We live in a capitalist society where two incomes are needed for a decent level of life. We live in a society where we want what everyone else has because we fear being judged. We live in a society that has a rich and poor divide, and one where in the South it’s incredibly tough to live on minimum wage. I know this, because I am one of these low income families. That is why I work and strive to earn money at home. Whilst my wage is still closer to a part time wage than a full time one, it still works for us because it eliminates childcare and the guilt that comes with having to put your babies in full time nursery settings.
It’s funny how maternity, paternity and childcare is so different all around the world and it seems that what women want but what society believes is acceptable are too very different things. What doesn’t seem to be taken into consideration by society is actually how valuable time together as a family is.
Many parents work shifts or weekends to eliminate childcare costs in the working week but then that sacrifices time together. In other cases parents will work around school hours so someone can be there for drop off and pick up but then that again eliminates time together as a family. There really doesn’t seem to be much of a balance for families these days and it’s so frustrating.
Our time together as a family is limited for a few reasons really. Firstly, with Adam being at University as a mature student and working Sunday to Thursday evenings, with Evie being at school and as we are a blended family her absence from us every other weekend means we actually only get two Saturdays a month where we can spend time together as a family and that time together is really important to me, to us all really.
Whilst we are usually all together most weekday evenings the time together feels short and rushed. It’s hard to just enjoy time together. I am sure there are many, many other families with a similar dynamic to me and I know this will be the norm for us for many years to come however there are a few things I think are really important and helps us have some time together during these really busy times.
- An evening meal together as many nights as possible
- Two Saturdays a month together where we can focus on fun days out, family activities or having lazy days at home if we need to
- A family holiday every year. I am really not bothered about having time off during term time because it is vital to have that quality time together away from the norm and away from the home
- Making the most of conversations on the way to and from school with my daughter
- Having family discussions about things like holidays and seasonal plans so that we all feel like we are included
It’s really hard to spend time together as a family in this modern day two income needed society and it’s vital to us. How do you make sure you get some quality time together as a family?