My family and I live very busy and active lives.
Our days are filled with soccer practices, dance lessons, early morning hockey games and that’s not even factoring in school, our day jobs and my freelance writing career.
It can be overwhelming and it doesn’t leave much time to just be.
In a house with two parents who work outside of the home I often feel the pressure to pack everything into the weekend. There is laundry to be done and groceries to be bought. There are playdate requests and family to visit.
My weekends end up just as tightly scheduled as my weekdays and before I know it, Monday morning has rolled around and I don’t feel rested at all.
My weekends are precious. I think that’s the case for most of us. So why don’t I ever allow myself to be unscheduled with nothing to do?
As a society the lines between work and home have been blurred. It’s no longer like in The Flinstones when the whistle blows and everyone races out never to think about work again until the next morning.
We are always reachable; phone, emails, social media, texts. We never shut off.
It’s leading us down a dangerous path. More and more, people are suffering from stress induced illnesses, we have higher levels of anxiety and depressions, even in children. The ‘go, go, go’ way of life is just not healthy.
I want my kids to know the importance of shutting off. They need to know boredom.
It’s in the moments of sheer and utter boredom that they will have their greatest adventures. It’s when their imagination will run wild and their creativity will take them to new places. It’s when they will form their neighbourhood crew and explore the world around them. It’s when they will make memories and build a relationship with their siblings.
I crave a good book in front of a warm fire. I crave quiet time to write the stories that regularly fill my mind. I crave silence, where all the noise is turned off.
As someone who leans towards the introverted side, I physically need quiet in the same way I need food, water and sunshine.
If my mind, body and soul needs this downtime, then I know my kids must need it too. They may not even realize just how much they need it.
The truth is, I need to be the one to make that happen for our family. I need to say no to invitations. I need to stop making so many plans. I need to shut down all screens for some time and on the other hand allow my kids the time to explore their screens without guilt.
I need to make sure that our home has moments with nothing to do and no place to go.
So if I turn down your invitation to dinner or can’t make your party please don’t take it personally. It’s nothing to do with you.
It’s just that my family and I are busy taking back our weekends.