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Why you should avoid overloading your family when we get back to normal

Photo: Suzanne tucker (Shutterstock)

Many of us have passed the llast year crying for the things we were once allowed to do. Of course, there are the basics, like going to work and school with other humans, bUtah There was also all extras – things As in-person volunteering, piano lessons taken by one child and volleyball games by the other child, playing golf with friends, that favorite yoga class, happy hours with friends and the kids swimming lessons sure weekends. Our lives stopped and it was not good; and yet, what we forgotten – which may even seem now a luxury – that’s how oversized we are have been.

I want to subscribe to every last thing as it becomes available again: ea week’s summer camp for my son to make up for the whole summer he stayed at home, ethe sport he wants to play, every local outdoor gig, every fucking thing that seems safe enough to try. But one of the reasons the shutdown was such a shock to the system is the amount of things we had to do on any given day – and the way everything was canceled, one by one. We were over-planned, and we knew it, but we also didn’t know how UN-program.

Erin Loechner, author of Chasing Slow: Courage to think outside the box, tell the Washington post that there is an opportunity for us right now:

“As we re-integrate into a transformed society,” says Loechner, “can we maintain the stability of the home as society encourages us to tie ourselves in somewhere else? We survived the COVID-19 pandemic, but we have yet to overcome the rush pandemic. Now is our chance to be deliberate in creating a new sustainable rhythm for ourselves and for each other.

This is our chance, guys. This is our opportunity to “redo” and start to get back to normal life without our daily life being overloaded – once again – with carpooling, appointments, workouts and whatever else we manage. even tattered ones do before. So if you want to start filling your calendar a little more thoughtfully this time around, here is what I suggest.

But first! A pandemic warning

I write all this at a time when more adults get vaccinated every day, but the number of cases is still high and our children are not vaccinated. We will (or at least we should) revert to something that looks like normal, but things won’t be normal (with a capital N) for a while. However, I think that’s exactly why it’s good to think about it now, before we’re back in the thick of life – as we knew it, and looking around again and around you. we would ask, “When did things get too busy again?” ? “

That being said, now is the time to:

Take the time to think

There is no rush here – you have time to be deliberate. Just start by thinking about what your family has really missed in the past year. In my case, we discovered that our 10 year old greatly missed the camaraderie of his football team; karate, on the other hand, is just a bit over. The combination of the two meant he wasn’t doing Something almost every night during the week and at least once, if not two, on weekends. So he’ll be playing soccer again, and we’ll wait a bit before determining if he wants to add another less time-intensive activity to his plate.

Maybe you’ve figured out that instead of spreading out as a volunteer for three different organizations, you actually want to dive a little deeper and dedicate some quality time to the organization you care about. If you take the time to think about how you (and the rest of the family) spent time before against now, you might find that some things caused more mental, emotional, and physical leakage than they were worth.

Call a family reunion

I’m a big fan of the family sit-down when there are fundamental family values to discuss, and that’s what it is ultimately. For all family members who are old enough to think semi-critically, tell them you want to talk about how you will plan for family time and activities in the future. Encourage them to think about what they missed most during the pandemic, and what’I felt more like a relief I had to get rid of.

Reiterate that this is not about suppressing activities they enjoyed or forcing them to stay at home.; it is prioritize these things. Get together as a group and discuss what each person personally wants to prioritize, as well as what the family as a whole thinks are important.

Protect a little time

It’s easy to fill a calendar when that space is empty, everything is neat and clean and waiting fill. So fill it up – with whatever you decide, as a family, that you want continues to do.

During the pandemic our son developed a love of hiking – something he previously thought was extremely boring but I loved it for years. Now that we don’t have to devote every Saturday morning to karate, we may be able to consider a few weekend hikes each month. If I write them down now (time permitting), that time will not be spent on anything less than satisfying.

Things can always be moved later if needed, but if you start the next few months more intentionally about how you allocate your free time, you can create a better balance that is somewhere between “totally outdated” and “Stuck at home with nothing to do.

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