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Protect the day (keeping a day or few hours unscheduled for your family)

kristi hayesComment


Lately we have been very intentional about protecting a piece of time in the weekend for no schedules. The week is filled with hours of carpool, practices, homework, and my kids and our family need a day to reset, no schedules, nowhere to go, and if it is somewhere to go it is filled with intention because it brings us life as a family.

We live in this fast paced society to feel pressure to be a part of EVERYTHING, but for me I have realized that ONE day or a few HOURS I can protect for us is key and becomes the refill for our week. 

For us it’s usually Sunday. We usually have our soccer games on Saturday and try to go to church Saturday night so Sunday is only pancakes on the porch, cartoons, long walks, or making a fort in the backyard.

Many times my kids will say, “What are we doing today?”

Which I reply, “We are refilling our tank today so we have nothing scheduled.”

And then they will whine about being bored and what will they do.

But then a magical thing happens, they figure out something fun to do, and it becomes their favorite day.

They are forced to play together and make up something to fill their time.

Research says it is good for children to be bored, to be alone with their thoughts, to use their creativity to come up with things to do. It’s the same for adults, we never have a minute that something isn’t vying for our attention, whether it be work, responsibilities, game schedules, technology distractions. Our minds are always going. Which leads to burn out, stress and me being short with others.

So our free day has been one of my favorite days too. I try to put away tech, sit on the porch longer, go play in the extravagant fort with my kids that they made for the past two hours, while they were “bored.”


This is also a day we make sure everything is ready for the next week, check homework, make a menu, get carpool ready. It doesn’t mean you are just napping all day, it’s whatever you and your family love to do that can fill your tank, something that resets your go-go-go self. Ask your family what they want to do. Get outside, go for a walk, sit on the porch and eat, let your kids figure something out.

I encourage you to find a day, a half a day, or even a few hours you protect each week. It takes intentionality because all of us could DO something every hour of everyday. But I want to teach my kids at an early age about rest. That it is so important they have a day to reset, and hopefully they will take this with them throughout their adult lives.

I understand all families have different schedules, I feel like this is busiest we have ever been with activities for our kids, but that’s why I want to be so intentional about getting some time FREE. Some weeks it could be a whole day, and some weeks it could be just half a day. It might mean saying NO to something, so you can say YES to this.

I know now its ok for my kids to be bored, it’s ok them not to be entertained or to not go to the 125th birthday party this year. I have given myself this permission and it has given our family so much freedom.

I hope you try it, it really has been my favorite part of the week. And if you already do this, give us some ideas of what you do!