In recent years, the family unit has broken down. What used to be common is now rare at best. Sit down dinners, discussions about each other’s days, weekly family game nights, weekly movie nights together. So many things have gone to the wayside that used to be common quality time activities for most families.
Blessing in Disguise
The Covid pandemic has been a troubling time for all. Lost jobs, crazy schedule changes, switching from in person to online everything, and the worst of all losing loved ones. For all those who have suffered a loss because of this virus, our hearts are with you. We as a family have suffered losses too. It is a truly difficult time for everyone.
One thing I have found though is the blessing of time. Not just any time, but quality family time. With all the losses and suffering this pandemic has brought on, it has also given us back something that is so precious; time to be together as a family.
I remember a different time, back when it was just me and my daughter Tyler. Yes I was a single mom, working hard to provide a good life for us. There was a lot of struggle, but the one thing that was always present was quality time between my daughter and I. Dancing to Madonna while cleaning the house (shout out to the Material Girls!,) daily art time together, family game night on Fridays, and the Wonderful World of Disney movie nights on Saturday! That is only a glimpse into the scope of the quality time we spent together.
Our special times together are some of the most precious memories that we have. That quality time continued to be a part of our family life even after my husband, Santos, and I got married (wedding planning even became a little family activity!) However, as Tyler got older she started to become more independent, wanting to spend her time with friends, working part time jobs, and partaking in various extra curricular activities. This had quite an impact on spending quality time together. The same thing happened when we had our boys. As they grew up, they joined many extra curricular activities; karate, cub scouts, baseball, basketball, guitar lessons. They also wanted to spend time with friends; sleep overs, birthday parties, and family gatherings… oh my!
Adjusting Quality Time
Instead of being able to sit down to dinner at the table, more often than not we were eating dinners out of a paper bag in the car because it was quick and accessible. Instead of taking out time for family game nights and movie nights, we were running around making sure the kids got to their activities on time. By the time we got home, we were exhausted and not able to really do anything as a family. It was time to get ready for bed and get ready to do it all over again the next day.
This limits our quality time to weeken–birthday party for John. Okay well how about we go to the museum on Satur– karate tournament. Okay we will make sure to keep the 2nd weekend in June– camping trip with the cub scouts…
Are you catching my drift? Even when trying to schedule quality time with the family, there was almost always something to work around or that just outright got in the way! So how did we adjust? Can I be frank? I haven’t the slightest idea. We just played tetris with time until we were able to make something work. Free weekends? What’s that?
Then Along Came Rona
Fast forward to early February 2020, when the world went topsy turvy! Coronavirus, aka the Rona, *breaking out into song* came out like a wreeeeeckkkking baaaaaalllll. Oh I’m sorry, couldn’t help myself, so anyway… Here we were all now stuck at home, no more running to make activities, no more birthday parties, or family gatherings. No more group camping trips or slumber parties. We had gotten so used to the chaotic schedule that when we were suddenly slapped with all the extra time we had no idea what to do.
Wait, extra time? Of course there is extra time when we can’t go–
The show South Park (I don’t watch it, my daughter did) made jokes about how kids now are so focused on their video games, and watching others play those games that the living room was dying. One of the characters began to mourn the loss of the living room and wanted to make a change and thus came #SaveTheLivingRoom. While this was intended in a joking manner, my daughter saw more; and I have to say, I see where she is coming from. However, it is not just the living room that was dying; the family unit was dying. The so called close -knit family was falling apart. Fortunately for us, the Rona has given us another chance.
Relearning Quality Time
This is not something that is going to fix over night, thank goodness that Rona has given us plenty of time to work on it. Relearning how to have quality family time is a God send; becoming reacquainted with ourselves and each other. Starting to rebuild family traditions like weekend movie or game nights. Backyard camping or awesome decade dance parties in the living room (can anyone say Hammertime!) Let us bring life back to the living room! Gather your loved ones and make some memories to last a lifetime!
What have you done as a family to spend some quality time together? We would love to hear about it in the comments or on our Facebook page!