"Does it count if we are all sitting in the car going through the drive-in?" "How can we schedule a family dinner together if this kid has soccer and this kid has piano lessons and I have a Zumba class?"
Leaves falling, soccer balls, pumpkins, football jerseys, sweatshirts, crisp air ... all indicators that autumn in full swing. While parents are busy driving from activity to activity and kids are getting back into the school rhythm, we often forget how to connect as families, so here are some ideas.
As if divorce isn't difficult enough, it's often compounded by the judgment of friends and family who may equate divorce with failure and aren't afraid to let you know. So, what's the best way to handle the public scrutiny and all the pressure it brings? And is there a way to make everyone understand that they should ease up on you during this difficult time?
Every member of your family has a right to have his or her opinions respected. You don’t have to agree or go along with what your child wants, but you should at least know what it is, and your child should know why you're overriding his or her preferences. Regular family meetings, where everyone including the children expresses feelings, negative and positive, and all of you work together to solve problems, can help a lot.
Change is hard for emotionally healthy and mature adults in divorced situations. Moving from what was a normal daily life to a new normal always takes adjustment and compromise for the whole family. It also takes time and effort and a willingness to adapt. Is "nesting" a better solution for all involved?
My husband and I have worked hard to carve out time for each other in our busy, workaholic lives. We cook together. We indulge in our mutual appreciation of wine together. We do the couch potato thing and watch Netflixed episodes of NCIS together. We even make a weekend activity out of house hunting. As busy as we both so often are, we cling to these moments of intimacy, and know that we'll have to try even harder once a child is in the picture. We come from close, tight-knit families and, despite my mother's failed attempts to institute monthly Family Fun Time several years ago, we both have fond memories of growing up—and growing close—thanks to regular family activities and events. It's important to us that our kids have the same sort of chidhood.