When I was growing up, I can remember thinking how lucky I was to have such a close family. We were the kind of family that shared everything, from what we had done that day to what we wanted to do in the future. Nothing was off limits.
Over the years, as we, along with our parents and grandparents, have aged, our family relationship has changed. As adults, my siblings and I have so much more to do than we did as children. With crazy work schedules and an ever-growing list of household tasks, it’s far too easy to let quality family time slip through the net.
But whether we are busy or not, spending quality time with family should always be high on our list of priorities. Spending time with your loved ones – be it your children, parents or grandparents, is so important.
We all have our own busy lives to deal with, but that doesn’t give us an excuse not to make time for our family. Family is important and should be treated as such. That’s why I have put together this little guide to why we should make more of an effort to make time for our family.
Getting caught up with life is the main problem
I know that for me, the main reason I fail to make enough time to see my family is because I have too much going on. It might sound like an excuse, but it’s really not.
With long working hours, social events and running a home, getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life is far too easy. It’s easy to think, ‘I’m too busy to visit my parents today, I’ll see them next weekend’. Of course, when you are having a manic day, the easiest thing to cut is family time, this is because we think our family will always be there. But sadly, this isn’t the case.
Set aside time for family
Don’t assume that family time will just happen. Just like that conference you talk about booking but never do, there’s a risk it will slip through the cracks. If you care about time with your family, which you definitely should, set specific time slots aside.
Whether it’s a promise to visit your parents every Sunday or to take your grandparents out once a week, set aside time and plan around it. Don’t compromise on your family time for work, chores or anything else.
It’s far too easy to think, ‘we see each other all the time, we can do it anytime’, but once you fall out of the routine it’s far harder to make time for your family.
One-on-one time is also important
While it’s important to spend time with your entire family, it’s also nice to have quality time with individual family members.
It might take a bit of effort to get organized, but making the time for your family will improve your bond and increase your happiness. You might have to miss a few social events, but spending quality time with your loved ones is so much more important.
Take your grandpa for a day trip to a baseball game. Surprise your mom on her day off and take her out for coffee. Pop in on your grandmother and spend the afternoon watching her favorite movie. These are all little things, but perfect ways to spend a little one-on-one time with your loved ones.
Distance isn’t an excuse
If you don’t live within a drivable distance of your family, that doesn’t mean you can’t spend quality time with them. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because there is distance between you, you can’t be close.
With some incredible advancements in technology, keeping in touch with loved ones has never been easier. You might not be able to take your dad for a hot chocolate or visit your nan in person, but you can still spend quality time with them via Facetime.
If a loved one is feeling down or is a little under the weather, make an effort to show them that you care. You might live a couple of hours drive away, but there are plenty of ways you can send them your love.
If your mom has come down with the latest superbug, show her you care by sending a beautiful bunch of get well soon flowers and a cute card. If your dad has put his back out playing golf, send him your love with a yummy box of his favorite chocolates. It might not seem like much, but sometimes the smallest gestures are the best way to show someone how much you care.
Family time is family time
Our hectic lives have allowed us to become fantastic multi-taskers, but family time should be family time. No multitasking allowed.
When you are spending time with your family, checking your phone isn’t appropriate. To enjoy and get the most out of your quality time, you need to be present. If you are on your phone, then you aren’t fully present because part of your mind is elsewhere. I know how easy it is to get caught up on your phone, but if you want a close family bond, putting your phone down is crucial.
Sometimes it might be tricky finding the time for family, but it is important that we make the effort. You may not want to think about it – I know I don’t, but your parents and grandparents won’t always be around.
Appreciate your family for who they are, they might not be perfect, but they are the only family you are going to get. Make an effort to spend time with the whole family, as well as with individuals. Don’t let family time become boring. Try new things, go on adventures, make sure to make family time as fun and memorable as possible.
Aim to spend as much quality time with your family as you can, and always put your time together ahead of other commitments.