My husband and I were recently chatting through the changes in our schedule that will come with a new, much earlier school start time next year. I had already been thinking through ways to ensure that everyone still gets the right amount of sleep (or at least as much sleep as we do now), and still get out the door on time.

It occurred to me that my husband and I actually have these scheduling conversations quite frequently - after school activities, summer, days off and weekend plans are all major topics of conversation in our household. I am sure it would be even more frequently if we had multiple children.

Whenever we have these discussions, we tend to repeat them when our son is in the room. It's important that he hears the outcome, gets the chance to ask questions and understands that when we alter our routines we are doing so while trying to still spend time together as a family. Because that's what most families want: To spend more time together.

The researchers on that link found that working family members would use extra days off to spend time together. I can agree with that. Weekends are usually spent catching up on school projects and chores, and we don't always remember to take time out to find the fun; it would be nice to take a random day off together.

While I can't make this a regular thing, I do recognize that we could probably make the idea of a "day off together" work over the summer. It would just take some thinking through schedules.

How would you spend a free day off with your family? Share your plans in the comments.

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