**This is the second in a series of posts of FAQs.**
The short answer is: we make time for what is important to us.
The new experiences are a vehicle for me to spend time focused on my children. I share custody with my ex-husband, and for a long time I resented the time he spent playing with our children. It seemed like he was granted time to play the kids while I was the one whose time was spent taking them to doctor’s appointments, shuttling them to after school activities, and helping them with their homework.
After much reflection, I had a paradigm shift. Instead of resenting the time my ex-husband spent playing with our kids, why didn’t I do the same thing? I began to make a concerted effort to have more fun with my kids, whether it was playing with them on the playground or teaching them to read. The time we spend trying a new experience is time focused on bonding as a family.
So far, finding time for new experiences has not been a major factor because both of my children went to school part-time. In September, Luke starts first grade, and it might be a little more difficult. On the other hand, as part of my desire to spend more quality time with my children, I’ve cut down on the number of activities in which my children participate. So, our afternoons will be less hectic this year.
In reality, a family doesn’t need a ton of free time to try a new experience. Many of our experiences, like doing a Ding Dong Ditch, licking a 9 volt battery, and putting pennies on a railroad track took just a few minutes. Many, like baking bread from scratch and participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count were done from home. A few experiences, like walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and visiting the major monuments in Washington, D.C. took up most of the day, but those were days I hope to remember forever.
No matter how our schedules change this year, we will fit in a new experience each week. We won’t do it because we need to cross something off our list. We’ll do it because I want to spend time focused on fun with my family.