Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How we made our own Family Day

How we made our own Family Day == Hobo Mama
Welcome to the April 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Pastimes

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about family pastimes.

We all need time as families to reconnect. Many of our families have parents who are working opposite schedules, or with one out on the job and the other at home. Many of us have kids in school or activities that keep us separated many days of the week.

Our family decided to become intentional about having one day a week we spend solely on each other: Family Day. Does your household have a Family Day?

Sam and I have an unusual lifestyle in that we're both self-employed, and we both unschool (homeschool) our two (soon to be three!) kids. To make that balance, we each need dedicated time to work as well as plenty of opportunity to spend time with our children.

We've decided on this schedule, and it's been working for us for awhile now: Sam takes care of the kids Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday while I work. I take the kids Monday, Thursday, and Saturday while he works. (Sometimes the person working leaves the house for a different location, and sometimes the person taking the kids does, and sometimes the person working just hides upstairs!) This does mean our work days can sometimes be quite long since we get only three of them a week, but it's working out well at this point, and I love that we have this flexibility.

That leaves Wednesday as the best day of the week: Family Day!

I realize for a lot of people, it's probably a weekend day (or days) that ends up being Family Day, but we're happy that most things are open but not crowded mid-week. Might as well take advantage of our unique situation, right?

Family Day is our day to do anything — or nothing — together. Sam and I get to reconnect without one or the other of us taking off, and the boys get to see us both together.

Sure, sometimes we run necessary errands, and sometimes we hang out at home for a much-needed veg, but more often we do something fun, even adventurous.

Something like…

Picking lavender:
How we made our own Family Day == Hobo Mama

Harvesting berries:
How we made our own Family Day == Hobo Mama

Gathering pumpkins:
How we made our own Family Day == Hobo Mama

Enjoying a snow day:
How we made our own Family Day == Hobo Mama

Being Christmassy:
How we made our own Family Day == Hobo Mama

Hitting the lanes:
How we made our own Family Day == Hobo Mama

Enjoying fake Bavaria & authentic German food:
How we made our own Family Day == Hobo Mama

Visiting a waste treatment plant on our anniversary (is that just us?):
How we made our own Family Day == Hobo Mama

Taking a bike ride:
How we made our own Family Day == Hobo Mama

Hiking to a waterfall:
How we made our own Family Day == Hobo Mama

Some weeks are low-key, and some are far-flung, but we always enjoy the closeness and family togetherness, and we love letting the boys take the lead in choosing what to do. We all look forward to Family Day!

Do you have a Family Day, whether official or de facto? What day of the week is it, and what do you do together?

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
  • 8 Reasons to Go Camping with Your Kids — The weather is warmer, and it is time to think about taking a break. As you plan your family vacation, Mandy of Living Peacefully with Children, guest posting at Natural Parents Network, explains why you should consider hitting the trails with your kids.
  • Crafty Cohorts — Kellie at Our Mindful Life enjoys crafting with her kids, and the skills they are learning.
  • 10 Hobbies For Families With Young Children — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama knows that finding hobbies families can do together (with young children in tow) isn't always the easiest of feats. She has compiled a list of 10 family friendly hobbies that children of all ages can enjoy and that won't break the bank!
  • Helping Himawari — Sophelia's family at Sophelia's Adventures in Japan share a passion for helping when a dog is abandoned at the nearby elementary school.
  • The 'Art' of Having FunMarija Smits shares some thoughts on family art and fun.
  • How we made our own Family Day — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares how her family celebrates the best day of the week, a chance for connection and adventure and endless possibilities: Family Day!
  • Our Family Hobby — Survivor talks about how animal husbandry has become her family's favorite hobby at Surviving Mexico Adventures and Disasters.
  • Sowing the Seeds of Passions — Christy at Eco Journey In The Burbs wonders if her interests, and her husband's, will shape her children's passions as they mature.
  • Harry Potter Potions Party — One of the best activities Dionna at Code Name: Mama has ever done with her family has been a Harry Potter Potions Party. She is sharing the resources she used to create their potion recipes, the ingredients and tools they experimented with, and the recipes themselves. Feel free to use and adapt for your own budding wizards and witches!
  • Pastimes Have Passed Me By — Kati at The Best Things takes a new perspective on projects that never get done.
  • Food as a cultural experience for preschoolers — Nathalie at Kampuchea Crossings finds that food is a good way to engage her preschoolers on a journey of cultural discovery.
  • 10 Reasons I Love Thrifting With My ChildrenThat Mama Gretchen has always enjoyed shopping, but with a growing family she's become more frugal and thus, her little ones are now in tow on her thrift store adventures.
  • Pastime with Family vs Family Pastime — You can share lots of pastimes with your family, but Jorje of Momma Jorje discovered a family pastime was much more pleasant for sharing.


Anonymous said...

How great that you have been able to organize your schedules to include a family day! I expect it requires some creative planning some weeks, but I am sure you feel that your family is worth it.

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

We try to do something as a family at least once a weekend. We are also planning once/month family camping/road trips that I am thrilled about!!

Kati said...

What sweet pictures of your family! Congrats on #3 on the way! Family Day is my favorite day too! I love to get out on an adventure, just us. My favorite family adventure is wandering a nature preserve and having picnics. Can't wait till summer when Papa gets off of work (professor) and we have family day almost every day!

Anonymous said...

Great that you've managed to plan for some family time amongst all that there is to do! [And congrats on number 3 as well, by the way :-) ]

Saturday is mainly our family day and I try to make it screen free for me - because I simply know how important it is for my own wellbeing to take a break from work. I look forward to Saturday all week long!

Sophelia said...

Having a dedicated family day is a lovely idea. For us, family time has gradually become the "when nothing else is happening" time, and that really isn't good enough! Definitely time to re-think our schedule.
Congratulations on #3 :)

Christy said...

You have created a very efficient and workable schedule for your family - and I love the idea of family day. Our day together often ends up being Sunday (we have more traditional jobs) and we love big a do small adventures. But often my favourite is just going for a walk together - we get fresh air, talk, observe.

And congratulations!

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