We eat dinner together as a family around 6 even on the nights my husband is at the fire department or his second job. My husband has a weird work schedule (there isn’t a nice way to say it – firefighter schedules of 24 on/48 off are weird for those of us accustomed to a Monday through Friday, 9-5 routine). Anyway, as I was saying, because Mike has a unique schedule, I try to keep our lives at home as consistent as possible. I’ve found with 3 under 5 that I need as few variables as possible. It makes life simpler when life is predictable. Boring? Yes. Sanity-saving? Absolutely.
One thing I love to do every night at dinner is to encourage my kids to talk about their favorite part of the day. I wish I could take credit for this idea, but last year, over the holidays, a friend was visiting and shared that she does this with her children. I loved the idea and immediately began implementing it in our family. It’s been so fun to hear each child share the best part of their day.
My 3-year-old is a complete monkey and imitates nearly everything her big brother says, I usually ask her first (so I receive an honest answer from her and not merely a repeat of whatever Jackson shared). Not only has it helped with creating interesting conversation (or, as interesting as it can get with a bunch of little people), but I like to think it’s will help them learn to reflect at the end of each day. What were the highs? The lows?
It’s oh-so-easy to go through life in survival mode and never pause to savor the sweet moments. Discussing the best part of the day is now a part of our conversation every night. I hope it teaches our children to look for the good in each day. It reminds me to cultivate gratefulness in my heart.
Every day is filled with challenges, but also with beauty. Sometimes it is easy in my postpartum, exhausted state to overlook the good and focus on the frustration. So I “stop to smell the roses” every evening and savor the aroma of the beautiful life God has given me.
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