This is a guest post by Danielle who provides a list of beautiful ways to find time to spend together as a family. I hope you are as inspired as I was to invest in time spent with my family, even in the busy seasons.
My husband has a schedule that is never the same from day-to-day and week-to-week. He often works nights and a few weekend days a month.
Sometimes he’s home in the mornings, sometimes in the evenings, but never consistently one or the other for more than a day or two.
It makes it very difficult to have date nights, be involved in small groups at church, or spend much time with friends. We have to plan our life a few weeks at a time.
After several months of trying to figure out how this was going to work with a new baby and the life outside of work that we wanted, we came to a point where it didn’t seem possible to fix.
We used the excuse of a crazy schedule and allowed it to keep us from getting involved or spending time together.
But then we thought, we can either give up and never do anything, or we can change our attitude about it and do what we can. We decided to make our own adventures.
That change in attitude is the key. Finding the positives in our situation is what finally helped us to find ways to work around our hectic, inconsistent schedule.
We may be limited in some ways, but we also have free time during times of the day when other families do not. We might not be able to see our friends often, but we can make the most of the times we do see them.
It can be hard to find time for date night every week, but we can get creative and spend some quality time together after the kiddo goes to bed.
So here are some ideas for making your own adventures when you are stuck with an inconsistent schedule.
1. Cook together. If you have a morning free, or a rare evening at home, make an awesome meal together, getting everyone involved in the cooking (and the clean up!).
2. Turn the TV off. Many nights he was finally home, we found ourselves winding down to senseless TV. Turn it off! You’ll be glad you did, I promise.
3. Put Date Nights on the Calendar. This will give you something to look forward to instead of focusing on the daily schedule frustrations.
4. Take turns planning dates. Since you’ll have them on your calendar, you have some time to plan. Use that time wisely and get creative!
5. Work on a project. Start a puzzle, or a building project. When you have free moments here and there throughout the week, it will give you something you can do together.
6. Make good use of off days. Sometimes he’s off on Tuesday and Friday, or Wednesday and Sunday. It is always changing and most times we would fill those days up with errands. Make good use of a day off instead. Rest up, spend some down time – pretend that Tuesday morning is Saturday morning and watch cartoons in your jammies.
7. Plan your week. Write out your goals for the week together, time with each other, with friends, or alone. Get it written down. The better you communicate about what you’d like the week to look like, the more likely it will!
Danielle is a blogger and cartoonist who writes about her struggles with anxiety and fear on her facebook blog Monday Morning Mom. After experiencing loneliness and isolation as a new mom, she now has a passion for reaching out and connecting with other moms going through struggles as a parent, offering encouragement and support. Danielle lives in Ohio with her husband Mike and their son.