People often say that nothing is more important than family. If you believe that, then ask yourself if your actions demonstrate that belief. If not, you always have time to make changes, especially when it comes to spending time with extended family.
Often, we allow life to get in the way of prioritizing time with our loved ones, whom we are unable to see each day. Work schedules, school events, practices and sporting events seem to consume the lives of those with children. I’m as guilty of this as anyone. My parents and brother live 45 minutes from me, while my sister is 20 minutes away, yet I see them maybe once a month.
My family and extended family are very good about getting together for the birthdays of our children. My mom and sister are great about getting the cousins together to do different things during the summer, such as bowling, movies, theme parks etc. My kids have a great relationship with extended family because of this.
Another fun thing my children used to do when they were younger, was to create and mail “Happy Birthday” cards for members of our extended family. My kids loved making them, and I know those who received them, enjoyed it just as much.
During the holiday season, we have a set routine which has become a tradition. I think that having the same set plan for the holidays is beneficial for all. This alleviates some level of stress for parents. Each year, we spend Thanksgiving at my Grandpa’s home, then the ladies go shopping. Christmas Eve is spent at my sister’s home, then everyone comes to our place Christmas afternoon. It works out great for our family, which are for the most part, in close proximity. Obviously, spending time with extended family who are hours or states away becomes much more difficult.
We all decide the things that we enjoy and are important to us—going to the gym, running, playing a round of golf, hunting or going to the spa, We are always able to find time to do the things we love, so making time for those who we love shouldn’t be difficult.
Herb Cody is a husband and father of three. He is a part-time Uber driver and full-time caregiver of his spouse, who suffered a traumatic brain injury after an auto accident November 2015. Herb loves football and is a St Louis Cardinals fanatic. He and his family live in Nixa MO. Herb can be reached for questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can check out Herb’s own blog at www.thecodylife.weebly.com