What so many families need right now is structure mixed with some flexibility — plus a little bit of joy sprinkled on top. That’s what prompted one member of the Offspring Facebook group to create a small family schedule of little things to look forward to. And it’s something we can all easily replicate.
Laura explains to the group:
I wanted something for me and my kids to look forward to each day, so I posted a list to my fridge of the days of the week and one fun thing each day. (Like Taco Tuesday, Takeout Thursday, Dance Party Friday, Movie & Popcorn Sunday.) I never manage to stick to things like this, but because they’re fun/food-related, we’re 3 weeks in and going strong. It differentiates the days a little and is a tiny bit of structure. Gives me some bones to plan groceries/dinners around too. I see it evolving if we get bored of any of the things, but it’s a tiny little bit of cheer for me right now.
Making the little joys food-related is a good idea if you want to make sure you stick with it — creating a schedule where certain nights are Mexican night, Italian night, or “Breakfast for Dinner” night has the added benefit of not only helping you meal plan but helping you actually stick to that plan. (My favourite thing to do is make a meal plan and then decide I’d rather improvise every night of the week, which is not necessarily a strategy I’d recommend.)
But your family’s schedule of mini-joys can be anything you like. You could schedule in a family game night, a walk through the park, or a seasonal craft. The trick is to choose things you’d probably do anyway, or that are simple enough to not make you groan at the end of a long day of work and school. The point is not to add to your plate, but to call out a handful of bright spots in the upcoming week so you’ve all got something to look forward to.
And if you decide one night that you want to swap days or ditch the whole plan altogether and get ice cream for dinner, I support that, as well.