The other day, my husband and I were feeling a little disconnected from nature, living in a city, and being homebound. On this occasion, we united to convince our eight-year-old to drive across the city to a conservation area near the lake. 

It required my being the backup, sharing how we must do this as a family. Saying yes to my son bringing the phone in the car helped. I’ve let go of worrying about screen time. 

Our estimated 30-minute drive ended up being an hour. There was construction, we had to navigate roadblocks and road closures. We also weren’t the only ones with this idea to head to the lake. When we finally arrived, the park was very crowded and there was nowhere to park. 

It was one of those moments where the next 30 seconds counted before turning around and going back home. There was a chance to salvage this situation and head to a little park north. Chances were there would be fewer people away from the lake. We could be there in 15 minutes if the GPS was accurate.

To our delight, when we arrived at our new destination, there were spots to park and not too many people. We had a nice walk. 

My husband and I breathed in all the good smells and the picturesque landscape, reminiscing about when we were young and how the smells took us back to playing outside all day. 

Our son couldn’t relate to that. His thoughts as we walked were about Minecraft, how there are birch trees in Minecraft, how this scenery would look if it was in Minecraft. He went on to describe all the things he recognized in nature, he was right, and I was impressed about all things he’s learning from playing Minecraft. 

I admit it is tough to see that my experiences as a kid will not be my son’s experiences. His memories will be so different from mine. Part of me wishes he could have the same experiences as me, but then I catch myself. He’s navigating his childhood in his time, where he is now. He doesn’t need to travel back in time and experience mine. 

Once I moved around the physical roadblock of finding a place to walk, and then the roadblock of my son not loving the same things I do, I could face the facts.

I accept that my son’s happy memories will be different than mine.

What he needs most is me taking the time to play in his world, even if it’s not that interesting to me. It’s how I get to know him.

And he’ll go on outdoor adventures with me because that is how he’ll get to know me, even if it’s not that interesting to him.

What matters most is that we truly know each other so that no matter what my son feels like he can talk with me. 

Sometimes you can have the best plan and intentions and then hit a roadblock. You have a choice, turn around and go back or find another way to your destination. Not giving up and finding another way, just might give you a better experience than you imagined. Through that journey, you may discover something new about yourself.

What’s a roadblock you’ve tackled recently at home or in your business? 

“If you are going down a road and don’t like what’s in front of you, and look behind you and don’t like what you see, get off the road. Create a new path!” – Maya Angelou

How are you going to create your path?

Join our community to reach your wildest business potential and lose the guilt aspect of being a working parent. Apply for membership in the “Prosper” mastermind.

When I first became a parent, the desire to sleep was so strong. I remember calling the local nurse helpline in the first month. She recommended that I co-sleep with my son so I could get more rest. Thankfully, I had been to a pre-birth class about how to do it properly. I was comfortable trying it. co-sleeping worked for me. I was not as drained between feedings.

Here’s the thing: I didn’t realize I was opting into attachment parenting. This would begin the long journey of trying to get the right routine for our family while listening to everyone’s individual needs. 

Finding a routine isn’t always easy when you have to consider other people in the mix. A baby grows and constantly changes the dynamics of the family and its routines. 

I found the flexibility I required as a parent and entrepreneur by working from home a couple of days a week. Sometimes I would bring my son to work when he was not well enough for daycare but okay enough for me to work. 

Now, several years later during the pandemic, I support my son while he learns and plays virtually. The routines these days have different challenges. I am finding creative ways to have different experiences while we are all together in the same place. 

It took many conversations and experiments over the past year to adapt, pivot, and discover what we can control and count on. 

What works for me may not work for you. I’m not going to summarize all the things I do. What I am sharing are three questions for you to ponder to discover ideal routines with your family

In our home, we ask each other these three questions every time we get anxious or frustrated:

  1. How would having more time help you?
  2. How could a family member help you with this?
  3. How can we enjoy time together as a family?

Whatever routine your family creates, everyone shows patience and kindness with each other. It could take up to twelve weeks for you and your family to find your groove. When you settle on routines, be flexible. Compromise. There are enough hours in the day for yourself and the family.

Every family is unique in its traditions and preferences. How we define family may be different too. 

For me, family is a fellowship—a group of people living together communicating meaningfully, and building trust

So when it comes to the holidays and how our family celebrates, it’s been an ongoing discussion. Our preferences change as we grow and the world around us changes. We enjoy being around each other—regardless of what we are doing.

Rarely is our holiday time spent sitting around the dinner table. It didn’t start out with the intention of not having a sit-down dinner. It came about because no one was enjoying the sit-down meal given the constraints of our different pallets. Our kid is a picky eater, and my husband and I weren’t into cooking all day for a 20-minute sit-down dinner. 

When my mind starts to wonder why we aren’t all around the dinner table, I ask myself: am I projecting what I think we should find fun and enjoyable? Or am I doing what matters most to our family? 

When I reflect on my childhood, I have mixed feelings. 

My mom and dad were always exhausted every holiday. After working long hours leading up to their time off, they laboured over several late nights to prepare our holiday dinner and surprises for us kids. 

As much as the meals were yummy and the activities were fun, we’d be holding our breath as we waited for one of our family members to have an outburst that impacted the rest of the day. 

These memories helped me to reinvent what our holidays look like for our family. 

We ask each other what we enjoy most about the holiday and what we’d like to do. It is fascinating to see how our preferences are so different.

Our kid enjoys the excitement and surprise when he wakes up, and the free-flowing playtime with his parents without time restrictions. 

My husband and I enjoy ordering in from one of our favourite restaurants and watching a movie. We have very fond memories of that when we were both kids growing up. 

Being open to doing fun and extraordinary things has helped us find joy in the little things. We can then impulsively take advantage of the unexpected. 

For example, our favourite memories of a holiday are when the doorbell rings and it’s a friend or family member stopping by for a porch visit. 

Just this afternoon, I was filled with joy after my sister-in-law and her partner surprised us with a visit. They were peaking over the porch railing with a bucket of treats for their nephew. 

It was so lovely to see them and I asked, “Want to go for a walk altogether?” Everyone agreed, and this mama was very happy. Off we went! 

We talked, played, and enjoyed each other’s company around the neighbourhood. 

If it was all orchestrated it wouldn’t have been as magical or fun.

If I was preoccupied with something roasting in the oven I may not have suggested the walk. 

Could it be that I’m getting to experience more in life without conforming to “what we’re supposed to do?”

I love this quote—it helps me feel guilt-free when I read this. How about you?

“To attempt to  perfect holiday is really an exercise in mental cruelty there really is no such thing as a perfect, so what you’ve got to do is make it your holiday” — Georgia Witkin

Are you ready to talk about this with your family? Here are a couple of discussion starters to consider:

  • What does everyone in your family enjoy most together? 
  • What’s a recent happy memory?
  • How does each of you like to spend the holiday time together?

I hope your holiday traditions bring joy to everyone in your family.