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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Reclaiming Our Nights

One of our "house rules" is to forego activities on weeknights. Our limited family time is just too precious to sacrifice for anything but the absolute necessities. 
But even with this restriction, we don't have a lot of time. By the time I get home from work (5:30 on a good day), we eat, feed and bathe Catherine, walk Fred, and get C to bed, it's 8:00. That leaves about one hour of "free" time before I hit the sack.
The nights have been feeling a bit chaotic as of late, and I am not a fan of feeling chaotic. As I was working on this post, I noticed that Ashley also wrote a nice one about the "busy trap," so I'm guessing that this is a common problem!
Here are a few things we're doing to reclaim our nights.
-Dinner at the table
Since we got married, our "normal" has been to eat in the living room in front of the television {shameful, yes}. Even though we kept saying that when C got older we didn't want that to be her normal, we'd not really made any effort to stop since she was born. That has changed. It was getting really tough to eat my supper, feed her, and watch television. {What, kid, you want me to pay attention to you? Star Trek's on!} ;) So we've started eating dinner in the library. And I love it. It feels slower-paced, more intentional, and {dare I say it} grown-up.
-Limiting television
Because I want to be fully present with Catherine when I'm at home, we'd already started limiting our watching to when she was in bed. But it's been bothering me that my only free time was spent collapsed in the recliner watching reruns of Dallas {shameful, again}. So our new rule {still early in the implementing process} is that, if I'm going to watch television, I have to be multi-tasking: brushing Fred, doing my nails, blogging, reading...something like that. But I also want there to be some nights where we don't turn on the television at all. I'd like to leave space in our life for writing, music, projects, talking, just being together. We're still figuring out how this will work and where to be flexible, but that's the goal for now.
-Cleaning up
Once I sit down in the evenings, getting up again is generally a lost cause {until it's time to go to bed--and sometimes that's tough!}. But I really love a clean house and sleep better knowing I don't have to tackle the kitchen the next morning. Jason is awesome to help cook and clean, but he's tired at night, too, because he works just as hard at home as I do at work all day. So we're making it a Team Norris goal {yes, I like to refer to us that way} to make sure things are "straight" before bed--kitchen cleaned, shoes put away {guilty}, mail sorted, that kind of thing.
It's challenging enough to feel like you're squeezing all of your "real life" into the three hours after work, so I'm hoping our new rules will help us feel like we're using that time in the best way possible.
What are some of your house rules for managing the chaotic evenings?


  1. Anonymous7/16/2012

    For your most chaotic days, this is something I learned a long time ago... Go off by yourself, and for 15 minutes...pray. Not necessarily vocal or intentional, but just place yourself in the Presence of God. At first you'll be SO anxious. You'll think to yourself, "I don't have TIME for this. I'll NEVER get everything done. But you will be simply astounded how God will revive and refresh you, and see to it that everything seems just to fall into place. No wonder He says, "Be still and know that I am God." I think He wants us to read the emphasis on the "I". In my most chaotic times I found that I was allowing something else to knock Him from the throne. Besides, there can be no chaos in the Prince of Peace.
    Happy quiet evenings,

    1. SO true! It's never a good idea to sacrifice time with Him.


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