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Family life - weekends - how do you balance doing what you enjoy with pleasing everyone else??

(23 Posts)
shaggedthruahedgebackwards Sun 09-Jul-17 17:15:41

This is the third weekend in a row where we feel to have wasted the whole weekend dithering and debating things to do and then end up doing very little because there is no agreement on what to do. So frustrating!

We are a family of 4 with 2 DC aged 12 and 14. The DC don't share many interests so it is really hard to find anything they both enjoy. DH likes being active (cycling, sailing, hill walking, climbing etc) but has no interest in art or culture and although he loves 'doing' active stiff he doesn't see any point in spectating sport. I am sporty too but not a full on adrenaline junky like DH, I also love art galleries, exhibitions, other events and visiting new places.

Whenever I suggest a day out somewhere then either one of the DC objects or I can see DH rolling his eyes coz he thinks it will be boring.

The DC obviously have their own social lives now and DD also has a job so I don't expect us to be doing family stuff all the time but once in a while it would be nice for us all to do something together.

What do others do on a weekend?

2014newme Sun 09-Jul-17 17:18:20

If nobody else likes art galleries I would go with a friend rather than family. We get all our tasks and extra curricular done on a Saturday then have a day out Sunday.

Squeegle Sun 09-Jul-17 17:21:04

I have major problems as neither of my DCs want to do anything all together, and my DS doesn't want to miss any activity with his mates. So I often take one to the cinema or to London or shopping, while my DS prefers to be out with his mates. It's a bit sad but I can't really force him

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Sun 09-Jul-17 17:28:23

2014newme - DD also likes galleries and so does my DM so we would generally go without DH and DS

If you have a family day out every Sunday, where do you normally go and how do you choose what to do if different family members enjoy different things?

Sadik Sun 09-Jul-17 17:44:45

TBH I think trying to push teenagers into 'fun' activities that they don't enjoy is a waste of time for all concerned. Would it work for your DS to go & do something sporty with your DH, & you/DD do something arty, then all of you have pizza together in the evening? (Though maybe re-reading your post it's just your DH who likes active things?)

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Sun 09-Jul-17 18:26:23

Agree Sadik that no point making anyone do something they don't want to do which is why we inevitably end up either doing nothing (which seems like a waste of a weekend) or splitting up rather than all doing something together

I just wondered if this is normal or we are somehow failing as a family?

Doesn't help that FB seems to be full of #funfamiliesfriends type stuff which gives me the impression everyone else is somehow succeeding where we are failing sad

Sadik Sun 09-Jul-17 18:42:58

I can't really help in that I'm a single parent so it's just me and dd - & we have enough in common that it's pretty easy to find activities.

But I'd say friends with teenagers don't seem to be rushing out on Sunday day trips en masse . . .

BackforGood Sun 09-Jul-17 19:25:17

^ I think trying to push teenagers into 'fun' activities that they don't enjoy is a waste of time for all concerned.^

This ^

Yours have now reached an age where you are going to spend a few years not "doing things together as a family". I actually think it's really nice to get some 1:1 time with each of my dc during these teen years. Encourage everyone to do what they want to do and don't try to make people do things that they don't want to do. It give you all things to tell each other about at meal times, etc., it expands everyones horizons and enables you all to form strong friendships with people that like the same things as you.
I have 3 dc from 21 down to 15, I know LOTS of people and families, and can't think of any family with teens that have 'family day' or 'family time' at weekends - I think this is some kind of unicorn you are chasing.

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Sun 09-Jul-17 20:52:26

Thanks Backforgood - I think that is actually what I needed to hear to give me permission to just say "me & DD are going to York for the day, join us if you want to but no problem if you don't fancy it"

To be fair, most of the FB families who seem to be having quality 'family time' every weekend have 2 easy girls with similar interests which must make life a lot easier!

Caprianna Sun 09-Jul-17 21:03:22

We have 3 DCs and we have similar interests in that we all like a bit of culture and are also outdoorsey. We tend to have Saturdays as a do whatever you like day, but until very recently Sundays have been the holy family day we always do an outing. I am finding now my DS1 has a girlfriend and he is doing GCSEs and need to study a lot, it often seem to be just me, dh and our 10 year old DS out walking on Sundays.

patientzero Sun 09-Jul-17 21:06:48

I'd love to have the answer to this. My teenage DSD wants us to do things as a family every weekend but has no ideas of her own on what she'd like, yet all of our suggestions seem to be wrong too!

YouHaveBeenSummarilyDismissed Sun 09-Jul-17 21:30:29

We have lovely happy photos of us doing family days out and they have been total argument fests due to differences in what is fun.

