Keeping the Family Together

photo (3) It's said that when you are married, two become one. We've always taken this pretty seriously, trying to love each other for who we are and recognizing that one of our greatest strengths as a married couple is that we are better together. Parenting has been a learning process for us both, but we've done it together.

To be honest, I'm not sure how anyone ever goes at this parenting thing alone. We've all heard the staggering statistics of broken homes and the effects that it has on the kids. And for me personally, growing up with divorced parents since I was 2 had its challenges. (For the circumstances, I had an amazing childhood.)

We've made it a year (13 months today!) with the addition of a little human being in our lives, and it's been a lot of fun (most of the time) to study our daughter and understand her needs, wants and desires. One of those desires, and a great asset that she brings to the family already, is that she strives to keep us together.

Keeping the Family Together

When all three of us are home, Rooney wants us all to be in the same room. This started when she learned to crawl. If all three of us are in her bedroom and I leave to go get something from the kitchen, she takes notice and sounds the alarm. With a subtle whimper she'll start vigorously crawling to the hallway where she can see both mom and dad, and she'll just sit there, in perfect view of us both, until we are together again.

If we are hanging out in the living room and Rooney is playing independently, and one of us takes out our iPhone to catch up on the all-important social media, Rooney acts as police. She crawls right over to take away our phone so that our family time is of the highest quality. (OK, maybe she just wants to play with our iPhone, but it's a great reminder to us to put them away. Although, this makes it tough when we just want to snap a photo of her!)

At first I thought these things were cute, but now I think it's a great reminder of how families are meant to be together, not apart. It's helped shape our family time, and we are very intentional about doing things together rather than apart. It will be very interesting to see how this shapes the dynamics of our family as we not only grow older, but possibly grow in number, too.

It amazes me how smart babies are. How simple their minds work, and how complicated we make things sometimes. Our daughter intuitively knows that it's better when our family is together. She doesn't like it when daddy has to leave for work in the morning. She gets sad. And then I get sad. But soon we get distracted and go on with our day, only to come back together in the evening for more family play time. And our time apart helps us make the most of the time we have together.

How do you make the most of family time?