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Top New Year Resolutions

January 7th, 2008

What do you think are the top 4 New Year Resolutions made every year?

View any poll on this topic and the top 4 will likely be Lose Weight, Exercise More, Stop Smoking, and Spend More Time with Family.
Did you make one of these resolutions for this year? 🙂

Since this site is about being parents, let’s talk about that last one – Spending More Time with Family.

I am sure there are many legitimate reasons that keep us from our goal. It might be overcommitment, it might be long work hours, it might be laziness. But let’s just get down to solutions.

Here are some suggestions for finding that extra time to spend with your family:

1. Limit the time you spend on housework. My husband will tell you I am the worst housekeeper in the world. I would like to think that I am sacrificing housework in order to spend more time with my family. Actually, I just don’t want to do housework! But reality is, laundry has to be done, dishes has to be washed, the toilet has to be scrubbed or the health department will be showing up pretty soon. I get overwhelmed with housework and end up always feeling guilty that I should be cleaning something.

So here is what I do. I set my timer for an amount of time I will spend on housework a day, excluding daily chores like cooking and washing dishes. When that timer goes off, I am done. Some days I can set the timer for an hour. Some days I only do 15 minutes of housework. At least I know I made some progress, and the rest of the time I am free to spend with my family without feeling guilty about it.

2. When your child wants you to be with him, drop everything and be there.

My daughter came to me and said, “Mom, do you want to play a game with me?”
I replied, “Let’s play later, I’m busy right now.”
“When later?” she asked.

Good question: When later?

Instead of feeling guilty later that I didn’t spend time with my children, I just do it NOW, not later.

I set a timer and say, “Mommy can play with you for 15 minutes now, then I have to cook dinner. After dinner we will play another 15 minutes.”

Can dinner wait for 15 minutes? Sure it can. Anything can wait 15 minutes. And 15 minutes is enough to play a round of jump rope, a few games of hangman, or even a video game together. Seize the opportunity and make your time with your family a priority.

3. Kill two birds with one stone by doing chores together. While you cook, you can have the children sort out silverware, or shell peanuts, or anything to keep them in the kitchen with you. Doing yard work together is always fun. We have a swimming pool, so while my husband is outside balancing the chemicals, our kids sweep around the pool and skim the leaves. It doesn’t matter that they don’t actually make a dent in getting the pool clean, but it counts as time together!

4. Cut another commitment from your schedule. Realistically, you can not be super mom and do everything for everyone. Spending more time with your family will require a sacrifice of another activity. When I had children, I cut back on church involvement even though it was something that was worthy of my time. But being with my family had a higher priority.

Though I’ve been a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom), when I look back now, I still feel like I didn’t spend enough time with my children. They grow up so fast, I wish I can slow down time a bit!

You don’t have to make a resolution. Simply do something different this year that will allow you to spend more time with your family.

What other ideas do you have?

Photo by blmurch

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