Why I Stopped Trying to Carve Out 'Family Time'

Why I Stopped Trying to Carve Out 'Family Time'

One mom declares that family time is all of the time, no matter where you are.

By Kelly Bryant

I’ll be the first to admit I’m a homebody. If there’s a way I can accomplish a task without leaving the comfort of my humble abode, I will gladly accept the challenge. If it’s turkey taco night, and we’re out of tortillas, I will forage for the ingredients around my kitchen and make them myself before I’ll run to the store and grab a bag of the pre-packaged variety. No, this is not me trying to be the super mom who does it all. This is me being me – a hermit of sorts – and I’m OK with that.

My friends across social media seem to think that the best “family time” exists outside of the home – at theme parks, festivals, sporting events, museums – you name it, that’s where it’s all happening. One friend even tagged a photo with her daughter outside of a theater with #memoriesthatwilllastalifetime. Cue the violins, and call the sap police.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to do those things with my two sons, but I found myself overscheduling us to hit every major kid-centric attraction around the city, and I wasn’t even enjoying it. The kids had fun, but they also have a blast making robots out of empty cardboard boxes. Family time became a stressful planning nightmare and felt far from quality. Picture a family of four, loaded up with our daily essentials (snacks, diapers, etc.), dragging one another around a crowded festival for a few hours simply to say we did something that weekend – it isn’t a good look.

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That’s when I decided to stop the insanity. No more hectic weekends of loading up the car and my diaper bag with everything we might need (and then some) in preparation to be out of the house from sun up to sun down. We can have just as much fun family time playing freeze tag in the yard or cuddling up for movie night as we can hitting the bazillionth kiddie concert at the park (during which my kids run off to play tag anyway).

Now, we’re choosier about the activities and events we decide to participate in, and I’ve learned it’s the smaller, quieter moments that actually make me feel closest to my kids and husband. Because guess what? We’re together a lot. Family time doesn’t have to mean going someplace special; it means cherishing the everyday moments, like the endless rounds of “I Spy” in the car to and from school, the giggling sounds of my boys chasing each other around the house, and the meals we share together.


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Choose to spend time with your family your way, the way that fits your personalities. In the end, those are the moments you’ll remember most … and best.

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Kelly Bryant is a freelance writer and pop culture junkie. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and their two sons. Follow her on Twitter @MsKellyBryant.

Image ©iStock.com/shapecharge

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