How to FREE Up Your Family’s Schedule

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This post has been sponsored by Reliant. All opinions are 100% our own!

As parents, I “knew” that time would fly by quickly. Many parents who came before us warned that the moments were fleeting and within a snap, those kids would be all grown up and moving out.

Over the last 8 years, we’ve watched each child individually move from one stage to another; changing and growing.

Within just a few short months, they quickly move from baby to toddler to a backpack wearing, sports playing, (little) person that you almost don’t recognize. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the changes that would happen to our family schedule and dynamic as our kids grew.

In the beginning, as a new mom, my days were spent protecting the valuable “naptime”. We were homebodies and with the exception of an occasional playdate or park adventure in the morning, schedules kept us mostly at home. You could almost guarantee that any afternoon or night of the week, we’d be home.

Without realizing it, we’d slipped into a toddler & preschool stage of life; adjusting our schedules around playtimes, daytime adventures, and mother’s day out. While our weekdays looked a little more chaotic, our weekend was still a chance to recharge and be at home together.

Now, four boys later, our calendar is filled with soccer games, tae kwon do, piano, daytime meetings, and a new travel schedule for my husband. If you were to ask me where we are at any given moment of the week, I would immediately hold up a finger to pause the conversation and pull up my calendar because – day or night – it’s completely unpredictable.

Now, as we enter a new phase, I try to watch for cues when these subtle shifts in our family’s schedule start to change to help avoid that initial shock of “How did we get here?!” Sadly, the time commitments don’t get easier BUT if you prepare together as a family, it can continue to make life fun!

family, black & white
Credit: AKA Photography

3 Ways to Protect Your Family’s Schedule

  1. Set Non-Negotiables Each Day or Week.

Whatever phase you’ve found yourself in, work on some set times throughout the day (or week) that are “non-negotiable” to the outside world. This may be your baby’s nap time OR a few hours of quiet time during the day to take care of yourself. Similar to blocking out time at work for a meeting, do the same for your home life. Make a standing appointment on your calendar, so you don’t fill up that time with other things that may come up last minute.

2. Create a Dedicated Family Time.

Many families have a hard-fast rule that dinner time is family time. This may not work well for your lifestyle, and family time doesn’t have to revolve around a meal. On weeks where my husband travels or we have heavy activities, my boys know that Friday night is family movie night. We decline party invitations or dinner invites so that our family can come back together.

3. Be Intentional with Extra Commitments.

With our oldest, we fell into the trap many new parents face with over-committing. We wanted our kids to be exposed to “all the things” to encourage them to find an activity they loved. And then came the extracurriculars that weren’t negotiable for us as parents like piano lessons or Cub Scouts. At the time, these once a week (or once a month) commitments didn’t seem like much for our family, but before we knew it, Kid #2 was ready to sign up for extras. . . and then kid #3. . . It just all became too much!

As a family, we forced ourselves to sit down and look at our calendar realistically. If soccer, piano, and tae kwon do were all on the same night, were these all activities we were really committed to? If they came to a place where they wanted to try something else, we would re-evaluate our activities before starting another.

Have these conversations early on with your spouse (and your children if they’re old enough) and be proactive about protecting your family’s schedule.

Reliant gets it — and they get families! They recognize that what works for one family’s schedule, may not work for another. That’s why they’ve created “Pick Your Free;” a new experience that takes the guesswork out of choosing an electricity plan by helping customers get more FREE by finding the right plan to fit YOUR lifestyle.

Whether you’re a family that comes together in the evening or you’re at home working all day, Reliant now allows you to choose when FREE energy best fits your lifestyle. Reliant is the only retail electric provider in Texas currently offering three FREE time-of-use plans simultaneously to help its customers save and get more FREE.

  • NEWReliant Truly Free 7 Days + Google Nest Hub offers free electricity for the seven highest usage days every monthly billing cycle. Truly Free 7 Days appeals to frequent travelers, shift workers or stay-at-home parents who often have fluctuating schedules.
  • Reliant Truly Free Weekends + Google Nest Hub offers free electricity every weekend, from 8 p.m. Friday to 12 a.m. Monday. Truly Free Weekends appeals to those who spend their weekends at home binge-watching, meal-prepping, having family and friends over, and catching up on laundry.
  • Reliant Truly Free Nights + Google Nest Hub offers free electricity every night, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Truly Free Nights appeals to those who are night owls and enjoy the simple pleasure of sleeping extra cool on warm Texas nights.

BONUS: When you sign up for one of the Pick Your Free plans, you’ll receive a Google Nest Hub at no additional cost. Partner these plans with the smartest display, and customers can monitor and manage their own energy use, so they can shift usage and activities according to their plan and maximize their savings. Don’t forget to enable Reliant actions.

To learn more about Reliant’s Pick Your Free plans, visit Reliant.com or call 1-866-Reliant.

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