When Jeremy and I were driving home from the hospital with Henry (and for a couple of the drives to and from appointments right before he came), we had a long talk about life...our life with these kiddos and how things were going.
Some days it seems like we are all just a bit off, and things don't always go as planned. But, a lot of "right" things happen, too.
Jeremy and I are both very much planners - we like to have an idea of what we're doing ahead of time. Yes, spontaneity can be fun, but we err more on the side of something planned. So, we talked of ways our evenings might be put to better use. Sometimes it just felt that we'd eat, clean, try to keep the kids from getting too crazy (it seems like they get the most riled up when Jeremy has just gotten home and dinner has been eaten), and then have a bedtime routine and they'd be asleep. It worked, but it didn't seem like we were always having quality time.
So, Jeremy came up with a plan for each day of the week. Some days it happens. Some days it doesn't, and we have other things going. But, so far, it's worked well. We will have an activity/craft one night, a game another, Church school on one, and sometimes a movie. It all just depends.
I often struggle with knowing just how much directed play is good and needed. But, I feel they get to do their own thing most of the day - in terms of making up their own games, playing outside, etc. I never want them to depend on us for their entertainment. But, I also don't want to never play with them either. So, this is what we're doing for now, and we've had some great moments of togetherness. I feel it works especially well during winter with the shorter/colder days!
I know I say it over and over, but I'm so blessed with a husband who is so involved. These kids have no idea how good they have it when it comes to their dad. Our days/weeks don't always look like this. In fact, there are moments of fighting and more raised voices than I'd like to admit. Even the activities and games can get a little crazy. But, we are trying. And, that's about as good as we can do!