The roamer family traveling wallet

2014 Family Relationships Reviewed

2014 Relationship Goals

2014 goals
2014 goals

Focus on the Marriage

Traveling wallet
Alone time with the husband. Big Goal for 2014! Picture in Frugalwood’s headless style.

In 2013 I ran across a great idea on Pinterest. A great little present where I had pre planned and partially paid for dates. I don’t want to get into to much detail about the gift but it was a fun and effective way to ensure Mr. Roamer and I were going to be spending some alone time.

In my household growing up I don’t have any memories about my parents dating. Yet so much of what I read now about healthy relationships highlights the importance of cultivating the spousal relationship. WHY?! because the kids will leave in 18 years and then it will be just you and the hubs. We don’t want our relationship to have fallen apart in those 18 years.

One date a month might not seem like a lot to some people but to me and my relationship history that was a good place to start.

As you can see it is also a nice set of SMART goals. I was very specific about who and what was involved. Its definitely measurable and since its broken into monthly increments you can see if you are on track. With only 4 hrs needed per day out of 30 days in a month attainability was a check. Having strong healthy relationships is very important to me, that makes this goal completely relevant. Time constrained absolutely whether you where looking at it as                   12 dates/year or 1 date/ month. There was a deadline for when the goal and its sub-steps had to be accomplished.

I had lots of fun with this goal and it got us practicing a good habit. Realizing that even though we are stuck at work so much and away from the kids that we still need to cultivate our relationship as well. Our relationship is equally as important. 100% accomplished.

Oh and just in case you are curious how much all these dates cost us. Well we spent ~$460 on the actual dates and ~$360 on babysitting costs( my in-laws babysat some and we don’t pay them). What I had allotted was $600 for the dates but since stumbling onto PF we removed some of the expenses. Total we made about an $800 investment in our relationship. 12 dates and 12 new memories to cherish.

Love

Focus on the Kids

The Little Roamers enjoying a tent in the living room.
The Little Roamers enjoying a tent in the living room.

Also for last year I made the not so specific goal of spending more time with my kids. As you can see it doesn’t fit the SMART framework.

This means I can’t really measure it to any set criteria.

So I will justify why I am saying we/I got 100% on this one too.

First Mr. Roamer has this wonderful schedule called a 9,80. If you’ve never heard of a 9,80 ( I sure hadn’t) it means you work 9 days out of 2 weeks that add up to 80 hrs in those 2 weeks. Which means he got every other Friday off. These Fridays gave him extra time to spend with the kids. 1 on 1 time with her while big brother was at school and 1 on 1 time with him while she took her naps.  All in all Mr. Roamer had approximately an extra 43 weekdays off that he spent with the Family.

I also took a lot of time off. Per my calculations I had ~34 days off. That’s 6.8 weeks! Just like Mr. I mostly got to spend 1 on 1 time with little girl while big bro was in school. But I also made it a point to go out with him without little sister. I can remember bike rides to the park with just him and some walks around the block.

What I think he cherished most of all was my volunteering at school and even attending a field trip (while he was in kinder). He talks about it often and he is requesting I help this year. This school year I haven’t volunteered yet I’m slacking.

Even our bed time routine has afforded us time to give focused attention to the little ones individually. Our mindset and practices have changed and because of that I will say we hit the mark.

PFL/FMLA

One of the reasons I was able to take so much time off was because in the beginning of the year I still had PFL time available from the birth of my daughter. I love PFL/ FMLA and I will post on it in more detail. One of the many benefits of California is that men also qualify so I am probably under shooting on the time off my husband had off because he also had some time left to use for his PFL.

However great these programs might be they do cause you to suffer a reduced paycheck because they only pay out up to 55% of your usual pay. This means you have to be serious about family and take the necessary financial steps to make this work. To me this was another way we showed commitment to our kids and our family.

Time with everyone else

I also planned to spend some one on one time with my sister and mother. Have a girls night. Like I said in a previous post they(everyone else) are at about 3rd on the list and I rarely make it that far down. So I made a simple goal.

