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Full Time, All the Time

with Britt Reints

Forget the 9 to 5; the demands of a working mom aren’t limited by a time clock. Full Time, All the Time is a blog about balancing the many roles of a modern woman - and maintaining your wellbeing while doing it. I am a writer, mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend and sometimes volunteer living in Pittsburgh. Oh, and I think you look pretty today.

You can also find Britt on Twitter and at

How does your family spend your weeknights?

Categories: Uncategorized, balance


I’m ashamed to admit this, but I have a hard time finding stuff to do as a family on the weeknights.

Like most mothers I know, I’m a proponent of quality time over quantity.  I know that interacting with my children and my husband is much more important in keeping us connected amidst our incredibly busy lives than logging a certain amount of hours together.  I also know that it’s not easy to do a lot of interacting when you’re all huddle around a TV screen.

Sure, it can be done.  We can watch a sporting event together or stick four sets of hands into one bowl of popcorn during movie night, laughing and crying and sharing our opinions on what we see.  But usually our shared TV time involves shutting down and tuning everything out - including one another.

This isn’t news to anyone, I’m certain.  TV time isn’t good family time - no brainer. But…

After a long day of work for two parents and school and homework for two kids, we’re all exhausted a lot of nights.  We make dinner, eat, do dishes and other chores, take baths, and head off to bed - with maybe a little time for TV squeezed in there.  It’s not ideal or in line with our values, but it’s an easy pattern to fall into.

I have a few tricks up my sleeve for getting my family to spend quality time together after a long day of work and school, but I’d like to hear a few ideas for you.  How does your family spend your weeknights?

Photo by angelrrevalor on Flickr.

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7 comments so far...

  • The kids are at daycare until around 6:30 most nights, and then we usually go somewhere straight from daycare. For dinner, we usually eat a “picnic” or a modest meal at a sandwich shop or the like. For example:

    Monday - eat a quick snack, then vision therapy, then McD’s play place (happens to be along the route), then shopping if needed.

    Tuesday - go to park (if weather allows) and library.

    Wednesday - museums are open until 9pm/10pm. Go to Natural History museum, maybe stop in at the art museum, climb on the “stegasaurus” outdoors for some exercise.

    Thursday - go to the rec center, eat a packed dinner (or stop at nearby Panera), go swimming.

    Friday - go out to eat with friends, preferably someplace with live music playing nearby.

    If I’m going to be home with the kids for the evening, I’ll pick a really good family movie on DVD. This happens rather rarely, but will probably be more common come winter.

    SKL  |  October 13th, 2010 at 8:44 pm

  • By the way, what are the few tricks you have up your sleeve, Miss Britt? Enquiring minds want to know.

    SKL  |  October 14th, 2010 at 9:06 am

  • Board games. My daughter is a natural at parcheesi, who knew? So we’re moving on to other strategy games. And sometimes we drop back to tea party game and candyland because sometimes you just need a game of pure luck.

    Mich  |  October 14th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

  • We have small children, 3 years and 8 months, so TV isn’t a part of our evenings at all.
    What we try to do is save all housework-type things like cleaning up dinner and packing lunches, making formula bottles, etc. for after the kids are in bed. I’ll be completely frank: we make time for the kids, but it leaves us tired and not able to make much time for each other.
    We do play outside, go to the playground, library, dogpark, or just go on a walk. We all lay on the floor and play with toys, too.
    When they’re older there will surely be a family game night, though, because I believe it in our marriage vows.

    Meg  |  October 14th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

  • For school-age children, after a long day at school, activities, homework, dinner, chores, bath and story time - we don’t have time for anything else on weeknights. Kids are exhausted. Weekends are different , of course.

    Yelena  |  October 17th, 2010 at 9:09 pm

  • SKL, I’m impressed by how balanced your evenings are! Libraries, museums, live music, friends! But, I have to say your schedule would wear me out FAST. Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert, but I can’t stand being out of the house almost every night of the week. I prefer to cook dinner together and just hang out.

    Rachel Heath  |  October 18th, 2010 at 11:37 am

  • We try to have at least a couple of active evenings where we manage to have an early supper and easy cleanup…then it is off to the playground or swimming pool or maybe just running around the apartment.

    We also alternate cooking supper and whoever is not cooking plays with/entertains the little one.

    MamaLisa  |  October 18th, 2010 at 12:38 pm