Millennium Mom

Monday, February 2, 2009

Family Night In

Being a working mom, your minutes and hour with your children are limited to weekday nights, weekends, holidays and vacations. So you need to make the most of it. I have three awake hours each night with my kids, well usually three and a half by the times reading books, saying prayers, kisses and hugs are all said and done. But often my kids want to watch "their shows" (which means Noggin, PBS or Discovery Kids) or play the Wii.

It's not that I mind their shows. They are educational, keeps them happy and content and gives me time to clean up dinner or throw a load of laundry in. The issue is when it becomes every night, and before you know it you fall into a routine of a show or two a night. In fact, often the kids will ask when you are busy trying to clean up or just have a five minute conversation with your husband, so the "yes" response is almost like being on auto pilot.

Tonight, like many nights we deliberately said "No." Of course we get the normal "but Mom" or "but Dad" but we stay consistent and don't give in. The important thing is to be prepared with all the things you can do. In the summer it is easy, get outside, go for a walk or bike ride. In the winter you may want to try some games, workbooks, puzzles or dancing. Tonight we played Go Fish, Uno, Memory, Candy Land and had a little catch (with the soft football). We had the Kids music station playing via cable TV and had a great time. Ben wasn't too happy at first, but like always he comes around. In the end we had a nice evening.

So, either pick a night each week and designate it TV night, or just when you think you need it and I think you will really enjoy the experience. For the single women or men reading this, I would encourage you to do the same. Take a class, play a sport, volunteer or just read a good book. It's so easy to find something to watch on TV each night, much easier than getting out and doing something. But you will meet really great people, socialize and feel better about yourself the more you are out and about and the less sitting in front of the TV you do.


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