HOW I BALANCE My Family & Social Life
Paul and I made the intentional decision to stay local for Christmas / Hannukah this year so that we could do all the holiday things, both with friends & the kids. Each week this month, we have a pretty jam-packed schedule, but honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have seen some questions in my DMs about the logistics of it all and how I find the balance in my family vs. social life, so let’s get into it.
Paul and I both wanted the kids to experience all things holiday this year, so stuff with them is #1. Since we’re still somewhat new to San Diego, we wanted to try out local events that we haven’t done before. I’ve made it a priority to have at least 1-2 holiday things for the kids each week. It sounds like a lot and it feels overwhelming at times, but we all know how fast this time goes, and right now the kids are truly so fun to witness holiday magic with. I’m trying to soak it up, even if it makes life crazy.
What helps is making one of those events super chill. Maybe one night of the week we’re taking them out (we loved Lightscape at the Botanical Gardens) and then the other “event” is laid back. For example, we’re going to friends this weekend for gingerbread houses, which doesn’t take much planning or energy, and the kids still love it.
Even outside of the holidays, we try to do something fun with the kids each week, usually on weekends. The days drag if we don’t have something planned and since SD is such a kid-friendly place, we’ve been taking advantage of that (you can see my SD suggestions in this post.)
As long as I feel like I’m getting present time with my kids, I have no guilt in balancing that with my social life. I will say, that finding friends with kids, outside of things like birthday parties or school events (where things are more forced), is helpful. No shade to those events, but the sweet spot for us is doing kid stuff with parents we enjoy, who also have kids that get along well with ours. It’s a good time for all.
I need breaks from my kids and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I’m happiest when my life has a mix of working, family time and taking care of myself, which includes having a social life. Obviously, there are times when it’s more about the family or work, but I know I need that adult & friend time. I’m truly one of those people who thrive on a full schedule AS LONG AS it’s things I want to be doing (aka not filling my schedule just to fill it).
Paul and I try to have one thing on the calendar each week that fills up our social life “bucket.” We’ve been trying to switch it up too since dinners can feel monotonus. This past year we’ve done concerts, sporting events, wine tasting, brunch dates, and adult pool parties to switch it up.
Having multiple childcare options is essential to making this happen. We now have a few sitters that we rotate through since some are more available on weeknights vs. weekends, and we don’t have family here to help.
If no one is available or we’re spending too much $$$ on going out, we’ll invite friends & their kids over so that we at least get some of that adult time. Now that our kids are getting to the age where they can play independently with their friends, we can usually socialize with our friends at the same time. It’s been a game-changer!
I’m a firm believer that women need girl time and guys need guy time. Yes, it’s fun to do group dates or whatever, but I need girls-only time! I’m not strict about it, though I do try to make sure I have something with my girls each month. Even a workout or a walk when things are hectic.
Paul also thrives on spending time with his friends, and it’s nice because we can take turns having solo nights with the kids, without having to book a sitter. I always try to do something different with the kids that night, to make it feel fun for them & so that I’m struggling less on my own. For example, last week Paul was out and I ordered takeout and did a spa night with the kids. They loved it.
DATES WITH PAUL
Just like having girl time is important, I feel the same about one-on-one time with Paul. We work and parent together all day every day, so technically we spend A LOT of time together, but there’s something different about true alone time. On our trip to Italy this summer, we decided to go a few days early so we could have time with just us two and it was sooooo needed.
We’re going to try to prioritize getting away, just us two, more next year – even if it’s one night or a staycation.