We want our children to be well-rounded. We want them to be in sports, scouting, band, or whatever else they want to be try. When you had your first child, it was pretty easy to manage. You created a schedule and managed to get your kid to everything they wanted to do. Then your second child came along.
You and your spouse spend the weekend driving the kids to their different activities. You keep a journal on what they need for each event. When you talk to your spouse at all on the weekend it is probably coming together to determine who can take Bobby to Cub Scouts and Jane to dance class which is in the opposite direction. You are experiencing the joys of parenting.
You have to give something to get something
Before you begin creating a plan that allows your family a stress-free, and enjoyable weekend, you must acknowledge this fact. Hanging on to everything your child wants to try takes up valuable family ties. Further, having more activities than they can handle, means your child will not really focus on mastering anything.
Photo credit: Monica Gazalo
You will have to make some rules that will limit your time away from each other and allow you to recover and rest from your week. Below we have listed a few suggestions to help you begin.
- Each child is limited to 2 activities per week.
- Each weekend you spend at least one day or one evening together as a family
- Give yourself permission to say no
- Say no to attending a birthday party of someone who is not on the top 5 friends list.
- Say no overnight guests.
- Say no to parents who want you to pick up and deliver their child for them as you are going anyway.
- Order everything online. Yes, everything. You can order your groceries and pick them up. You can order dinner at many family restaurants and do a curbside delivery.
Find activities that you can do together
This is a family decision. If the children do not agree, you have the deciding vote. It is important to have family hobbies and family routines. Here are some low maintenance and stressless ideas.
- Watch a movie
- This does not mean that you always have to go out to the movies. Create a routine that everyone watches a movie together on Friday night. You can rent your movies online or on your various television accounts.
- Make microwave popcorn
- Turn off all the lights like you are in a theater
- Plant an herb garden
- Purchase movie candy
- You do not have to settle. Everyone loves movie candy. You can order it online. Buy movie theater candy in bulk. You can pass it out on movie night, and if you happen to accidentally drop a couple of boxes in your purse or backpack when you go to the theater, you will not have to pay ridiculous prices for it.
Photo credit: Darren Bockman
- Build or make something
There was a time when parents and children made things together. It created a bond between them. Here are some suggestions:
- A train track city
- Order a kit and make a beautiful doll
- Bake cupcakes
- Write a family journal
- Teach your child how to make and fly a kite. This an inexpensive hobby.
- Sit down as a family and put together a 3-D puzzle
- Check out your wedding albums
This might be fun for kids, to learn how they parents got married and see from time to time how the tradition and wedding style is changing through time. It might be fun for your daughters to see you in stunning wedding dress, but it also might help them make a vision about their future family. It’s important to “get back” in the past through photos and stories, because it helps your kids prepare for rapid changes in their nearby future as well!
- Take up hiking together
Or, explore nearby woods, lakes and natural landmarks. You will have to pace yourself. Stay on a trail they can easily master and gradually select trails that are more difficult.
The latest trends implies that 40% of people will work remotely in a decade, which means your kids might be able to decide if they would rent a cottage in the wood for few months to settle and work from there. It’s good start to let them know that woods are amazing, but also to make them learn all the difficulties that might pop up in the wild.
Bonus idea: Volunteer
You do not have to spend your weekends serving people at the missions. There are other ways to help. You can help walk the dogs at an animal shelter. Bake some cookies and take them to your local fire department. Spend one on one time with your kids while giving back to the community.
There a lot of ways you can enjoy your weekends with your children and allow yourself to live a low-stress life. Your child will do the things they want to do. There is always next year. Limiting their activities and spending time as a family builds a strong and healthy family.