Spending Time With the Family: It’s not Just a Spectator Sport
Spending Time With the Family: It’s not Just a Spectator Sport
There’s family time, and there’s QUALITY family time. AM I RIGHT? Well, it’s possible I’m NOT right, because you never get the chance to have quality family time.
Let’s look at a typical family schedule:
- 6 AM – Time to rise and shine; it’s another glorious day!
- 7 – You’re showered, shaved, curled, dressed, fed, and rarin’ to go!
- 7:15 – You’re yelling at the kids to FIND THEIR SHOES ALREADY – WHY WOULD I KNOW WHERE YOUR FREAKIN’ SHOES ARE? DO I WEAR THEM? WHY DIDN’T YOU PUT THEM IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM WHERE WE HAVE CONVENIENTLY PLACED SHOE BINS? Oh, good. You found them in the bathroom next to the toilet. Now, get in the van; we’re late…again.
- 7:35 – Kids are dropped off, and you’re speeding to work.
- 7:40 – You’re smiling at the officer, trying to come up with a better explanation for going 83 than being late.
- Noon – You’re calling your husband to remind him to pick up Ralph for his 3 o’ clock dentist appointment.
- 2:45 PM – You’re picking up Ralph because your husband had a last minute meeting.
- 5:15 – You’re dropping off Ralph at soccer practice and hurrying over to Lucille’s soccer practice WHICH FOR SOME REASON CAN’T BE AT THE SAME FIELD!
- 5:45 – After watching a half hour of Lucille’s practice, you’re swinging by the aquatic center to watch the second half of Marvin’s swim meet. You kiss your husband as he leaves to pick up Lucille and Ralph.
- 6:15 – Everyone is finally home, and now you get to make dinner – YIPPEE!
- 7 – The kids are arguing about whether to watch TV or play video games. You’re daydreaming about when you were single. Your husband goes to the other room to watch Sportscenter.
- 10 – Kids are bathed and put to bed…you can hear your sons playing something called “Booger Wars.” You take five ibuprofen and wonder about liver damage.
- 11 – You decide to finish your “quick pick up” of the house that has lasted an hour. You vacuum the front room anyway.
- 11:20 – Your husband compliments your new perfume, Old English, as you crawl into bed and give him a goodnight kiss.
I suppose this scenario isn’t exactly realistic – NOT ENOUGH YELLING!
Clearly, families spend time together, but it rarely fits into what people would label as QUALITY TIME.
One of the problems that most families face is being over-scheduled. And in this case, it’s hard to imagine finding time to relax. Because, guess what, YOUR FAMILY NEEDS TO RELAX.
And here’s another little known tidbit: Golf is relaxing, and it’s one of the few sports THE WHOLE FAMILY CAN PLAY at the same time.
Instead of just watching your kids do their various activities, you could all be playing together. Now, that’s not to say you should rip your children from their activities, telling them WE ARE NOW ONLY A GOLF FAMILY! That would be silly.
What you need to do is incorporate this sport INTO your busy schedule. I can see you rolling your eyes. I don’t have time! Didn’t you just write out my daily schedule? Where is this extra time, you Big Dumb?!
I’m not gonna lie. You don’t have time for anything YOU DON’T WANT TO HAVE TIME FOR. (I’ll pause while you pick up the pieces of your just blown minds.)
Yes, it’s true, you must CARVE OUT QUALITY TIME.
That’s not to say it isn’t there, but you must be willing to whittle if this idea is appealing (and if it isn’t, THEN WHY ARE YOU STILL READING?!)
HERE’S THE DEAL: You already know how to play golf (once you learned the equipment was made of chocolate, you were sold). Your kids do too because you’ve taken them to golf lessons since they were 7. And your husband is virtually ready for the PGA tour.
WHAT OTHER SPORT DOES EVERYONE IN THE FAMILY PLAY?! It’s golf, plain and simple.
So, now that we’ve established that golf is the great equalizer, we need to find that extra time I was talking about earlier (GET OUT THE KNIVES, LADIES; IT’S TIME TO START PARING!).
If you look carefully at the sample schedule above, you’ll see a chunk of time when the family is “relaxing.” Following dinner, the family begins its nightly ritual of arguing about what TV show to watch, how loud the video games are, who watches what on which TV, how to find some peace and quiet without feeling guilty about “neglecting” the family, etc.
If this is quality time, then I’m a spring chicken – CLUCK!
Wouldn’t it be nice to actually enjoy these few hours together?
Imagine this: it’s a lovely summer evening. The trees are casting shade across the fairways at your local golf course. The birds are singing, and flowers cascade over planters and along rough areas. You spot a deer in a grove of trees. Bunnies and squirrels (the dogs of the rodent family) scurry near the tee box. AND THEN A SKUNK APPEARS! Just kidding.
But seriously, golf courses in the evening are peaceful and, generally, lovely. Isn’t this better than your cluttered living room?
To top it off, many golf course have special twilight rates that make it economical to play after a certain time (often as early as 3 PM – check your local course).
GET OUT YOUR (METAPHORICAL) KNIFE, and carefully start carving between 6-9 PM. You have lied to yourself for years that this is your time to relax, but it isn’t. This is often the time when women are most stressed. We look around the house and, instead of bonding with the family, we see all of the things WE STILL NEED TO DO.
Not that we do them.
Seeing is believing. BUT IT ISN’T NECESSARILY DOING. Can I get an AMEN?
Head out to your local golf course instead. If you don’t have enough time to play nine holes, you can hit balls on the range. Or you can use the practice green. Or you can play mini golf (not all course have a mini course, but many do).
Do you see where I’m going? Get off the couch and do something fun as a family!
And if this plan doesn’t work during the week, find some time on the weekends.
I haven’t met many people who regret the time they spend with their families. But I have met people who feel like the time spent with their families feels more like attending a three-ring circus – fun at first, then distracting, then irritating because you missed seeing the guy fall from the trapeze!
You know what I mean.
Play golf. It’s fun for the family. It’s a forever sport.
And it’ll save your kids from the trauma of watching that trapeze artist die.