Friday, December 3, 2010

Quantity ≥ Quality

Lets put a few statics out there from this week:

-Number of times Henry and I have left the house combined: 3 (twice, quick trips to the store for necessities like milk and I went to a relief society week day meeting)

-Days I have showered before noon: 2

-Days Henry has stayed in his pj's all day: 2

-Hours of time spent doing the items on my to-do list: maybe 3

-Hours of time spent doing really creative crafts/activities with Henry: maybe 1, maybe.

Despite the very sad week those statistics might imply, it has been one of the nicest, sweetest weeks Henry and I have had together in a long time. We've done playdough, hid from the monster by running and getting under the covers, read books, danced and cuddled up for naps.

It reminded me of something my mom use to say. I think it was during the mid-to-late 90's that the big thing in parenting was that it wasn't so important to spend lots of time with your kids as long as you made sure to have a few hours of quality time every once and a while. I guess I can still see people championing this opinion today, but for some reason I remember it being a really big deal then. I remember examples like, 'if you can't see your child all week, then on the weekend, take them to a theme park to make up for it,' or 'take them to dinner and have a good talk.'

Honestly, I think a lot of these people must have had robot children or none at all because it's rare you can get your kids (or at least I can get my kid) to act and do what you want the way you want. So I wonder how effective it is to try and get your kids, especially really young ones to understand 'quality' time.

Back to my mom. I remember a certain friend or relative mentioning this to my mom and my mom would always basically say, "They don't care so much what you do with them as long as you are there with them."

I'm not trying to say that planning and doing prepared fun things isn't important but I am beginning to rethink my ideas on quantity of time and quality. I spend so much time with Henry that sometimes I think I have to do something spectacular with him, or I am not being a good mother and he'll never develop how he needs to, what will I blog about (yeah, lets be honest we don't tend to post pictures of us sitting in our pj's with our kids watching tv and eating cereal for lunch-again).

I guess what I'm trying to get to here is that I don't have any awesome pictures from this week showing what fun, creative things Henry and I did. Hopefully its not that way every single week but for this week, I'm happy to remember just the sheer amount of time we had enjoying each other as we are, pj's, bed heads and all. I would have missed out on his little hand in mine and that little head on my shoulder in the middle of the day without even knowing it.

*Note, I am in no way saying that women who have to work or be away from their children more than they are with them are somehow wrong or making a bad choice: every family, every mother has to do what is best for their specific child/children and sometimes that will mean a tipping of the scale in favor of trying for quality time over quantity. Age of children plays a huge role in it too.
This merely comes from reflecting on my need to be a better mother and wife and in some ways missing the mark when I assume that time with Henry needs to always somehow be blog worthy or parents magazine approved (ok I don't read that, but you get the idea) or I am failing or shirking and the time in between that I need to be crafting or contributing something fantastic and Martha Stewartesque to the home. So I hope it is seen in that light.


Jennie said...

This post made me so happy :)

Jessica Lynn Perkins said...

I love this! It is so hard to not feel like a total failure when you don't get a chance to shower until naptime. By the way, your statistics were eerily identical to mine this week.

Maren said...

Thanks for the post. Things to think about for the future.

The comstocks said...

Right there with you! Great post!

Joshua and Rachel said...

It is great to know that everyone has weeks similar to this one you described.

Joshua and Rachel said...

It is great to know that everyone has weeks similar to this one you described.

Gdub said...

So what you're saying is that the key to my late showering is to have a kid? BRILLIANT! ; )