I think the three of us have gone for an evening walk exactly twice, and the boy is over 14 months old now. In the begining, we were just too tired, and as the boy got older, routine became more important, getting him into his bath, jammies and bed in good time continues to be important if we want him to sleep through the night. Now that I'm working, by the time dinner is made and we've eaten (the boy consistently eats for about 45 minutes) there's usually only about 20-30 minutes left before its time to truck upstairs for a bath.
Last night I decided 20 minutes was enough time. We could go for a short walk, we didn't have to be gone forever. When we asked the boy if he wanted to go for a walk in the stroller he got super excited and bolted for the door, immediatley pointing outside. Apparently he liked the idea. We were out for about 30 minutes and it was great; we stopped and smelled some buttercups, fed the ducks, catfish and the boy gluten-free cheerios before strolling back home and starting the night-time routine. We were about 15 minutes later than usual, but everything went smoothly, everyone was happy and we had a chance to spend some quality time together.
So this brings me to my conundrum; I know that 20-30 minutes walking together is healthier and more exciting than playing with the same old toys at home and I know that walking now will encourage a healthy lifestyle as the boy grows and yet, we still have such difficulty making it happen. Why is it that putting on a load or laundry or sweeping up the kitchen or some other irrelevant chore continues to trump a good 30 minutes of quality time with BOTH parents? Don't get me wrong, one of us plays and engages with the boy while the other does chores, but we both work full-time and aside from dinner time and bath time, the 20-30 minute window after dinner is really the only weekday time that the three of us can potentially enjoy together.
I understand that circumstances are always changing, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that circumstances are sometimes just excuses. I want to implement an evening family-time walk because nothing, truly nothing, is more important than love and family. The boy doesn't care if there are chores to be done, he'd rather spend quality time with his Momma and Daddy and we should give him that, whenever we can.