Last year we did too much. We had no day of the week that we weren't up early, with someone rushing out the house for something or another. We felt tired and we had no energy to hang out with our kids. We'd just plonk the TV on after dinner and watch some reality show together. It wasn't terrible and often quite fun, but we didn't spend much time talking to each other or reading together.
Now that I'm working and get home late two nights a week, and Rowan has two or three nights out every week with regular commitments and Aidan will have youth group one night a week, we are only left with one night a week that we can actually connect properly.
It means that every day is looking full and we just need to slow down. We feel more and more disconnected from each other when school term is on and this is not why we had a family.
So we're thinking about cutting out Saturday sport. The early Saturday mornings in winter, going in two different directions almost killed us. It feels unAustralian to cull sport but they will still be able to play competitive sport in school teams. We're thinking of using the time to all go to the pool together so that the younger two kids can finally get swimming lessons.
And I'm thinking that we're going to pretty much ban screen time during the school terms - including the weekends - (for the kids and ourselves) so that we regain that time and I go to bed earlier. I just need more sleep. Wish I could operate on 4 hours a night, but I can't.
It's still going to be insanely busy (we only have about three free nights in February) but we have to be ruthless to protect our family time.
I'm quite fond of the old TV, so I'll let you know how I go, but I suspect I won't miss it too much once we get out of the habit.
Grand plans ...