If you find yourself feeling guilty about not spending enough time with your other half and/or kids, then it’s time to step up, clear your schedule and make some love! Here are some easy peasy steps to making love, gathered from my pals at my workplace who have 1-5 kids of different ages plus have a partner/spouse:
Stop making excuses. If you’re feeling guilty or if your partner and kids have started complaining about how busy you are, then you are too busy and you are clearly sending a message that you don’t have time for them. In order to have a healthy relationship with them you need to first acknowledge the issue and address it before the relationship really suffers.
Daydream about it. When we think more about showing love to the people we love – be it by spending time with them – we dream of the things we could do together, places we could go for the first time or the things we love that we’d like to share with them. So first, get into the zone and into the mood. Obsess about love sharing enough to want to go ahead with it. Get excited and start planning.
Tell them about it. Instead of coming home and dumping a “Let’s go out for a nice dinner” out-of-the-ordinary surprise on your family, tell them about it. My mum pals said surprises are not always a good idea because you most likely just wrecked their schedules or the kids’ schedules, most of which are carefully structured. Instead, they recommend to talk to them and the kids about it, plan ahead and make them get all excited in the days or hours leading up to the family ‘date’ with you.
Make it a real surprise. Try something new and unexpected. Don’t be the boring parent who can’t get creative. You don’t have to keep the plan a secret but you can definitely surprise them with your awesome idea. First, find out what cool things they are into right now (kids tend to have phases!) and have been dreaming of doing. That’s the cool idea you can use. Don’t try and surprise them with your own idea of a cool idea… you might turn those smiles into pouts and resistance.
Have a plan B. You planned a picnic outdoors and now it’s pouring. Are you really going to let the rain ruin your day? Absolutely not. Have a backup plan. Take the kids to an indoor playground or to the movies if they are old enough. There’s plenty of places you could go to. One guy said he downloads one movie per week as backup plan, to turn things into a movie night if the original plan goes flop.
Keep your promise. Oh lala! Even the dads said promises get broken too often and that they – as adults – sort of accept, but the kids only see it as being stood up by their parent. And kids remember these things. Repeat breaking of promises to kids could result in “Mum/Dad always breaks promises, I don’t trust them when they say they’ll play with me this weekend!” Oh lala indeed! Oh, and one mum said to me to remember: many kids will eventually think it’s their fault that you’ve cancelled!
Don’t let it end here. So you’ve done it once… turned out fantastic and everyone had a good time with you. But it’s not enough. Life continues, so should your relationship. So go back to the first step above and start all over again! Good luck – respect your precious family, don’t take them for granted.
Do you have any tips to share? Post them below. I’m sure there are many busy bees like me wanting some new ideas.