But the photos look amazing.

We even drag our DS skiing and he hates it and whines but we all look fab in the photos.

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Sun 09-Jul-17 21:37:59

Very funny Youhave! Funnily enough skiing is the single activity that all 4 of us love (although we don't necessarily agree on the most appropriate speed!)

Agree on the photo thing - I took both DC to Amsterdam last Oct half term (DH was working) and at the time it felt like really hard work with the DC disagreeing on what to do etc but on the FB photos it looks great, and both DC are in agreement that we had a great time (so it's only me that remembers all the stress and whinging!)

lljkk Sun 09-Jul-17 21:39:47

I can't help b/c OP dislikes are for me wonderful opportunities to do my own thing without the baggage of family members to drag along.

YouHaveBeenSummarilyDismissed Sun 09-Jul-17 21:43:27

I grew up in a large family and the only thing that all of us enjoyed was eating out and even then we had vicious fights about which restaurant. We laugh about it now.

museumum Sun 09-Jul-17 21:44:08

What about breaking the days up a bit more #funfamilytime <boak> can be a family brunch or having dinner together or at this time of year BBQ after separate days out.
Can you all eat together Thursday night and make plans then? It's a lot easier to get going if you've decided beforehand what to do.

Loopytiles Sun 09-Jul-17 21:49:05

As a teen DC my family rarely did stuff altogether as a whole family. Parents worked FT so had domestic stuff to do, I did music related stuff and my sibling did their thing, or we met up for the day with our friends. It was fine!

The main time I spent with mum was shopping for clothes. We did often have Friday night takeaway and a nice lunch on sunday.

clearsommespace Sun 09-Jul-17 21:52:55

We don't do much as a family anymore at weekends (also DC 12 and 14). We may all come together for a movie or boardgames so that's a couple of hours together.
I do miss what we did a few years ago. The other day we all miraculously went on a bike ride at the same time and were all whizzing down a hill with me bringing up of the rear so I saw all of them having fun together and it really hit me what a special rare moment it was. At the same time, it does mean time to do what I want as pp said. I wish they wanted to do the same things but at least with them being otherwise occupied means I don't have have to miss out.

wrinkleseverywhere Sun 09-Jul-17 22:01:06

My DC are only 7 and 5 and I decided a while ago (and DH was quick to agree) that it was better to divide & conquer at the weekends than all of us have an average to miserable day trying to please everyone. I can see this only becoming more true as they get older!
Each weekend, we look at what activities are in the diary (swim lessons etc) & then DH and I pick one thing we want to do (this weekend, he wanted to watch the Lions match yesterday & I wanted to go to a party last night) and then we decide who'll do what & when for the rest of the weekend.

BackforGood Sun 09-Jul-17 22:55:37

If it helps those who are sad at the idea of spending teen years without too many "family days", my older 2 (21 + 18) actually spend quite a lot of time together now, during the time he is home from University - some of their volunteering is together, some of their sport is together, and they work at the same place so sometimes have stuff together through that. They sometimes are part of a bigger group that go for a drink or meal together. They fought like cat and dog as children, and just kept away from each other as young teens.
So they do come back around, and now they realise it is a choice, and not some compulsory thing, they are beginning to realise that the other isn't that bad after all. smile

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sun 09-Jul-17 23:10:19

You don't need family days to be a happy family. Sod social media.

I like that I have specific things I go and do with specific combinations of family members. It makes us feel closer as people rather than a family unit, which of course actually makes us a close family unit.

I have a friend who meets her mum in London every 6 weeks to go see an art exhibition of some kind. Friend is middle aged, mother retired, but they still keep the tradition going because "we love art but the rest of the family don't see the point."

I want to have things like that with each of my children and my DH as we get older, which means going off and doing the specific interests with specific people at different times now. I like it more than a big day out that is a big fat compromise for everyone (which still happens sometimes).

TrollMummy Tue 11-Jul-17 09:17:28

We are also entering this phase OP. DD1 usually has plans to go out with her friends. DD2 feels a bit lost because we used to do stuff all together and now it's just her with DH and I. The school holidays are going to be a bit strange as DD1 will be doing more independently rather than me taking them both out like we used to.

Hillarious Wed 12-Jul-17 15:04:30

Gone are the days of family days out every weekend with DC aged 16, 18 and 20, but we do still go on holiday together.

In recent years, Tesco vouchers have come into their own and we spend a fair amount of time in Pizza Express, Zizzi's and the like dining out courtesy of Mr Tesco and cherishing the two hours or so we have together.

And don't believe everything you see on Facebook!

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