So I don't know about you but family time has always been a struggle for us. Well, intentional, quality family time, that is. We spend most evenings together, an hour or two in the morning before Matt leaves for work, so we definitely had time together.. but we never were super intentional about doing things with all four of us. Going somewhere, making memories. That kind of time together.
When Matt switched careers from teaching to real estate this past summer, family time was one of our main goals. The school he was teaching at had forced him to coach 3 sports every year, which meant he was gone from 7-7:30 every day, plus tournaments on the weekends. For FIVE years. It was awful and so hard on all of us.
Real estate lends itself to a much more flexible schedule, and while the stress of being self-employed is high sometimes, it's an entirely different type of stress. We actually prefer it. Haha. Anyways, back to family adventures. Awhile back, we had talked about being more intentional about trying to get out of the house and do more things as a family. Matt still works most Saturday afternoons and some Sundays (just the name of the real estate game - some people can only look at houses on the weekends!), but we are trying to keep Saturday mornings for us and our adventures together.
So far, it's been amazing! We never would've said this out loud but we had somehow subconsciously come to the conclusion that we needed an entire day and lots of money in order to have a good time with the kids..and that's just not true! The more I've researched and googled and found events and activities near us, the more I've realized just how easy it is. You don't need a ton of $$ or 12 straight hours to have fun. Be creative! Just get out of the house and do it! Especially with young kids... 2-4 hours is about all you'll want to do anyways ;)
Here's a little list of fun adventures we've come up with - obviously you might not live in Houston but hopefully these spark some ideas for you, too!
- Donuts and the park
- Zoo (if you get there right when it opens, it's way less crowded)
- A local farmer's market
- Beach trip
- Froberg Farms (a farm near us where you can pick strawberries, do a corn maze, etc. depending on time of year)
- Wildlife park
- Brunch downtown
- Hiking at Brazos Bend State Park
There are so many options, so many fun things to do - I just had to look a little harder and adjust my expectations a bit. Anyways, we usually get the kids up around 7:30 (when they normally wake up), pack a bag of snacks and diapers/wipes/changes of clothes, etc., load them up in the car and head on out!
One of our favorite snacks right now is Welch's new 100% juice with coconut water! It has the amazing taste of 100% juice with 30% less sugar than normal juices, which means it's something I feel comfortable giving my kids (no added or artificial sugar)! We love having Welch's juice on hand for our family adventures.. especially when we go the beach and go hiking! We all tend to get pretty thirsty when we're out in the sun! It's yummy, and refreshing and just a super easy way to stay hydrated on the go.
Anyways, we're usually home by noon every time, which works out great for us - just enough time to give the kids some lunch and then put them down for a nap. We have found that those 4-ish hours really seem to be the perfect amount of time to do any of the things on our list.
I hope this inspires some of you to get out with your families and make some memories!