Family time is a very precious time for all of us. As working moms, we can sometimes experience the infamous mom guilt. And we often say that we wish we had more time to spend with our families. But as busy working moms, how do we find that time? Let’s talk about a few things that I have found helpful.
This is the fourth blog in teh the Life Balance series, so if you missed the previous ones make sure you check them out (links at the bottom).
So how do we find more family time as working moms?
Tip #1: Schedule Your Family Time!!!
The first tip I will give you is to schedule family time. In other words, we make time rather than find time. If you are like me, and love to plan, create to-do-lists, and use planners, family time should be put on all of those lists and plans. When you sit down on Sunday evening to plan you week ahead, plan some dedicated family time.
Maybe it will be going to the movies on Saturday night. Or maybe you will plan for a family trip to the local park for a picnic on Sunday afternoon. Scheduling those activities will help you dedicate a specific chunk of time to spend with your family.
Tip #2: Set Boundaries
The second tip to find more family time is to set work boundaries. Whether you work for yourself or someone else, in your home or in a different location – it is very important to set some boundaries. What I mean by that is that have to define some limits for yourself. That is specifically for things like your working hours, the type and frequency of work events outside of work hours, and the amount of work travel you are willing to do.
Setting those parameters for yourself will help you make decisions quicker and address the mom guilt. Because you know you are making them in accordance with the plan and boundaries you have set.
This will also help you figure out when your current job is no longer a good fit for you. For example, maybe you will decide that the increased travel requirements for your job has become exhausting and is taking too much time away from your family. This will signal that it is time for a change.
Tip #3: Be Creative with the Time that You Have
The next tip is to be creative with the limited time that you have. I have talked about in my previous blog post, but remember that it is quality over quantity. So find little chunks of time throughout the day where you can spend some time together.
For example, one of the things a lot of moms do is drive our kids to schools and different after-school activities. Use that time to talk about their day, an upcoming Holiday, or any other topic. You can also play some car games or sing along to a song on the radio. Choose whatever you and your kid(s) enjoy most – this is your time.
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Tip #4: Family Traditions
The next tip for finding more time with your family has to do with family traditions. When you think back on your childhood those are probably the things that are most memorable. These are special traditions that you have as a family. The big ones are of course those related to Holidays. I know I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas! Because I cannot wait to celebrate it our own special way. One of the big ones for me is decorating the Christmas Tree the day after Thanksgiving. We are looking forward to it every year.
But it’s important that we have some other small traditions as a family throughout the year. It could be family Sunday service at your church, family movie nights, shopping trips, or reading books to your kids before they go to sleep. One of the ones that we have for example is that every time we go to the zoo we pull out a map and our kids decide where we go. They have so much fun knowing that it’s up to them to make those decisions. And yes, it might seem like something silly or insignificant, but I promise you that those are the things your kids will remember.
Tip #5: Work Together
The next tip that I have for you is to spend time together when you are doing chores. You can have a dance party when you are cleaning the house. Or maybe a fun competition on who will be quickest with cleaning their space.
For us, we always have a lot of fun when we do yard work. Planting a garden, raking the leaves, or shoveling the snow. Even when you have smaller kids who can’t really do the work, involve them. They will have fun doing little tasks while you do the actual work – but I promise it will be fun for you as well.
Tip #6: Be Present
The last tip for finding more family time as a working mom is to be present when you are with your kids. That means turn off any distractions. My main distraction is my phone. I have become really intentional with putting my phone away when I’m with my kids. I usually just leave it in another room. That way I’m not tempted to pick it up to check my social media. I also turned off most of my notifications.
Because you are not really spending time with your family when you are multitasking and checking your phone or watching TV when they are trying to talk to you.
BONUS TIP: Ask Your Kids
If your kids are old enough, ask them how they like to spend time with you. This will help you decide on the types of activities you should plan ahead. Because you want your family time to be spent on things you all enjoy doing. The more you tailor your activities to what your family enjoys the most, the more memorable they will be. And balance it out with new activities – that way we can also explore some other things to see what else you might enjoy.
What is your favorite way to spend time with your family?
Previous blog post in the Life Balance Series:
Related: Life Balance of a Working Mom
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