I’ve mentioned before that Mike has a super stressful job and his hours are all over the place. We sometimes go days without really seeing him or getting much quality time together. It is a hard job, one that takes a huge toll on him. And though I feel bad saying it when I know how hard he works, it also takes a huge toll on us.
An unexpected perk of his crazy hours (for now, at least) is that he gets Mondays off. Because we’re all a little deprived of quality time as a family, I’ve deemed these days, “Monday Family Fun Days.” We always have some sort of adventure or we do something fun together.
We’ve gone to Chick-fil-a for lunch and to play. We’ve gone to the zoo. We’ve gone for a long walk through the neighborhood. We’ve spent an afternoon in the backyard pretending to be at the beach.
And yesterday, we carved our pumpkins.
The annual carving of the pumpkins is kind of Mike’s thing, though it’s been our tradition since our first year of dating. This is the first year that Lucas really enjoyed it and got in on the action. It was so sweet watching my boys work together. Caroline had fun playing in her high chair and watching every now and then. And she was very intrigued by the pumpkin seeds.
It was a perfect way to spend our “Monday Family Fun Day.”
We don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy a fun day together (though sometimes it is nice to treat ourselves). It’s often those small moments together that create traditions and strengthen ties. It doesn’t have to be grandiose to be memorable. The important thing is that we are together as a family. That we purposefully carve out time to be together. And we show our children (and each other) that family comes first.
For awhile, I felt sorry for myself. I truly felt like a single parent (albeit one blessed with a steady paycheck without having to leave the house). In the very few hours we had together, we were constantly running around trying to get things done. It was stressful. Overwhelming. No way to live.
But the laundry can wait. And the dishes can, too. And all the little odds and ends that need repair and tending to around the house aren’t nearly as important as building memories as a family.
When life is frustratingly hard, we must figure out the tiny silver lining. What is something small we can change that will make a huge difference in our days? For me, it was the creation of this special day each week. We start the work week with “Monday Family Fun Day” and the rest of the week seems bearable, even though I’m pretty much on my own.
Sometimes it just takes a little creativity and a change in attitude to make the best of an otherwise crummy situation.
Do you have any ideas for future “Monday Family Fun Days?”
Life happens when we spend time with family.
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