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I know the feeling. Reality sinks in after the euphoria of getting married and having your first child wears off. Suddenly, the excitement of having a family has become boring, burdensome, or even dreadful. What was once a beautiful dream has now turned into a nightmare. How can we enjoy family life again?
Being proactive is one of the keys to enjoying your family life. It is about embracing the challenges and the responsibilities of your new role rather than lamenting over them. It’s total immersion; getting yourself involved in growing the ideal family you and your spouse have dreamed about.
Two practical ways toward a pleasurable family life are to enjoy the moment and take delight in your position as the head of the household. Continue reading to get some ideas on how to have fun with your family and enjoy your season as a father, based on my experience.
How to enjoy family time?
Involvement is the bread and butter of a healthy family life. This means we have to be intentional in spending time with our families. Yet, to be brutally honest, not many of us look forward to family time. We deem it to be a chore we would gladly pass up whenever we got the chance. We’d rather hang out with friends or spend more on me-times. If you feel the same way, here are some adjustments you can do to make your family time more fun:
- Maintain healthy relationships.
It is impossible to enjoy family time when you have relational issues with your spouse or children. It produces this barrier or negative aura that prevents all of you from having fun. Healthy relationships are often the result of exceptional communication within the family. Any division-causing matters should be addressed. “I am sorry” and “I forgive you” are the two phrases we should practice saying if we want to have a more enjoyable family time.
- Synergize work and family life.
There is always tension between family and work. That’s why it is crucial to find a way to make them work together if we want to enjoy both of them. Synergizing work and family life is different from the concept of work-life balance. Synergy means to combine or operate together. Like hitting two birds with one stone, or blending milk and bananas together to make a delicious smoothie.
I chose to be a work-at-home dad because of this idea. I want to be productive while being involved in the lives of my family at the same time. One way we spend family time is by delivering Chromebooks to my clients. I would bring everyone with me, and we’ll have a snack or stroll around the nearest shopping mall afterward.
- Start a journal.
I am not sure if this is just me. But being able to document and look back at the fun moments spent with my family stirs me to create more memories with them. In addition, it also reminds me of how fast time flies. Once, they were just babies sleeping in my arms. Today, they’re toddlers jumping on my back. Who they are today will be so much different one year from now. And there will come a day when we can no longer spend time with them whenever we want.
The two tools I use when journaling are Google Photos and Diaro.
- Find common ground.
Share your interests, and be interested in your family’s interests. Two things I look for every time we go out: good food and good coffee. That’s it. For my wife, it’s shopping. But not necessarily to buy something. She’ll already find joy by simply browsing through her favorite shops/products. My son loves to meet new people. And my daughter has a thing for wide-open spaces where she can run around. Being familiar with what your family wants allows you to plan and agree on the places where everyone will enjoy.
Based on our interests mentioned above, the usual places we hang out as a family are shopping malls, supermarkets, eco-parks, zoos, and indoor playgrounds.
- Initiate a family project.
Here’s to name a few: build a Lego house; put up a kiddie business; start a toy collection; or learn a new skill. Starting a family project will not only make time together fun, but it will also promote discipline and teamwork. As of this writing, our family project is learning a new skill. We’re teaching our son how to roller-skate. If you want more suggestions on family projects, see this post: What To Do With My Child’s Money?
How to enjoy fatherhood?
Fathers are among the most influential people in the world. Their role is so vital that almost every major disorder has been linked to their absence, based on research and statistics. Violence, teen pregnancy, suicide, drug use, and alcohol abuse are all more correlated with fatherlessness than any other factors. In a sense, dads affect not only the lives of their children but the entire world.
Re-reading the paragraph I wrote above already makes me feel weary. And that, perhaps, is what many of us generally feel about fatherhood today. More often than not, we find ourselves overwhelmed by the pressures and responsibilities of being a dad. Listed below are a few suggestions to make your life as a father more enjoyable:
- Appreciate the opportunity to be a father.
This may sound cheesy, but knowing not all men are blessed with the role of a father makes you appreciate the opportunity to be one. No matter how challenging your life as a dad is today, many people in this world will still be willing to exchange places with you. What you appreciate, appreciates.
- Simplify your life.
Better one handful with peace and tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. This has been one of my mantras ever since I became a dad. It is a verse in Scripture I have bookmarked, so I can be reminded each month. Fatherhood is already weighty enough to add more complexities to life. Be slow to choose what you invite into your life, and be quick to let go of the things that do not add value.
Here are a few things you need to reconsider owning: pets, several cars, multiple businesses, more than one home, and basically everything that has upkeep. If you are unsure how simple living work, you can check out this post: How Does Simple Living Work?
- Reward yourself.
Go ahead, treat yourself to a nice dinner. Buy that gadget. Take some time off. Never feel guilty about rewarding yourself for being a good dad. It is not a selfish act. Fatherhood is a tough job, and you need to find ways to motivate yourself to keep going. To have something to look forward to.
There is no right or wrong way to do this. As for me, I pay myself a “daddy allowance” of about $20 a month. Then I’ll keep it until it can afford the stuff I want. The last time I spent my daddy’s allowance was on a Bluetooth speaker.
- Embrace the mess.
This one has changed my life as a father big time. I like to keep my space in order. Many of the conflicts my wife and I had have been about the mess. I don’t know why, but I am easily triggered whenever I see clutter. I even recall regretting my decision to have kids simply because the house was constantly in disarray. It took me a while to adjust. But thank God, little by little, fatherhood got better when I learned to embrace the mess. That it’s one of the costs of having children. Check out this post if you want to get more ideas on how to make your life easier as a dad.
- Develop a deep relationship with your children.
There’s no better way to enjoy fatherhood than to invest in your relationship with your children. This seems to be a no-brainer. But most of us, even myself, tend to enjoy our roles as a businessman or a volunteer more because we spend most of our time there. The parent-child bond is an experience you do not want to miss out on. It’s one of the most precious gifts we will ever receive. When you develop a deep kind of love toward your children, fatherhood will never be the same again.
We enjoy family life by being proactive (and not being reactive) to the challenges and responsibilities of fatherhood. We should intentionally make time for our family and fully immerse ourselves in the role of being a father. No one says it is going to be easy. But there are ways to make it fun!
- How Can Family Life Impact Work?
- A Stay-At-Home Dad Schedule: What Do We Exactly Do All Day?
- 10 Responsibilities Of A Father I Learned In Training
- Is Being A Father Worth It?
- How To Influence Your Family? (7 Keys)