Giving a Few Extra Minutes

(This is part of  my 31 Days of Putting My Family First series.  If you want to find out more about it or read earlier posts, check it out here.)

This morning was a bit typical and a bit atypical as well.  It started out like our usual weekday mornings with me hitting the snooze button a few times before getting up and going through the routine of making kids lunches.  I also made breakfast (I don’t count it as making breakfast when I say, hear eat a banana WITH your pop-tart but I fried bacon today) and quizzed G on his social studies material.  I’m ready to rock that test on the Roman Empire!  Oh wait, I’ve already completed 7th grade social studies.  SIGH.

G left for school and my husband left for work, leaving me and J here to finish up his morning routine.  Lately, that has meant he plays Minecraft until the timer dings, and then gets ready for school and eats breakfast.  I usually re-heat his breakfast since he’s not ready to eat quite as early as his dad and brother.  Today was a “shower day” and we were moving along pretty well until I realized as he was walking out the door, “Wait, did you brush your teeth?”  SIGH. (again).  So, he ran to do that and I thought we were okay since the bus generally comes right about 8:30 and it was 8:25.  It doesn’t take that long to walk down the street.  He came out of the bathroom, grabbed his jacket, and we walked out on the driveway to see the bus on corner.  Oops!  I debated for a minute if I should make him run down the road and see if the bus driver would wait but decided J wouldn’t want to do that.   Back into the house we went.  I pulled the “walk to school day” paper out of my files only to see we had missed the starting time for that as well.   Suddenly, we had a few extra minutes.  The bus comes at 8:30 but school doesn’t start until slightly after 9:00 and we only live minutes from the school.

The temptation to let him fire Minecraft up again was strong because 8:30 to 9:00 is MY free time to check Facebook, read e-mail, and generally goof around.  I may do it at other times but I generally allot that time for a slight reprieve and regrouping after our “morning rush” has ended.  However, today I could tell J needed a little extra attention.  Probably because he said:  “I wonder if we have time to do something?”  On a whim, I suggested we could draw and he went along with the idea.  I set the timer and we spent about 10 minutes drawing pictures at the kitchen table.

Our masterpieces.

Our masterpieces.

It was a fun thing that we don’t seem to do often enough.   What could have been a hectic, stressful time of waiting turned into a few minutes of really nice time spent together.

I realized that we’ve fallen in a pattern of each doing our own thing and not spending enough time doing things together.

The boys have been spending a bit too much time looking at this.

The boys have been spending a bit too much time looking at this.

I've been spending a bit too much time looking at this.  Although, hey, I'm working on this post!

I’ve been spending too much time looking at this. Hey, look I’m working on a blog post!

I am going to spend some time today trying to think of times where I can give a few extra minutes of attention to my family and things we can do together.    We all need to do our own thing each day but I think we’ve just become a bit out of balance with it over here.   What are some things you do to spend extra bits of time with and focused on your family?



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3 thoughts on “Giving a Few Extra Minutes

  1. Tanya

    I loved this post because we struggle with balancing screen time and family time. We have been making more of an effort to just sit in the living room and talk or play games but sometimes I find we get into a rut and regress a little because we all just want to relax after a long busy day. Family time is SO important and often gets overlooked with busy schedules.

    1. Jean Post author

      I think most everyone struggles with this. It’s funny because we haven’t been that busy (as a family) and are still struggling with it. I guess the flip side of struggling with it because you are busy is struggling with it when you have too much “free” time.

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