Let’s be honest. Babies are cute, but they don’t do very much. I remember my hubby saying they would have so much fun together when our little bundle of joy was a bit older and able to interact. And it’s so true.
At 2.5 years old, it’s amazing to watch her copying us, learning, starting to talk, and soaking up the world around her. Now is the time to create new family time habits.
She and daddy now get lots of playtimes together. We regularly have dens popping up in the house and a favourite game is playing scary dinosaurs. It’s lovely to hear them giggling and chuckling. Pure joy. It’s what we need in the world right now!
In this post, I will explore why it’s important to create new family time habits.
We didn’t have the best start to our lives together and faced abuse from one side of the family. Following a lengthy and upsetting battle, we decided it was best to step away and it’s the best decision we ever made. You cannot reason with toxic people.
When you’ve lived through an experience like this, I think it’s important to create your own family traditions. To establish yourself in the world as a new family who won’t make the same mistakes their parents did.
My parents didn’t get on with either side of the family when we were growing up and they always made a point of letting me and my brother have freedom. They made it known their actions were as a result of lessons gained growing up, about how they didn’t want to impact their children negatively. They had been impacted, it was time to break the cycle. They took the difficult decision to create new family time habits. And I am so thankful they did.
Here are a list of some of the wonderful traditions we’ve now put into place:
Christmas Eve at home
One of our main efforts to create new family time habits starts with Christmas.
We spend the holiday period with my parents at their house. Luckily we get on with them and they are like parents to my hubby. However, it’s great to have one evening at our house. We can appreciate our Christmas decorations. Our little one can spend some time at home. We open a Christmas Eve box and my parents come round whilst we host the festivities.
It’s then their turn to host from breakfast on Christmas morning when we arrive to begin our stay. It feels like checking into a hotel and it’s great for us to have a much-needed rest.
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A friend told me ages ago, a routine is what will help get a little one into a good sleeping pattern.
And she was right.
We’ve started a little tradition where we all enjoy bath time. We use the Johnsons sleepy wash for our toddler, in the hope, it will make her go to bed early (it doesn’t!). Then one of us will usually get in the bath with her. It’s a special time together and we cherish it. This is one of my fave new family time habits. Even if my relaxing bath does sometimes get disturbed for playtime!
Whilst bath time is in session, the other person cleans up the toys. And believe me, toddlers can and do fill the whole living room floor with their toys. The other person then gets in the bathwater just before bed. And you know what, it’s helping us all wind down for bed and sleep better. This being the case, it’s a tradition I am keeping.
Going out for walks
As a couple, we always loved walking. I talk a lot about our English Heritage membership and you will get more updates early next year when we renew it. Unfortunately, the pandemic meant our walking plans were on hold. We both struggled when you could only go out for one walk a day, during the first UK lockdown.
Luckily, our little one loves walking as much as we do and therefore she can now join us in creating this new family time habit. We’ve already spotted some walking boots for her and we will be setting off for a day of walking most weekends and any holiday time we get, doing what we love.
Planning quality time together
We have a family WhatsApp group and we love nothing more than planning our next holiday.
Because I’m the chief planner in the family, not knowing when our next break would be during the pandemic, really got me down. I even booked a few nights away, with the security of a refund. Just to go through the act of planning again. Having something to finally look forward to helps my mental health.
Luckily we got to go on some of the breaks I planned.
Now we have a little more freedom, we’ve recently secured the same weeks off work and are currently planning our first holiday for a special occasion in the family. I am having a look at breaks whilst writing this post, and it’s so much fun.
We also have a week off as a family soon and will be spending it doing day trips and walking a lot. Even if it’s raining, you will see us out there, getting our little one used to the level of walking she can expect most weekends when she is older.
The final and BEST of our new family time habits – relaxing.
We openly talk about and make a point of having ‘chill time’. For us, it means, the sofa, blankets, cuddles. We use it to get our little one into sleepy mode before bed. And of course, we always need a rest from toddler madness. HeHe!
In reality, we sometimes only manage 30 minutes on the sofa, because we are simply so busy. However, even this 30 minutes is quality time. No phones, switching off watching TV. It’s lovely.
We’ve cemented the tradition so much that our little one knows what to do when I say ‘chill time’. Now she’s a bit older, I regularly find her in a corner with pillows and a blanket. So cute!
Until next time
You will be hearing from me soon. In the meantime, let me know in the comments which family traditions you have created. I look forward to chatting with you.