Life with two children seems to fly by in a bit of a whirlwind. We rush around all week, dashing from daycare to playdates and activities, and then the weekend always goes too fast. Tony works long hours in the week and hardly sees Milin and Jasmin, and at the weekend it is too easy to get caught up with running errands.
As a family, we’ve decided to make spending quality time together a priority. We realised recently that while we all rush around getting things done, we don’t always spend enough time together as a foursome. Tony often takes Milin out so they can spend time together while I look after Jasmin – and while this makes sense, doing it too much means we miss out on being all together.
Less than two months ago, we decided to set aside some time each weekend to do something together as a family. It could be going on an outing together, or simply doing something new or special with each other.
We’ve been calling them our little adventures, but really, they are usually just outings which we’ve put in the diary with a big red box around them denoting ‘non-negotiable/can’t be changed’. It sounds simple – do stuff together as a family at the weekend – but actually it’s more than that. It’s meant that for a little time each week, we’ve not allowed other things to get in the way of what is really important – each other.
We’ve taken a trip to the theatre to watch an interactive children’s show, we’ve made a couple of trips to the riding stables near our house where you can walk amongst the horses and tractors before sitting down for a decent coffee in the cafe, and we’ve done plenty of autumn walks on days when we’ve had less time. We’ve also taken the children to Hamleys or the first time, and gone to see the planes at the Royal Air Force museum – this was a big hit with Milin.
Giving ourselves the time to do these things is letting us make new discoveries. We’ve found out that Milin loves the theatre and we’ve also worked out how to get from our house to central London without encountering any stairs or escalators on the tube. Most importantly though, these weekend activities are turning into a really special bonding time for us all as a family.
I know we won’t always be able to do something very exciting every weekend, but we are determined to keep up our once a week adventures. We’ve realised that it is worth taking time out of our busy schedules, just to hang out together. And we’ve remembered that just hanging out is so much fun.
Sometimes the outings we have planned seem like they’ll be too hard, or after a long sleepless night we can doubt whether they are such a good idea. But, we’ve found that they always are worth doing – even if we have to modify our plans a little to suit the weather or the children’s moods. Tony and I are incredibly lucky to have two beautiful little ones who make every day amazing – and setting aside a little time each week to really appreciate them doing that is good for everyone.