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Relaxation Tips from the Hinkles: How to switch off and recharge when you are busy parents with busy kids.
As you may imagine, when you have five young kids, it’s easy to get stuck in the role of servant. There’s little time for parents to be a couple, and for Mom and Dad to simply be normal humans. Contrary to what some may think, it’s important for us parents to be a little bit selfish occasionally, taking time to reflect, regroup, and, yes, be an individual.
Our family has come up with a few opportunities for Mom and Dad to have some well deserved time to themselves. Trust us, this is a worthwhile investment to help keep all family members happy and sane!
1. Date night out (for one)
We take turns, one night per week, where one person is free to do whatever they want. This leaves the unlucky parent at home, attempting to control the kids for the evening. The person out can do whatever they want: go out with friends, practice a hobby, watch a movie. No judgement…. well a little judgement… seriously….. you used your free night out to go watch a movie?
This offers a small window of freedom where we can dive into the things we love to do, but can never seem to justify ignoring the kids or responsibilities for. It helps to keep that spark that is you, alive and kicking.
2. Saturday morning sleep in
All week long our kids will sleep until 10am and fight us to get out of bed for school. Why is it that on Saturday morning they pop out of bed at 6:30am as chipper as Poppy from Trolls? We have a rule. Every Saturday morning, the kids will wake up to LEGOs in their room. They are expected to play quietly until Mom and Dad get out of bed. If they wake us up unnecessarily, no cartoons that morning.
It may seem a bit draconian to some parents, but with Church on Sunday, it’s the only possible chance we have to get some sleep. Besides, I assure you that everyone in the house will have a better morning if Mom and Dad are well rested.
3. Date night in (for two)
As it turns out, it’s nearly impossible to find a babysitter for five kids (at least for what we are willing to pay). Because of this, we don’t get out half as much as we would like to. What we have come up with is our 'date night in'. We put our kids to bed early, set up our laptop for a movie in bed, and we settle for a romantic night in together (as romantic as you can get with the kids in the next room).
We have done everything from wine and painting, to a blind chocolate tasting, to grabbing the basketball and playing a one on one game of PIG. The general idea is to try to have interesting experiences that encourage us to explore and grow as a couple, but from the comforts of our own home.
These are just a few ideas for how you can Make Time Together for you as parents. It is important to recharge and still follow personal passions. That way, when you are with your kids, it can be real quality time as Mom and Dad are fresh and energized.
Creative QT designs quality + innovative toys that declutter homes and inspire creative play. Founded by parents of five, Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, Creative QT’s vision is to empower parents and encourage a culture of families that Make Time Together. All products are designed to enrich families’ lives through active, creative play and play based learning. Creative QT products are laboratory tested for compliance with CPSC requirements and are free of lead, cadmium and phthalates so you can play with confidence. So, go ahead … today is the day: be your kid’s hero.
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