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Challenge: Parenting Resolutions

Why We're Scheduling "Free Time" in 2018

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Photo credit: Olga Andreyanova

Why I'm So Scheduled

I'm a Seattle-based family travel blogger. I'm a Type-A Mom of two and we usually have a fairly rigorous schedule whether we're traveling or not. My kids love to be out and about and exploring our world. They would never be home if they had their way.

But, I'll let you in on a little secret: I'm an introvert.

That means having a detailed schedule is what keeps me out and about. Without my schedule, I'd probably be home in my jammies scrolling through Instagram while my kids watch LEGO Batman over and over again. Actually, that sounds quite nice. But, I know my kids would get stir crazy (and that would make ME crazy) and we'd end the day in tears all around.

Getting out of the house is the one thing that always gets my family in better spirits. Kids are tired but refusing to nap? They'll crash about 5 minutes into a car ride. Coffee hasn't quite kicked in yet? The crisp, fresh air will wake me up. Everyone feels a bit lethargic? New places always energize us.


Photo credit: Olga Andreyanova

How I'm Scheduling "Free Time"

However, 2017 felt like we were on a never-ending moving sidewalk. At first, I thought it was because we had a newborn and a preschooler. That meant we had a lot of doctor's appointments and play dates. Plus, everything had to be scheduled between nap times. It was exhausting and everyone felt it.

So, for 2018, my goal is to schedule in "free time" every day. My oldest now goes to preschool 4 mornings a week. During that time, my youngest and I have time to bond and he gets to take a full nap at home (while I get some much-needed quiet time.) Then, when we pick my oldest up from school, he gets some say in how we spend our afternoon. Sometimes we hit up the grocery store to get ingredients to bake something. Other times, we head home to watch a movie and relax on the couch. Lately, he's been wanting me to help him build LEGOs, while my youngest naps.


Photo credit: Olga Andreyanova

What About Weekends and Family Trips?

We're incorporating more free time on the weekends, too. Instead of being gone for lunch and dinner, we'll try to stay home for one. And we're trying not to schedule every weekend. We love the flexibility to see where the day takes us.

And family vacations are no exception. Our family motto is: Anything worth doing is worth OVER doing. We usually have multiple activities scheduled for each day and are wiped by the end of the trip. I'm currently working on itineraries for Hawaii, Los Angeles, and New York City and I'm shocking myself with how few activities I'm booking.

2018 is the year we slow down our pace and give ourselves the chance to really enjoy the amazing things we get to do in life. It's also a great time to make sure each family member's needs are met. What are your plans for 2018?

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