In one of his most famous quotes, Mafalda, the beloved character of the Argentinean cartoonist Quino, exclaimed:
And that’s exactly how it feels when you reach a certain age: Time starts to fly. Days seem to turn into mere seconds, and obligations consume families completely. Sadly, the world’s busyness — that phenomenon that provoked Mafalda to ask for a break — takes a personal toll, often limiting our quality time with the people we love.
Even with busy schedules and a hundred things to tick off our to-do lists, there are several ways that you can make sure that you never lose sight of the ties that bind your family, both nuclear and extended. Here are some ideas that will help you make room in your schedule for family time.
Sometimes, the biggest barrier to spending quality time with family is the fact that you make exceptions that would be unthinkable at work. You’d never purposely arrive late to a meeting, stand up a client, or interrupt a presentation to take out your cell phone and reply to a text message.
But in our families, we tend to do all of these things, thinking that the love and understanding we have for each other will offset any hard feelings that might arise if we cancel or postpone something we planned. “They’ll understand”, we think. “They’re family”.
That’s why we suggest that you treat family with the same formality that guides your behavior at work. It doesn’t matter whether it’s dinner time, a trip to the park, or a date at the movies, everyone should treat family time as an appointment, attending solely to what’s happening in the moment. This way, family harmony is guaranteed.
There’s a popular saying: “It’s not how much time you spend together, but the quality of time you spend together that counts”. One of the best ways to spend quality time with loved ones is to cook together. Not only will you be in a small space sharing time together, the fact that everyone will have a different task will transmit the values of responsibility and working together as a team. Avocados from Mexico can be your best friend in the kitchen, a versatile ingredient that lends itself to many different delicious variations. Take a look at the recipes on our website and discover all the amazing dishes you can make together.
Distance and the lack of time mean that few families see each other frequently throughout the year; often, gettogethers are limited to special events like the December holidays, Mother’s Day, weddings, or the like. Imagine if you and your family invented your own personal holiday, and — no matter where everyone was — everyone made a special effort to get together. This doesn’t have to be complicated. Plan the date far in advance and you’ll have 364 days to deal with the details. Whether it’s a family picnic or an elegant dinner, the key is imagination and the willingness of everyone to get together for your own special day.
If your work week leaves you spent, you always have weekends to spend some quality time with your family. You don’t have to wait for vacation to plan a trip; instead, take a look at the attractions around your hometown. Surely you’ll find something that everyone can enjoy. And remember: The journey is just as fun as the destination. A road trip is the ideal time to talk with each other. Turn off movies and devices, and just chat. Pack nutritious, delicious snacks, like Cuban sandwiches with avocado, to make the trip even more pleasant.
Many families are separated by long distances. Maybe there’s a son or daughter away at college, or a grandmother who lives in another country. If you stop to think about it, what used to be the stuff of science fiction has become reality. Today, we have all sorts of devices and technologies — the kind we dreamed about as kids! Use them to your advantage, remembering that a call is always better than a text, and a video call is better still. The secret is to be present, ensuring closeness to your loved ones, in spite of whatever physical distance separates you.