Last week a friend told me that she felt like her life was flying by. (We all feel this way, huh?) She said it is important for her to connect with her teenage daughter. The issue is their schedules are so booked, that she doesn’t have the energy or even moments to really talk. (She is a single parent, struggling to work, keep her home in order, raise a teenager, and keep her sanity!)
Eventually, she realized the school drop off is the one time of day they can truly talk. Her daughter gets out of the car feeling loved and cherished. My friend heads off to work feeling she is winning at parenting.
Life gets completely busy when you’re not a parent. When you ARE a parent, the definition of “busy” changes. I am a mom and wife. For me, I have to do little tasks in between diaper changes, paragraph edits, cooking dinner, and helping with homework. Because of the business I am in, it is imperative that I have excellent customer service. I will return messages within 24 hours! Sometimes, that means I have to stop in my tracks to just do it! I stop the dishes and the laundry and get it done.
Before children, I had designated times to do these things. Talk about juggling.
So how can we find time to connect as a family if we are constantly on the go? Recently, I felt a real connect and surprise, surprise, it was when we disconnected from our electronics. We had a rainy afternoon and my son’s Little League game was cancelled. My husband happens to coach his team. Suddenly, we were free so we went out to dinner.
As we sat down to dinner, we were without electronics. My husband left his phone home. We had my phone with me out of just being safe (if we broke down or anything), but it was in my purse and never touched. My son didn’t have any device. We were just a family.
That dinner was special! We talked. We related. We laughed. We made EYE CONTACT. Our conversations were real. We had funny moments that touched our hearts when our one year old made a funny face when she didn’t like a certain food. How special.
We vowed to unplug. We plan to do this once a week. Maybe some weeks we just can’t if we cannot sit together for dinner, but we all felt the connection and long for it.
Do you see a pattern of connection when you unplug in your family? Are there times each day or week when you can communicate with your family?
In today’s fast-paced world, it can be a challenge to find times to connect. You might try unplugging during a meal. Maybe a game night is the trick. Maybe taking a drive is what it’ll take. You know just taking a simple walk is the key. (Health and connection all in one!)
What works for your family?