Fete Lifestyle Magazine September 2017 Family Issue - Page 32

Even the most organized, seasoned parents need help, and it’s often found in another type of family, our “urban” (or “suburban”) tribe.

How could we work a full day, pick up our kids from school, get them to their myriad of sporting and after-school activities, or help with our parents both near and far, without the help of friends, neighbors, co-workers and all those that help make our lives a little easier (especially for those of us who don’t live close to relatives)? These important people become an integral part of our fabric as well, which begs the question, “how do we balance rich relationships with both our immediate and our urban families?”

When it comes to our immediate families, we’re moving so fast, we forget to slow down, talk about the day and really enjoy being together. I make an effort to put away the phones at dinner and really connect, or better yet, have the kids help cook, set the table, clean (whatever I can get them interested in)! And at our house, Friday is family movie night and Saturday is our social time to connect with friends.

Then where do we fit in that wonderful village we love and rely on as well? There is a very wise saying, “life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” It’s easy to think we need to host a dinner or a party in order to put a plan on the books with these important people. This type of planning is great, but I keep my village connected by casually reaching out and combining the nuclear family with village time in the moment, whenever and wherever it might fit.

Another great way to draw family and friends together is by getting involved in your community altruistically, and by doing so, you're adding yet another ingredient to your rich family pot! Think about those in our world who may need or already rely on us (an elderly neighbor for example)?