It’s easy to put off relaxing until the kids go to bed or to put it off all together…
Relaxing isn’t exactly my strong suite, but as I thought more about it I wondered…
Am I teaching my kids to compromise much needed down time?
Am I making them feel left out because I’m so excited for bedtime so that I can finally relax?
WHY WAIT UNTIL THE KIDS GO TO BED TO RELAX?
Is this GO GO GO mentality, even at home, getting in the way of our family feeling like our home is a soothing sanctuary?
Grappling with these questions, over the past couple of weeks I’ve made a concerted effort to build in more down time.
We’ve been going up to bed, all of us (even the dog), about 15 minutes early to cuddle under the blue blanket.
Blue Blanket Time consists of all lying down on the floor in the boys’ room under a blue queen-sized blanket, including a few blankies, moo cows and monkeys, or my husband and I lie under the blanket while the boys cuddle up like little birds in a downy nest on top of the covers.
Cuddle time is precious in our home. With two active boys it’s hard to come by, so just a few minutes of it is glorious.
And in addition to loving this family bonding time,
cuddling has tons of health benefits,
from strengthening relationships to lowering blood pressure, reducing anxiety and it may even help repair damaged muscle tissue.
Some nights we can all relax for 40 minutes and others we have about 5-10 minutes before the natives become too restless and it’s time for bed.
I know it’s working…it is teaching our kids to appreciate relaxation.
Blue Blanket Time is requested about every night and one afternoon, by request, we brought the blanket downstairs to cuddle up and read books for a while.
And a couple of times I’ve “caught” Nick saying he’s going to sit on the couch to take a quick break when he’s feeling tired or frustrated.
Other ways we’re building in relaxation time:
- Stretching & Yoga in the family room while the kids are up – so they can see and model us exercising (again – something I would typically do while they were sleeping in the early morning)
- Sharing the limited screen time together on the couch rather than using it as a distraction tool – we may all watch a nature show together.
- Sitting and drinking morning coffee (and water) together on the weekends (instead of gulping it down while we clean up the kitchen.
This relaxation time isn’t everything I need to restore.
My husband and I still both appreciate down time before and after the kids wake up, but now we get a few little doses during the day, and so do our kids.
If you don’t model how to relax and restore – mentally & physically – how will your kids learn this crucial skill?
Weekly Challenge: Try to spend 10 minutes relaxing together as a family sometime this week.