Spending Quality Time, Not Quantity Time
Since we've had the twins, we've tried to remain active with them, rather that be a walk around the neighbourhood, a trip to the mall, a drive to the coast and a load of other things. However, there is a lot to be said and a lot of value to be gained by having a day in and spending some real quality time together as a family. On occasion, it is suggested that simply being around isn't enough or as valuable to kids as actively doing something with them. This is something that I tend to challenge.
Kids, especially babies, really want to be around their parents. Granted there are great development benefits to certain types of playing, but you can't be stimulating the kid around the clock. They need sleep and chilled out time just as much. These times, especially the chill out times don't have to be dreary and mundane. I've found that I can get stuff done and keep engaged with the kids all at once.
For instance, we recently bought a wardrobe from Ikea that needed to be assembled in our room. After a feed and a bit of play time, we took the kids upstairs to our room and let them hang out on the bed while I put the wardrobe together. During that time, I was not solely focused on the flat pack aspect going on. I would turn to the kids, try and make them laugh, quell any moans, or just be silly with them for a short period before turning my attention back to the build. While this made the actual process of building the wardrobe longer, I felt that I had achieved something and still got to spend time and get value out of that time with the kids. On their part, they were largely happy, smiley and laughing and even managed to get a snooze. Clearly the hammering and drilling wasn't that big of a deterrent to sleep.
As a family, it is important that we use the time when all four of us are together on the weekends to prevent the feeling of being a "Weekend Dad". Unfortunately, these are also the times that other things like DIY, laundry, cleaning, etc. need to be done as well, so when I can manage to combine tasks and quality time, it really pays off for me as a Dad of twins. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything from either aspects of my life.