We are all guilty of getting used to our routines at some point, aren’t we? Routine and structure provides a necessary framework for our busy lives, and knowing what to expect has it’s benefits. Sometimes it is nice to shake things up a little and do something out of the ordinary, though! There are the big things like a a move, a new school, or a new baby that change our lives in obvious ways, but what can we do to keep life interesting on a day to day basis? There are lots of little switches to make that add up to a fun time for the whole family!
Lately, I have made a few little switches myself. They probably won’t seem that exciting to anyone, but they have made a difference in our busy lifestyle and helped us to enjoy our “ordinary days” a bit more.
One thing we have done is to become more serious about recycling. Exciting, no? Not so much. However, the kids are absolutely loving it! They love sorting out the glass, plastic and cardboard and are more than willing to run it out to the bins in the garage. It’s something that is good for the environment and has been surprisingly fun to work on as a family. A little family “project” can give you something to work on together and helps teach the kids responsibility.
Another simple little thing that we have started doing is to have a family movie night every few weeks. We used to send the kids upstairs once in awhile with a DVD of their favorite cartoons and let them chill out. We still do, but we found that choosing a family movie was alot of fun for the boys. We take them to the movie store, let them choose their DVD, order pizza, make popcorn and brownies and just sit down together to watch the show. They really enjoy turning around and commenting to us about the characters and we usually end up howling with laughter. Cheap, fun, and it offers a break from routine. The same applies for family game nights with a stack of board games and a bowl of treats. Monopoly Jr. , Sorry, Uno, Bingo, and Rook go over really well at our house. On the financial side, watching a movie or playing a game at home is almost free (as opposed to the $35-$50 for a theater)!
One more little switch that makes a big difference is positive reinforcement. I found myself feeling like a referee- constantly “blowing the whistle” or saying “no, no, or not now” to my kids. It made me feel badly and I was starting to get some grumpy looks from my boys. So, I made a point to start focusing on the good side of things when I need to correct them. If I say ” I have a suggestion for you. Why don’t you try doing this, because I think you would like the results” instead of “not that way” I get a smile and willingness to try my ideas. The boys feel like they are figuring it out for themselves and they don’t feel like mama is such a grouch, but the job still gets done. It takes a little effort, but the smiles are worth it!
What are some little ways you have found to make life more enjoyable? Do you have a way to keep clutter to a minimum? Do you have a little family tradition that you all look forward to? Sometimes it is the little things that count!
“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Cottonelle blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”