May 25, 2012

Staying-Indoors Fridays

Adjusting to life on a tropical island and the constant beautiful weather and compound life with lots of busyness and constant playmates just steps away from our house has had me thinking about how I might wisely wrangle my family together. I love the fact that we can live in sandals year round; I love that the yard is safe and spacious for my 3 year old son to wander; I love that the children LOVE the outdoors. But I found, with the outdoors, basically a new extension to our house, that it is very easy for me to lose track of where everybody is, to lose track of time, and to sometimes allow opportunities for quality time together to slip away. Here, the outdoors could easily be used as a babysitter, like we could use the tv. Why stop them from playing and being out there? They love it, they're entertained, and now I can get something done.

There needs to be balance in everything, of course.

It began somewhat coincidentally, and then grew into something more intentional. Every other Friday, my helper works at another home, so after two weeks with a worker in my house, it felt a bit more automatic to desire an "indoor-day" on Fridays. Daddy goes to work, the kids and I have breakfast and then we continue our morning a little bit more relaxed--we usually don't have school work on this day, but we try and spend the morning reading more books together, perhaps playing some games, singing together, dancing even (without being watched by my helper! :) haha. Yes, the kids ask almost straight after breakfast if they may head outside to play, but my intent is that we try to stay indoors, or if we do venture out, we do it together---a picnic on our lawn together, or a game outside. It is not a punishment, it is not dreaded, but it is a day where we can focus more on each other in the confines of the house. The kids play quietly together in one of the bedrooms--hopefully sorting out their sibling differences on their own. They spend time playing Lego together, putting together Playmobil, taking turns picking a tv program, reading to one another.

It has become one of my favourite days of the week. 

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