My husband and I are hardworking parents. By the time the weekend hits, we tend to turn down any invitations that takes us away from being together as a family. For us, weekends are a reward from a long week at work, but it’s also our time to connect, have fun, and cement our relationship as a familia together.
On the weekend, we follow four simple rules that have really helped us strengthen our family bond:
- We don’t sleep in (too late). The early bird gets…to have fun. Technically we sleep in…but not much. Instead of our typical weekday 6 AM wake up, we’re up by 7 or 7:30 AM on the weekend. By waking up early, we have time to do all those household chores that need to get done before the fun can begin. We’ll organize the laundry, change the linens, and run to the store. By getting up and getting it done, we’re able to spend the rest of Saturday and Sunday relaxing. By 9 AM, I’m cooking up breakfast, we’re mapping out the day, and then, vamanos! My husband and I are in much better shape if we give ourselves an early start to the morning, and leave the rest of the weekend open for fun.
- We make a “family only” rule, and we stick to it. This doesn’t mean we’re anti-social on the weekends—however, we only accept invitations that are family-oriented. Both my husband and I spend the entire week with adults—meetings, conferences, lunches—so when the weekend hits, we want to spend time with our niño. Sticking to our “family only” rule helps us maximize the time we have to enjoy being a family.
- We turn off the technology when my son is awake. Yes—it’s hard. This is something that I’m still working on. On weekends, I’m guilty of checking my emails one too many times or occasionally writing a post for my blog. A few months back I made a pact to only be on devices when my son is sleeping/napping. It didn’t take long before I noticed he was becoming a happier kid. These days, he’ll ask me if I would like to lie down and read a book, draw, or maybe have “mama and Nacho” time. I’ve learned that being present shows him that he is worth making time for. As for my husband and me, we actually have conversations (gasp!), because we are both relaxed and not thinking about work.
- We take advantage of our city. We live in a Brooklyn, a great city that offers some of the best children’s museums and kid-oriented events. But when we travel outside of our part of town, we always find something new and exciting to do that pulls us out of our routine. Getting out and discovering a new place gives our boy memories and experiences that will hopefully shape him into a well-rounded person. This doesn’t cost us much money either. Sometimes we simply head to a different neighborhood and walk around, explore new parks, and check out the boats on the waterfront.