How Apple Picking Helped My Family Reset, Plus 5 Tips For Planning Your Own Family Reset Day
I know it’s been a bit quiet around here but if you’re following Raising an Advocate you know I’ve been super overwhelmed. Plus, I don’t know about your family but Fall seems to be the busiest time of year for our family. It could be because my husband and I are both in education and it’s the busy season or because now that Sesame is older and in school as well he has tons of things going on as well. Between meetings and school commitments, it’s been really hard to spend time together as an entire family. It was getting to the point where only one of us was able to attend an event with the kid because the other one was busy. Let’s just say Sesame was not a fan and started articulating his feelings on wishing we were ALL together.
After weeks of this happening, I decided we needed to spend some quality time together. I picked a Saturday that had no prior commitments and told Sesame and Mr. S that we were going apple picking. We weren’t going to do any work (this meant no responding to emails from my phone), just enjoy the festivities at the apple orchard. I also specified that it would be just the three of us because we needed time as a family to connect. I called it a Family Reset Day.
So, what’s a Family Reset Day? When I think of resets, I always think about fitness or body goals, which usually involve some type of detox or cleanse. For the family, it’s a time when everyone in the family unplugs and does an activity together. It can be for a full day or half a day. I initially planned for half day but it lasted much longer and we had no complaints. You should also keep it to your immediate family only because adding in others will change the dynamic. Going to the apple orchard just the three of us meant we only had to consider our family’s feelings. We didn’t have to worry about other’s schedules (more on that later) or attitudes. it also meant we couldn’t be distracted and end up spending more time hanging with our friends or extended family that we missed the whole point of reconnecting with one another in the first place.
On our first ever Family Reset Day, we went to Hillcrest Apple Orchard. I used this helpful local list from my friend Aaronica to help us make a choice. In addition to apple picking, there was a petting farm, pig races, a playground, a tractor ride, and a few other things included in admission. Plus, they had enough food choices to please everyone.
Even though I mentioned the other attractions to Sesame, he was really focused on the apple picking portion because he wanted me to make an apple cobbler. So, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and purchased our bags for apple picking.
Once we finished that portion, he was able to milk a cow and then off to the petting farm, playground, and this giant bouncy pillow.
Sadly, we missed the pig races but rounded the day out with the tractor ride, a little more apple picking, some shopping in the market, and more yummy food. What we initially planned to be a half day trip, quickly became an all day affair because we were having so much fun with each other.
For the first time in months, I wasn’t hunched over a computer or scrolling on social media. If it weren’t for Mr. S remembering to take pictures, I’d only have the memories in my head to commemorate the day.
Plus, I got to share a part of my childhood with Mr. S and Sesame since going to the apple orchard is a big deal back in Michigan and something I’ve been missing since moving here.
Interested in doing your own family reset day? Here are five tips to get you started:
- Pick an activity that everyone will enjoy. For us, this meant choosing something that would be age appropriate for Sesame but with something for the adults to enjoy too. Plus, we wanted it to be engaging for a long time. I know this might be harder for a larger family but for us we let Sesame choose between the pumpkin patch or apple orchard. He chose the latter and I’m sure partly because I’d been talking about wanting to go since last year.
- Be mindful of everyone’s cranky times of the day. I’m not a huge morning person so I used to prefer doing things in the late afternoon/early evenings. This doesn’t work for Sesame especially now that he no longer naps. So, we left early enough for him to be at his peak level of energy but late enough that I wasn’t snippy. I also went to bed a bit earlier so I was well rested.
- Create a plan for the day together. I’m a planner by nature and I love making schedules and lists so this comes second nature for me. However, I’ve found that when we sit down as a family to make a plan for what we’re doing everyone enjoys themselves. Mr. S usually just wants to know when and where but I need to know what to expect and Sesame is a mixture of the two of us. In the days leading up to our trip, we talked about when we would leave and what we would do when we got there. Initially, Sesame really only cared about picking apples but opened up once he actually saw the other things to do.
- Be flexible. I know I just said you need to create a plan but notice I didn’t say to strictly stick to that plan. You have to be flexible because things might come up that change the course of action. For us, it was my mom surprising us by coming to town and Sesame getting a stomach bug the morning before our Family Reset Day. Thankfully, my mom was fine hanging out with her friend while we went on our solo trip and Sesame’s stomach bug was gone the next day. It also meant staying longer than planned because we were all enjoying ourselves, so I had to quiet my anxiety about losing an entire day of work and just go with the flow.
- HAVE FUN!!! Seriously, just have fun. Remember that the goal for this day is to reconnect with your family and that doesn’t always look perfect. So, don’t stress about getting the best pictures or how much junk food everyone is eating. Live in the moment and have conversations without your devices being out the entire time.
Our Family Reset Day was exactly what the three of us needed. We all were in better moods the next week and I’ve decided that we should do these at least once every other month, which means we’re due for one pretty soon. Plus, it was the final push for us to do a weekend trip away without the little one but that’s a story for next week.
Have you ever had a Family Reset Day? What did you do?