Time For Family – Lesson #1

by: Trisha Novotny

My five Children range in age from 9 to 22 years old.  So,  I am often asked what lessons did I learn as a MOM that  I am  now using  with our two younger children?

This question got me thinking and what a good question it was. So, I thought I would periodically post my mommy lessons I learned with the older children.

Lesson#1 – Don’t allow outside TIME to take over Family Time

When our first three kids were younger they were overly active playing baseball and soccer, taking piano, dance, art, cooking, swim lessons – the list of  their  activities was endless. Our motives were pure when we enrolled them into each activity or opportunity. However our Family calender quickly became full and when it came time to have those unscheduled impromptu family times, take a family mini-vacation or just sit home and watch a movie together we often had to say no to family time because we had said yes to outside time for our kids.

Looking back today – My older three kids had some great experiences on the many teams they played with, the great friendships they developed and yes we enjoyed cheering them on as well as  watching their performances.  But what memories do they have?  Crazy schedules, moving from one event to the next.  Yes,  at the time they thought is was fun. However,  when we talk about those busy crazy years  they talk about those trips we took, those times as a family we spent enjoying each other not the long list of activities they were involved in.

So, here is where  I learned my lesson – a few years ago my husband announced to me that we were going out of town with the kids to our friends cabin in the snow and that we would be  leaving on February 14th (did he forget this was Valentines day?) The kids would have to  miss two days of school as well as  their school parties not to mention I was room mom in two elementary classes which meant I was responsible for planning and assisting in the class Valentines day parties. My First thought and response was are you kidding the kids will not want to miss out at school and I have to be there. After taking some time to think about it I realized:

1. There were plenty of other moms to take over the class parties  – delegate was what I needed to do.

2. Ten years from now would my kids remember their Valentines day  party at school or the AMAZING trip we took as a family to the cabin – snowmobiling, sledding and spending time with family and friends for five days?

My final answer was that the  family trip to the cabin would be the life time memory not the school parties.

So, off we drove on February 14th leaving behind the school celebrations. The following  5 days were absolutely amazing watching my kids smile, laugh and enjoy every waking moment playing together as a family – now move forward 4 years and what do my kids talk about?  Not the Valentines day party they missed but the fun trip we took that year to the cabin in the snow.

Time with your family is not replaceable – Stop and look at your calendar  is it overfilled with  to many activities to many commitments that keep you from spending time as a family?

Start today scheduling in Family time you wont regret it.

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