When I sit down and think about my childhood, some of the memories that pop into my head are things like huge family gatherings, heading to the pub with my parents and having dinner with their friends and their friends kids while they had a few drinks and played the pokies, my parents friends coming over to play cards all night while us kids ran around playing spotlight and watching movies. Now days, nobody seems to be a social as we were once raised to be and I’m stuck here wondering “what happened to Friday night card night?” and how can we incorporate these types of memories into our own parenting journey? How can we jump back to basics and give our children the same meaningful memories?
Remember when we all got together at Grandmas house and played twister on the grass, french cricket in the backyard, made fun of our Aunts cooking and just had fun? Meanwhile, our parents and Aunts and Uncles would be laughing together, catching up on each others lives since the last catch up and forgetting about all of their worries for a few hours.
Fast forward to 2022 and those catch ups have been replaced with a group chat online, family we only see 3 times a year and a whole lot of distant relationships. There’s always someone too busy or there was a better offer than to go to another silly old family event. All too often though, we don’t realise that every event, could be the last time we see someone we love.
Imagine it’s Friday night, your Mum’s inside slicing potatoes to fry up, Dad’s in the shed firing up the barbie and you’re eagerly waiting by the front door waiting for your parents friends to arrive with their kids. They finally arrive and you all eat a nice dinner, you and the other kids are made to clear the table while the adults have a few drinks and set up to play cards into all hours of the night. After dinner, you gather up all the torches in the house and run outside to play spotlight and later on you all come inside and make your own fun while your parents de-stress and catch up.
Nowadays, everyone is too busy or just too exhausted to catch up. Which makes sense, life these days seems to be full of exhausted, run-down parents who are reaching for the “perfect in every aspect” title and those who are just trying to keep a roof over their families heads because the cost of living is rising.
I get it, it’s hard and catching up with friends and family is probably the last priority on your list. However, think about the memories and experiences your kids will grow up without if you don’t consider reverting back to basics just a little bit. Think about how happier you’ll be as a parent if you have that time to destress, unload, unwind and laugh. When was the last time you caught up with family and friends and just laughed?
The back to basics challenge
The reality is, nobody these days has time to use every Friday or every weekend to do any of this, so my challenge for you this year can be broken up into 3 simple goals.
1. Bring back Friday night cards night
Now as I mentioned above, this doesn’t need to be every Friday, nor do you need to invite every friend around for a huge party. Pick one Friday this month and invite 1 or 2 friends around with their kiddos and play some games, cook up a feast and watch all the kids make memories together. With or without alcohol, so much fun can be had!
2. Plan a birthday
When was the last time you celebrated your birthday? Why has it been so long? Let me guess, priorities? Time? Money? Forget everything you know about fancy, extravagant, Instagram and Pinterest birthdays! Choose a Saturday close to your birthday, message the fam (yep, all of them. Even the ones you don’t consider “your people”), and ask everyone to bring a plate of food instead of a present. Chuck some music on, bake yourself a cake and enjoy a simple family gathering. Sit back, forget all your troubles in your daily life and laugh with your siblings, watch your kids build memories with their cousins, update each other on the kids’ achievements.
3. Say YES!
Think back to the last 3 months, count how many times you declined an event of some sort because you were either too tired, too busy, had something else on that day, had to work, a house needed to be cleaned etc. Now I want you to commit to saying YES to the next 4 invites that come your way. MAKE IT WORK. Make the time for people who love you and want to share these special events with you.
Just by trying these 3 simple things, we can start to revert back to basics and I promise you that you’ll feel better for it, your children will feel better for it and the memories you’ll all have in years to come will be full to the brim of beautiful memories and meaningful connections with those you love.
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