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It’s Friday night and the kids are finally asleep. You just changed into your comfy pajamas, popped some popcorn, and are settling in to watch Netflix or curl up with a great book. It has been a week. Regardless of whether you toughed it out in corporate America, or you were out-manned and outgunned at home with your kids, the end result is the same:
You are exhausted.
So, when your partner casually asks you what family adventures are planned for the weekend, your first instinct is to retreat under a blanket and declare a ‘do-nothing weekend’ for the family. After all, you need to clean the house, the kids need time to actually play with their toys, and honestly, there is nothing wrong with a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse marathon every once in a while, right?
Allow me the opportunity to change your mind.
You see, when it comes to family fun, there is absolutely nothing wrong with down time and ‘do-nothing’ days. However, if you aren’t careful, the do-nothing day becomes a do-nothing month. A do-nothing month becomes a season that comes and goes with missed opportunities instead of phenomenal memory making.
Someone once calculated that there are 936 Saturdays between when a child is born and when they turn 18. 936 days. That’s it.
Granted, not every weekend has to be jam-packed with memory making events. However, I would like to encourage you to shift your thinking, overcome your exhaustion,and when it comes to family fun…
Just go for it!
Five Compelling Reasons Why You Should Go on More Family Adventures!
Here are five reasons why you should go ahead and pack up the minivan and do something fun with your kids this weekend:
- Not all tired is created equal. Face it. If you are tired now, and you are a parent with young children, you will likely still be tired Sunday evening. But you already know that, right? The thing is, will you be good tired or will you just be sick and tired? Instead of staying home and driving each other bonkers, why not go somewhere and let your kids burn that energy doing something out of the ordinary? Seriously, even going to a new playground would be novel enough to break up the day. Let your kid’s burn energy running around a museum, or a park. Just go for it!
- No regrets. Lazy Saturdays are awesome, really they are. However, if the weather is decent and your kids are in good health, don’t waste another moment! You are not guaranteed many opportunities to have an epic time with your kids. Even on the best of weekends there are still soccer games, birthday parties, and a bajillion other things that compete for your time. Don’t stay in your pajamas this weekend only to get to the end of the season and realize you missed your one good opportunity to go berry picking, or go camping, or go to the beach.
- Save your do-nothing days for when it matters less. You know you won’t be packing every single weekend of the year with fun family trips. You know you will need downtime. Instead of taking a down day when it is sunny and 72 degrees outside, choose to stay close to home when it is raining all weekend, or 100 degrees outside, or you are all under the weather.
- Don’t be afraid of disaster. There are a number of things you can do to maximize your fun on family day trips. You can get those tips here. However, even the best family fun strategy won’t safeguard against meltdowns, tantrums, flat tires, sunburns, or other potentially horrible happenings. Let me tell you a little secret though: The worst days now tend to make for the best stories in years to come. It’s true. Some of our most treasured family stories are of mishaps: a bird poops on Dad’s head. A daughter throws a colossal temper tantrum on the White House tour. It rains during the camping weekend and you spend the entire time learning canasta. This is what memories are made of. Don’t be afraid of it. Embrace it!
- Be prepared to get surprised by joy! I know you are tired, but get in the car anyway… you never know when you will stumble on some magic. I know this happens because it has happened to our family so many times. Against your better judgment, you head off to another promising location. Maybe your preschooler is being whiny and you are not sure how the day will end. Then, magic happens. You discover an enchanting fairy garden. Or maybe the weather breaks and you have the amusement park to yourself. The museum plans a last minute art discovery project and your 3-year old spends the afternoon painting rocks. You play hide and go seek among the blueberry bushes.
The thing is, there are so many great adventures in store for you and your kids.. but many times you have to be willing to walk out the front door first! So, I challenge you to just go for it, and in the process be amazed at how wonderful the world really looks through the eyes of your children.
Thanks for reading,