I Will Spend More Time with My Kids and Grandkids in 2012

It’s been a busy year for me in 2011 and I haven’t spent enough time enjoying and having fun with my kids and grandkids. It’s really easy to get wrapped up in the details of life and forget to just live. For 2012, my number one goal is to take more time for fun with my family. There are many things I know I need to do: getting more organized at home, studying for my new job at work, keeping the house cleaner, and paying off some debts.

But none of these is more important than my relationships with my family. It’s easier to find time for fun when your kids are younger and living at home. When they are grown with families, it’s a little more challenging. Add work schedules for the adults and grown children and it’s hard to even find a day when all can get together.

I will make time to spend with each of my children and grandchildren alone. We get together as a family for birthdays, holidays, and family dinners. But it’s rare to have time with just one of the children or grandchildren. With the children, time may be spent shopping or having lunch together, talking about plans for the future, or cooking together. With the grandchildren, time may be spent playing a game together, reading a book together, or playing outside.

I will plan a family meal at least twice a month. Sometimes we get together on Sundays for family dinners but my children also have individual family plans on the weekends. I will work harder to find evenings that work for at least some of the kids to come over for dinner. It’s nice to share a meal but even nicer to relax afterwards and talk about our lives. It’s much more relaxing when the meal is at home instead of in a restaurant where we feel hurried.

I will talk on the phone to each of my children at least a few times per week. The advent of text messaging has changed how we all communicate. I talk with one of my children who lives nearby daily. But I often text with the others due to conflicting work schedules and busy lives. I will take the initiative to call and leave a message to call back if I get voice mail. I will call at times when I know that the children are up and not at work.

I will meet my kids and grandkids somewhere fun at least twice a month. Our city has many parks, walking trails, and playgrounds. These are all fun, free places we can meet to have a good time together. The grandkids enjoy swinging and sliding at the park. We all enjoy walking on the trails. I didn’t join the pool last year and regretted it later. So this year, I’ll join the pool again to open up another fun venue for the family.

I will send more postcards and letters to my grandchildren. When their lives are busy, I can still let them know that I’m thinking about them. I don’t have to go somewhere special to send a postcard. Kids love getting mail and I love sending mail to them.

I will talk more with my children about their lives and jobs. With young grandkids around, it’s often hard to talk about anything meaningful. Interruptions are common and frequent. But I’ll squeeze in a few minutes of each visit talking about what’s happening in their lives.

I will say yes when my daughters ask if they can bring anything for family dinners. Usually I say that they don’t need to but often they bring something anyway. I will plan for them to bring their favorite side dish. That will ease the burden on me and let them feel that they are contributing.

I will finish at least a few more years in each of my children’s scrapbooks. I do a good job keeping up with my grandkids’ scrapbooks but am way behind with my kids’s scrapbooks. If I can work on one year every month, I can get ahead of the game and surprise them with great gifts on their birthdays in 2012.

I will do my best to make 2012 the year of the family in my family with meaningful time spent together. I can’t bring back the less busy years gone by but I can take time to enjoy the people my children have become.

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