Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The family that plays together, stays happy together

With Christmas just around the corner, the importance of spending time together as a family weighs heavy on my mind.  I don't want this post to sound judgmental towards families that for a myriad of reasons, don't spend a lot of time together.  I know that it isn't always possible for both mom and dad to be home on the weekend or in the evening together.  I also recognize that children don't always share the same interests as their parents.  For that matter, spouses don't always share the same interests.  Differences aside, with the new year coming and resolutions around the corner to be made, I'd like to share a few of our top family values with you.

Value One:  Saturday is devoted to play

We are very religious about observing our Saturday play day.  I will never take a job where I have to work on Saturday and my husband is serious about not putting in over-time hours on this day.  We go to church Sunday morning but Saturday is our Sabbath day; the day where we don't do anything we have to do.  Chores, cleaning, shopping and errands wait until Sunday afternoon whenever possible or else we try to accomplish these tasks during the week.

Mountain kisses

Value Two:  We make family time a priority on the weekend

I love taking a weekend away with my girlfriends or joining a group of friends for a day of ski touring.  My husband anticipates his next mountaineering trip or back-country ski day.  We also try to get away as a couple at least once or twice a year.  Those trips aside, weekends are reserved for us to spend time together as a family. We hike together with our toddler, we ski together and pull him in a pulk, we do back-packing trips, and we go camping.  I can't wait for the day when we are doing glacier traverses, all three of us tied into the same rope and working as a family team to summit a mountain.  It seriously puts goosebumps on my arms and tears in my eyes to think of the fun that awaits us when Noah is old enough to carry a back-pack and join us for some hard-core adventure.

Genuine happiness

Value Three:  We play together

Closely connected to value number two is that we play together and enjoy the same sports, hobbies and passions.  I don't want to be that family where mom drops little Jimmy off to play soccer Saturday morning and then runs off to her yoga class while Jennie is at her girlfriend's house and Dad is at home working in the yard.  I apologize if I've just described your family and I really didn't intend to use the word "that" with a condescending tone.  These are again, our values and don't have to be your values.  We are very blessed as a family that we share the same interests and can bond in our free time doing what we are passionate about.  I deeply hope that my son will grow up loving the mountains too.  So far he loves going skiing and hiking with us as it's all he's ever known.  I don't think he realizes yet that there are different things he could be doing on a Saturday afternoon.

Happy together

Value Four:  We preserve our own unique personalities in the family

My husband is much more hard-core than I am when it comes to mountaineering, skiing or climbing.  I'm a hiker through and through.  Therefore it's important that I encourage him to take a day or weekend away to pursue what he is most passionate about.  I myself love Zumba and yoga so Mark watches Noah while I take classes in the evening.  I'm sure that Noah will have unique interests and passions as well and it will be important to nurture his talents without forcing him to conform to a family mold. 

Memories to treasure
Just another day in paradise

What are your family values?
What do you enjoy doing together as a family?

For further inspiration check out this fun read: Ways to Get Your Children Playing Outdoors (Including One Way You Probably Haven’t Even Thought Of!!)

Rain, snow, sun, we're always together

Lotsa love

Father and son

Mommy love


  1. Love value 3: We are dead on in agreeing. We don't want to be scattered as a family. And while there will be somethings that we all do apart- I want to be doing most of the things together. And as the parents we get to make those calls. Love the article!

    Oh- the things we love to do together? Climbing is great. Kids of all ages can have fun with it!

  2. Alyssa, glad you share the same values. My husband loves climbing so I hope he'll introduce it to my son this summer. I used to climb but got bored with it. Guess I'll be a good belayer for my son, not wanting to climb myself.