Go out with them 2 times in the year without the kids. ( That last part is key because my attention would be diverted if I had either of the children).This goal was 100% complete and then some.

This is not to say that was the only time I saw them. Nope we hung out lots of times through out the year. But they were family affairs.

We also spent a good amount of time visiting with my In-laws. Whether we visited them or they came out to see us.  We saw them much more then we though or first projected at the beginning of the year.

What about the cut back on movies to 3 a week max?

I’m sad to admit that I stopped tracking the data for this due to the fact that we were killing it. We were going more then a week with out turning on the tv at all. Unfortunately that some how disappeared when I started blogging more seriously (the last 3 months of the year). It seems that since I was working harder I also wanted to play harder. I am pretty certain that Mr.Roamer and I had weeks when we watched more then 3 movies in a week.

The good news is that it really was the Mr. and I so as a family (when the kids were awake) we were not wasting much time with tv. Still it really was to make sure time was being made available for quality interaction so i’m still going to say that I failed this one since I know I wanted Mr. and I to have used the time better. No more late night freebies this year.

Record Keeping

I did a pretty good job of jotting down some notes to the kids in their memory books. Before 2014 started they lay forgotten with several month gaps between entries. This year(2014) it looks like I only missed 2 months. So I got 80%.

Relationships are so important they made the list for 2015 goals too.

I know they say that you need to focus on your audience when writing but I really enjoyed working on this post and reviewing my goals. Why shouldn’t you be mad that you just read through all this.

Well I hope you still got something out of it like the fact that dating your spouse doesn’t need to cost and arm and a leg even here in California.

And also that resolutions or Goals whatever you want to call them are so much easier to track if you are specific and break them down. I believe monthly is a nice way to track your progress.

So there you have it

Have you ever made improving relationships a new years goal? How do you measure its success?

8 thoughts on “2014 Family Relationships Reviewed”

  1. Family comes first to me as well. We spend A LOT of time with our baby, we spend time together, we spend time with the rest of the family. Time we let slide now will never come back, no matter how much money you’ll have in the future. While we do run businesses and try to earn money, we also do our best to stay together and enjoy each moment we can.

    1. That’s great Dojo. Its great that its on the forefront of priorities. With a business I can’t imagine how much juggling needs to be done. Like you said you all spend time with the family and one on one time is just as priceless.

  2. I think people get married, have kids, and set it and forget it. Then I see a lot of families fall apart because there is not a lot of real effort put into the relationships. Heck I’m busy as a single person with no kids, I can’t imagine what it would be like to juggle all of that. So it’s almost like things have to be penciled in or else it gets ignored! That’s great you were able to do that! PS is one of your dates next year the mud run since you are both doing it together? 🙂 So glad you are by the way!

    1. I’m sure most people would feel offended that they have to be penciled in but right now that’s my reality! Its not the total of time we spend together its just focused 1 on 1. I know if stuff is out of site its out of mind this way I keep myself accountable.

      I am really excited for the run also. It wasn’t planned as the date for that month so maybe we have 2! Or it will become a family affair and I will have little ones cheering us on!

  3. I work a very similar schedule and I think I am ruined for the rest of my life thanks to it. The idea of not having my Fridays sounds so, so horrible!
    Nice work investing in your relationship with the dates. I’d love to hear more about the dates that you chose to do.

    1. Really that’s so great that you get to have your Fridays! I’m sure Mr. Roamer would have withdrawals if the schedule was ever changed. At my company its the culture to work over 9-10 hrs and you see nothing in return. People are nervous to just work their time and leave(as long as all work is done). Its a totally different place to my husbands job.

      Yes I should write something specific for our dates. Thanks that’s a great idea.

  4. I love that you’re reviewing your relationships in the past year. Not a lot of people prioritize their relationships as much as they should, myself included.

    1. Yes I feel most people think it should happen organically…. Unfortunately sometimes we let life get in the way. Writing it down and making it visible is a way for me to keep track that my actions are aligned with my values.

      If its something you want to improve I’d say write it down then post it up…a check off sheet works wonders.

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