For my family, the more realistic goal was breakfast together every weekday. No matter what time our school day started (even when one of us didn't have to be at school until 9am) we all were at the breakfast table by 6:15am. I can't promise you we were all bright-eyed but we were there, starting every day together as a family.
That was 20+ years ago. Now it's even more difficult to carve out time, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try, right?
My boys and I love our family movie nights. We pull out a big blanket and all the pillows they need to be comfy. They get to eat their pizza on a sheet on the floor and I always make my "old family recipe" of stove-popped popcorn*.
They love it and so do I because at the end of a long week, I just want to chill at home. And as much as I love playing Ninja Turtles, sometimes this mom is just too tired to pretend to wield nun chucks. Cue the movie!
Picking the movie du jour is another story. I almost rented one last week, but wisely watched the trailer first. Yikes. Not appropriate for my kiddos. I feel like we have pretty much exhausted the list of safe movies out there.
Then I heard about Pure Flix. They are actually offering a free one-month trial of their family-friendly movies. There are Veggie Tales galore, other fun cartoons and good stuff for mom and dad too. Have you seen Woodlawn yet? It's a great football movie!
I think we underestimate the bonding potential of movie-watching. No, we might not be chatting for those two hours, but we are cuddling, focusing on the same thing and we get to chat about the movie afterwards, even days or weeks later. Even if you can't do the standing dinner or breakfast appointment, consider adding in the occasional family movie night. And let me know what you're watching!
*Recipe for the Easiest & Best Popcorn Ever:
- Turn stove burner to high heat
- Pour popcorn oil (find it in the aisle by the popcorn!) so it covers the bottom of pot. The pot can be any size. I usually use 2-qt.
- Pour in a single layer of kernels.
- Put lid on pot (this is an important step!)
- Give it a shimmy-shake every 30 seconds or so
- Watch it pop! And remove from the heat once the popping slows down.
- I pour it into a big bowl and sprinkle with with iodized salt. I don't think it needs butter, but feel free to top it however you want. ENJOY!!