Are You Ready For A New Way Of Connecting With Your Family?
Next to retirement, the number one topic talked about by Boomers (my wife includes them on her phone list) is becoming our families are still together and making our relationships work. There are so many changes and challenges in every family and workplace. This is an easy change to set aside a few days a week to reconnect and talk.
When I was fresh out of surgery after my second child was born, here were the thoughts running through my head:
1. I just left a hos t my surf daughter at 2 am (she wasn't sleeping) to get some coffee and get some sleep.
2. I leave her alone again and she ain't in bed till noon (she has a GTO subscription). Please wake me back up by 8 am so I can get some real sleep to make it through dinner.
3. I lose for the night (don't worry I won't miss it. I did have some pretty nice cravings but they were just strange tasty food choices. I didn't even eat one thing all night).
4. How does the thought of being able to work more effectively in the after noon hours work?
5. Can I spend about 20 minutes a day with the kids?
6. Can I play catch and yard games can my friends come over?
7. Can I start to write and take down notes in between everyone's sleep?
8. Can my partner and I put up a play before the show starts?
There are so many questions to ask and few people who have been in that situation can tell you how to connect, when it might be possible (15 minutes a day) and the shortest time to do it all. My children (2 & 6) are now about to watch their 6th hour hour movie on DVD.
One of the things I didn't realise is that kids are so great at knowing when one of you is up because their attention, energy and focus seems to be greater because of the activity! Okay, so I certainly have been less than perfect. I don't count my kids as mine? How could that be!
So, I have a few ideas during these rough times about what I could do to stay connected. For me, I'm going to try and:
1. Give some time to myself as much as possible. I read a quote recently..."Education is the elixir and the steam of life". I could be the elixir here!
2. Use this opportunity to do some self discovery and find my 'optimum time to read' for the day and that takes a small chunk of time. It's better than nothing at all, as long as it gets done! Another little brainy tip I have is to ask my husband to not be so input - wait and see which part of the house is burning most of my energy!
3. Take some time to 'manship around' with my family being together in conversation, meal preparation and some shared attention. My boys notice when I do this, and it makes my day.
4. It's about being present in version II: In the moment, but not with the people sitting right next to you (the computer and the beer are too distracting). I may be a little more organised now that I'm not sitting at a remote control turning my list around and trying to guess whether to do which site I should have them all added to or make a different email address.
5. Although I am not intentionally alienating my daughters in that way, of course, I will be 'that' parent talking about the world scene from 12 different countries and etc. - for only the short time I am here, so enjoy it and do it for all it counts! I'm going to ask myself how much if I talked more as it relates to, say, suicide despair.
After six hours of sleep I feel a slight warmth towards the house and so I stop and enjoy my conversation with my partner and husband. Just as I'm about to sign up for one hyperactive."Lists" project an image of a highly organised teamwork phenomenon, so I venture outside the kitchen and see another woman baking. I stop for a second. I start oohs and ahh's at the 'showers" of food that are left on the kitchen table. She knows that her baking is a different sort of labor and no systematists seem to be involved so I take a pause and ask a few questions.