomplish all I can to make his time at home productive. When he is home I strive to make our time together peaceful and relaxing. Here’s how it works…
Home Bucket List: This looks like a “to-do” list and I am sure it is. But if I look at it through the eyes of what I want to conquer and accomplish (the definition of a bucket list) it is easier to complete and just more fun!
Finish the Laundry: Including folding & putting away. Laundry is just a long task. Try and have most of it wrapped up so you can get dressed and easily get out the door with your family.
Clean the Bathroom: Who wants to get grimy when you could be do something fun with your family! Seriously. Grunt work is no fun but part of the privilege of having a home. Get your kids involved and do the icky tasks while your spouse is away.
Pay Bills: Don’t let the unruly state of your finances impair your ability to be together as a family. Knowing the bills are paid and what exactly you have to spend will give you the freedom to plan ahead!
Family Bucket List: There are SO MANY things to do as a family and it just gets more complicated when school is involved. The family bucket list is a reminder of why we do what we do with our family time.
Kid Fun Time: Try and schedule one activity that just screams KID FUN! What do your kids really love to do? It doesn’t have to be huge. My kids like going to the local gelato place, having ice cream and playing with the train table. Having a focused kid activity gives both parents the chance to create memories and engaged with your kids at their level.
Adult Time: Marriage can be hard. It can be even harder when you go a week without seeing each other every day. Create space for you and your husband to just have some time together. Again, this does not have to be huge or expensive (although every once in awhile it is fun to surprise your spouse with something big!) One evening I surprised my husband by bringing home coffee and dessert from our local bakery. We had a candle light dessert right in our kitchen!
Down Time: Time to do nothing and just be a part of the day. The temptation is to “fit it all in” when everyone is home. This is exhausting for all. The parent who is not travelling needs down time, the parent that is travelling needs rest and the kids will appreciate not being run all over town several days in a row! Just enjoy the day. Get up and have a big breakfast, have a family movie night in or all take naps one afternoon. Enjoy rest!
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t hit the mark on these lists every week. Having these bucket lists helps keep me focused and gives me perspective day to day. It also reminds me of what is most important, our family!
Have any great ideas for how to improve the precious hours your family has together? Share your ideas in the comments and let us know what is on your list!