One of the many features on my iPhone is the low battery mode.  At around 20% of the battery life, my ever so smart phone asks me if I would like to switch to low battery mode in order to conserve my battery life. The goal is to preserve the life of my phone a little while longer.  What I love most about this is that I don’t have to remember to check the battery before it dies; the nice folks at Apple considered the busyness of my life and made it more convenient for me to recognize when I need recharging.  Wouldn’t it be great if our children gave us that same type of reminder?

Photo by College Humor

Like most babies, my children were great at letting me know when it was nap-time.  The whimpering whine, and rubbing of eyes an be accompanied with the glazed over look and occasionally the all out tantrum. What are they saying when they do these things? They are saying, “Mommy I really just can’t function anymore!”

Yet, somehow  as they grow from kindergarten to school age we expect our little people to go full throttle, take the bull by the horns and cope with the their 12-16 hour days.  And even more so as they creep closer to adolescence, we dare to fill their days with nonstop activities and before we know it we’re cramming mealtime into our commutes with little regard to resting.  No wonder our technology friends felt it necessary to equip our smartphones with the endless ability to give us alerts and reminders to keep us on track.

My family is so busy at times, I’m not sure how we fit everything into a 7 day week.  Shamefully I admit that we often eat dinner late, and sometimes under-planning causes us to eat less than healthy meals (am I really the only one who accepts french fries as an allowable vegetable sometimes?)

The other day I almost missed dinner completely.  My middle child came to me and asked, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” to which I replied, “We haven’t eaten yet?!” (Yikes!)

Better Than Blended Stepfamily Blended family help tips

Photo by Edward N. Johnson

This week was a typical go week for us: lacrosse and soccer games, practices , dance class, school events, etc.  Needless to say, we have used up more than our allotted 80% battery life before the warning message pops up.  So today, I called a Family Nap Time. After lunch, we all piled into the family room, sprawled across the couches, and rested. (Yes, even that teenager put down his phone to rest.)  My wonderful children were happy to humor me and we even watched Curious George the way we did when they were babies.  It was the perfect way to spend time together: Recharging as a family.

It’s so important to remember to take advantage of precious down time. Especially since our inclination is to squeeze in one more thing.  So, until Apple figures out how to alert us when our families have used up too much energy, remember to keep an eye out for those tell tell signs that nap time is well overdue

What signs does your family give when they need recharging?

Written by Lashawna Adams-Mitchell