Doesn’t the word sound wonderful?
When I hear the word, I think of…
Time where I get to do something I just want to do.
Time where I get to explore.
Time I get to spend on a passion, interest, or hobby.
Time I see as a luxury.
Time I cherish.
Time I can use to bake, read, draw, sing, watch, swing, chat, or nap.
Time I can use for anything I can dream up.
When does this kind of time happen at your home?
For you? For your spouse? For your kids?
I know for our family, if we don’t put it down as an important part of each day, it doesn’t happen.
We can fill our every waking moment with chores, jobs, school, and busy errands.
We can drain our brain, going through the motions of a day, without giving our selves space to have a little bit of time to recharge.
Sitting at play rehearsal recently I listened to moms talk about how crazy their kids’ schedules are.
Between voice lessons, play practices, sports,vacations and camps, their summer is packed.
It is up to us as parents to help protect some time for our kids to play. To invent. To create.
To give them FREE-time!
We are the one who signs them up for all these events.
We give in the pressure to have them be a part of every opportunity that comes their way.
I know I struggle with this.
When really amazing opportunities knock at the door…
Sometimes we get to say, “yes.”
But sometimes we need to say, “no.”
They will be a kid for only a few years.
What kind of years will they have?
We pass on a message of what is most important in our lives by what we allow to control our schedule.
3 Benefits to having free-time in your family’s schedule:
1) Gives more space for creativity
With nothing on the schedule other than the words “FREE-time”
Your creative juices can flow.
You can do something just because you are wanting to.
Free-time is unstructured so that you can get outside the rut, and try something new.
Free-time promotes creativity because you don’t have a task list.
Free-time allows you to “piddle” or “mess around” with crafting or cooking ingredients.
Free-time lets you explore new authors, musicians, and entertainers.
2) Improves your outlook on life.
Knowing you have time set aside to do anything you want,
allows you to get through the long hours of work and school.
You breath easier knowing your life isn’t out of control.
When life is full to the brim, you can feel trapped.
Having a time for you, can feel like a release.
Free-time is when your body can soak in and recharge.
It can add a peacefulness to your day.
Free-time is a mini-vacation in the middle of a busy life.
3) Allows each member to be an individual.
As your children grow into the people they are becoming, their interests are going to vary.
It will be harder and harder to find things that everyone wants to do at the same time.
Giving time in our family’s schedule to pursue their own interests,
not guilting them into liking all the same things,
has allowed them to feel like individuals amidst a family setting.
It’s the time when they start to figure out what they truly like just because THEY like it.
Some days we have longer chunks of free time, and those are some of my favorite days.
In our house, during free-time, you might see people reading, watching, baking, making, resting, and playing.
Some days these times produce delicious food, hand made toys, drawings, and videos.
But some days they don’t.
And that’s ok.
Because it’s FREE-time!
Like anything that you want to actually happen, you have to put it on the schedule and then protect that time!
Your kids deserve a bit of free time.
So do YOU!
How about you?
If you had an afternoon to do anything you wanted, what would it be?
I’d love to hear from you! Share with us in the comments!