There are lots of reasons why our family loves going to festivals, many of which I have discussed on other blog posts, but for us the opportunity of good quality family time is a very important one.
As working parents, it is often hard to make the time to do creative activities together or just to spend time hanging out. At a festival however, time is there to be spent at will. We can spend a few hours getting messy in a craft tent, sometimes under the guise of supervising our children but ultimately enjoying the therapeutic qualities of working with clay ourselves, or indulging ourselves by curling up in a cosy Bell Tent with some knitting needles.
There is something very relaxing about festivals and the lack of deadlines. It is so nice to just go with the flow, responding to our internal signals for feeding time and rest. The freedom from our daily scheduled life is liberating and empowering and usually results in a more harmonious family group as we pay more attention to our inner needs than to the clock.
But the biggest positive for me is the inclusive nature of festival life. The distinction between the adult and children’s worlds are blurred and I consider it to be very healthy for children to be welcomed into an environment where their parents are having fun and socialising in their own right. As a family unit we negotiate and balance every members’ needs so that we end up with a compromise that we are all happy with.
We have found that the balance of concessions to others’ desires was more skewed towards the children the younger they were, but as they have grown older they are more understanding of our priorities too and now respect that we all need the opportunity to do some of the stuff we like.
There is a lot of love and laughter in our family at festivals. I’m not saying it’s not there under normal circumstances, but I suppose because we know that festivals are somewhere we feel relaxed and free to be ourselves and be in the moment the good feelings just feel magnified. I can’t wait for the next one!