Making the Most of Family Time When Work Keeps You Busy

As a busy mom or dad, it’s easy to let work bleed into your family time. According to a survey conducted by British leisure company Thomas Cook, 8 out of 10 parents are aware that they aren’t spending enough time with their families. Even worse, nearly 50% of these parents spend less than 1 hour with their kids.

Stats aside, spending quality time with your family even when work keeps you busy is paramount. It allows you to connect with your children, keep stress at bay, and stay on top of your marriage. How to make the most of family time and prevent work from getting in way of having a blast with your kids and spouse? Here are 6 ways you can do it and become the hero of your family.

1. Be in the “Moment”

It is not enough to be just around your family; you need to be actually “present.” If half the time you’re with your family you keep fretting about an upcoming work meeting or taking business calls, you are doing more harm than good. In fact, you’re better off at work rather than give your kids half-assed attention.

You may be too busy to realize it, but children do notice when you are fully “with” them. To be truly in the moment with your family, switch off your work cell phone, and  forget about your work to-do list. Don’t forget kids thrive off quality time, love, and passionate attention.

2. Prioritize the Most Important Things

There’s a ton of things you can do with your family, but time is always the issue. As such, you need to prioritize family activities so you can do the most fun first. The trick is to involve every member of the family, especially the children, in the decision.

3. Squeeze in Family Time in the Morning

If you want to spend valuable time with your family, morning is your best bet. More importantly, you need to take care of everything the night before so you can have at least 15 mins of quality family time in the morning. Make it fun and memorable — perhaps you can try a tickle fight, read a book or sing along to your fave tune.

4. Let them Know that You Love and Cherish them even when You Aren’t Around

There are several different ways you can show your family that you love them. It can something thoughtful as leaving a fun note in their lunchboxes or on the fridge. Be creative as possible — kids love surprises and appreciate when parents put some effort.

5. Use small openings to talk

Nothing brings the family together quite like the good old talk. You can talk about anything, from how their school day was to homework to friends and more. It’s crucial, however, that you put away the smartphones, laptops and other devices so you can pay full attention and truly connect.

6. Help your kids

Even if you work at home, spend some time besides your children so you can help them with homework. It’ll enable you to bond better with your kids, and be of help.

There’s no magic bullet to spending quality time with your family. However, the key is to be not only together, but also available “ at the moment.”