Parents are busy people. Between the responsibilities of work and home life, we also juggle after-school activities, social obligations and other commitments that can make time feel like it is flying by at a break-neck speed. It is often a rare treat to find a day (or even an afternoon!) with which we can spend the time as we like.
Our October Question of the Month asked our readers to share what they do on days when their “To Do” lists are empty. Over 52%, said that they use the time to get out and enjoy places that they have been meaning to visit. The next highest category, nearly 26%, indicate that they use the unexpected break for a little R&R or to just enjoy a relaxing day. Nearly 14%, says that they use the extra time to catch up on chores and tackle other things they’ve been meaning to take care of, while just over 8% indicated that they do a mix of things with the found time.
Our readers shared more about what they would do with free time with their families:
Aaron B. of Lawton uses the time to enjoy fun with his son. “We have a two-year-old, so we try to make each moment count and full of new experiences for him. I think the best days we have are when my son jumps up and grabs my hand and leads me to his cars saying "dada" over and over. We sit in the floor and play cars and then jump up and race around the house until we are all laughing from just being silly.”
Extra time equals time to get out and explore for Lara G. of Edmond. “Life is too short to worry about dust bunnies.”
Melinda D. of Yukon and her family use extra time to enjoy all the great opportunities for fall fun. “We love to be outdoors in the fall, whether it is going to a Festival, the State Fair, the Zoo, or a wine tasting. We are always looking for events that allow us to enjoy the beautiful fall weather.”
Oklahoma City mom Christi M. thinks extra time is the perfect chance to catch up on adventures with her daughter. “Too often as a single mom, the little stuff gets in the way: yard work, housework, laundry, errands. If my to do list was empty, I would take my daughter to explore the little things this city and state has to offer. Besides, if I were at home trying to relax, I am sure I could find a chore to do!”
For Laura S. of Edmond, down time is perfect for family bonding. “Tickles and making cookies, playing video games together—just playing and enjoying each other's company without deadlines or expectations. That's the good stuff that we never seem to make time for.”
Other reader responses:
- A combination of the above, we get out and do things we've been wanting to, relax, go to the park if the weather is nice, or do crafts and fun things inside if not, basically we just spend the day together doing something fun! ~ Elizabeth B.
- Cleaning up for a birthday party. ~ Marie K.
- Doing chores and cleaning closets. Sorting things to take down to the Jesus House to share with those in need. With it being Fall Break and not going somewhere thought it would great to get my 9 year old involved and helping. ~ Lisa M.
- Generally like to get out and about when nothing to do! See something new in the city! ~ Melissa S.
- Go outside and blow bubbles with my kids and relax outside with them. ~ Amy W.
- Go to a pumpkin patch or for a hay ride. ~ Melissa B.
- Go to omniplex. ~ Laura M.
- Going to enjoy this gorgeous fall day and go out and play in the pumpkin patch! ~ Tarrah W.
- Love Being Outdoors………..See the City.. ~ Lesli S.
- My 3 year old son loves to go go go, so every opportunity we have to go somewhere we do it. One of his favorite places is the Okc Zoo. ~ Regina B.
- My hubby enjoys staying at home after a busy work week so we try to come up with fun activities to do around the house that don't require cleaning/chores! 🙂 ~ Katie S.
- My to do list is never empty but no matter how busy we are FAMILY TIME is a priority! We have a HUGE family and we love to spend time together! Sunday is a day we ALWAYS see each other. Play Softball in the backyard or volleyball. We have Sunday dinner every week, and take turns at each others houses. In the colder months we get together and play Loteria which is mexican bingo, our children are beginning to be bi-lingual LOL. Even my sister in laws are getting the hang of it! I love your magazine and love that it is centered around FAMILIA (family) I come from a hispanic family and our whole focus is just that. ~ Mia J.
- Need to fall clean house ~ Daneka A.
- On rainy days we like to stay in and relax and play games, read, and maybe cook. It's the family time. ~ Shanna R.
- Our TO DO list is NEVER done! Household projects, family time with the kids, work…there's ALWAYS something going on! =) ~ Angie F.
- Our yard is a mess. We've got to remove all those dead limbs on the trees. ~ Marion A.
- parks ~ Kelly T.
- Pumkin patch and the dollar movies and just fill the fall break with activities so that the kids feel like they had a fall break…funstuff!!! ~ Tammy S.
- Road trips are our favorite. ~ April P.
- Sometimes I like to just stay at home and have snuggle time with my kiddos ~ Amanda B.
- Thinking of taking my kiddos to the museum today. ~ Joanah S.
- To fill up our family day we start at the zoo and take a look at all of the animals (including the adorable baby elephant). We have a picnic lunch at the zoo and take a train ride before we leave. The afternoon is time to rest and watch a movie and at night we go downtown to the local coffee shop and participate in their weekly 5K walk/run/crawl event. My son loves being pushed around in his stroller and taking in the sights of our walk. ~ Julie P.
- We always enjoy our down time by playing board games with our youngest, reading books, or just hanging out at home. ~ Celina L.
- We are always so busy. It would be nice to enjoy a relaxing day. ~ Amanda B.
- We are going to the Pumpkin patch this Saturday. Yipee! ~ Melissa F.
- We are recent transplants to not only Oklahoma but to this side of the country so we're always looking for local places to eat, shop, and go on roadtrips to. ~ Marissa R.
- We attend our children's sporting events! ~ Kerrie G.
- We enjoy exploring new places and experiences with our five-month old, Charlotte! ~ April J.
- We get our stuff done ar joke before we go play. Having my children understand work before play. Helping them to be responsible for later in life. ~ Amanda P.
- We have been wanting to go to the children's discovery museum in Enid but never seem to find the time. Looks like we will get there this weekend! ~ Irene P.
- We have lost our job, have had 3 beloved pets die, and pretty much have had terrible luck. a contest win would be great! ~ Charle R.We like to go and see new places.. We dont like to travel to far unless its our family vacation. ~ Tamara F.
- We love to go to new places and local events. ~ Lisa D.
- We need to get out more and see some different sites in Oklahoma. ~ Julie R.
- We sleep in, eat a nice breakfast, then pop in a movie and relax on the couch in our pjs! ~ Lindsay C.
- We want to go spend some time outside since the weathers finally cooled off! ~ Hayley C.
- We want to go to a pumpkin patch! ~ Christina T.
- We we have nothing to do, we take the kids out front and watch them play. We enjoy sitting on our chairs, drinking coffee, catching up and watching the kids enjoy themselves! ~ Kristy L.With going to school full time and working full time right now I really don't get to take my son to some of the places that we've wanted to go to so a day with nothing to do would be great. ~ Nime A.
Enjoy your free time with your family!