Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Family Home Evening

As you may or may not remember, *B* and I wanted to try family home evening a while back. We picked a night, but more often than not, it would be like every other night. We don't really have TV, just Netflix, so we tended to spend a lot of time together. We stopped being purposeful about having that night together, but our relationship didn't suffer.

Now that Miss F has come along, we find ourselves spending much less quality time together. Many days I hand her off to him and work on house work I couldn't get done with her, or space out if it's been a rough day.

The one exception has been Wednesdays. On Wednesdays, we walk to the local library, then to the farmers' market. It's a nice time, but the farmers' market isn't open year round, and at some point it'll be too cold to walk. To complicate things, I plan on going back to my part time job in a couple of weeks, and *B* starts school again soon. So one evening a week is really going to be the most we get together.

My mom took Miss F for the night on Friday, and *B* and I got to have that quality time once again.  It was amazingly refreshing.  It really helped us solidify the fact that we need to be purposeful in our time together.  While Miss F is too young for family board games, we can try to come up with things that the three of us can do together.  For a little while during *B*'s paternity leave, I would listen to him read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to Miss F.  That might be our FHE until we can come up with a new plan for FHE with a wee one.

What did you do for FHE when the kids were little?


  1. We have two things we try to do: Family Home Evening, and date night. It all used to blur together when we were first married and Red Chief was littler, but now it's different.

    For us, date night is when we try to set aside some time together, with just the two of us. Usually this involves getting a babysitter and going somewhere together, but it doesn't have to. It was really hard to do when we had a small baby, and I have to admit we're still not the best at it. I aim for twice a month. It is so nice to get away with just us for awhile and not have any kids chattering while we try to talk to each other.

    For Family Home Evening, when we were first married, we studied together out of a book on marriage. When Red Chief got older, we tried to include him, but it can be really hard to come up with things for babies to do. We usually try to teach something for FHE—usually something church-related, but sometimes we might do preparedness, safety, or family business. I remember when I was little, we talked about what to do and where to meet in case of an emergency. We also learned a lot of scripture stories. One we did with Red Chief when he was little was get all the stuffed animals and a laundry basket and play Noah's Ark. A couple of weeks ago, we told the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and put three little Lego guys in the play oven. Mr. Mordecai is really great at coming up with ways to teach scripture stories to our kids.

    Another component of FHE that I enjoyed as a child was the treats—we always had something, even if it was just storebought ice cream. I have to admit that the reason I was always excited for FHE as a kid was mostly the treats.

    We also try to have some kind of activity. It might be doing some sort of yard work, or baking cookies and taking them to neighbors, or playing a game, or going to the park.

    I think lesson + activity + treat makes a great FHE. We don't always hit all three, but when we do, it's good.

    It is super hard to think up things that involve the baby. We mostly just kept on with our "adult" FHEs until we thought Red Chief was old enough to do stuff. But I guess even now your baby might notice things—like if you sang a song together, or read a book with her, or got down on the floor and played with her, or took a walk. And she will notice and love the routine if you do the same things over and over each week for FHE (for example: song, prayer, lesson, activity, treat).

  2. Um, that comment was embarrassingly long. Sorry.

  3. I'm glad it's embarrassingly long, it's very helpful! Thank you :o)

    I missed the treat component of FHE. We've been trying (unsuccessfully) to eliminate nightly dessert. Maybe if we could have one once a week, that would give us something to look forward to while giving us a reason to hold off on the other days.

    I think having a formula to follow might help our FHE a lot.