If you are a having a professional career and having children, you said this at least once: “I cannot spend all the time with my children, but I the time we spend will be quality time”. Familiar? If I ask Maks do we have enough quality time, he will say yes and I will say no…. so what is this quality time… when do you know you get it right?
For some people (and I am one of those) quality time is the key measure of love . It is scientifically proven that some need more than others. I know I am loved and appreciated when people find the time to be with me. All my “managing myself and my work” efforts are to create time to spend with the ones I love…. I hate weeks when I can’t spend evenings with my family and I need to recharge back for them over weekend or vacations
According to the theory (“7 habits of effective families”, “the 5 Love languages…” ) Quality time is a 1on1 time when you give the other person your undivided focused attention. Examples: dates, 1on1 father –daughter, 1on1 mother –son …. The bigger the family, the more difficult it is to do. The good news it is not “something special” it is “something together”. You can provide focused attention almost anywhere and best times will be at home…
Why even thinking about quality time? It gives the other person (child, husband) the feeling you love and care, it also is a means to knowing the other better and nurturing relationships. In the beginning of our relationships we tend to have a lot of quality time (think dating) – then we start mingling with others, socializing, then children arrive and the two need to carve the time together…. Having quality time makes relationship stronger.
How to know if you are not having enough? Observe: if you are being asked for more you are not having enough. If coming home the children hold you and don’t let you do anything (my case everyday) or if you do not have time to talk about anything than home or children with your husband.
|Quality time is||Is NOT|
|Doing something together. One thing at a time with full attention(dinner, talk, cooking, playing)||Going to a party together or social event (it is fun, socializing and relationship building maybe but not quality time)|
|Talking with someone (even over skype), reading to someone||Talking to someone who is reading Facebook or watching TV|
|Taking care of someone (think feeding or dressing the babies)||Cleaning the house together (part of the attention is with the floors and windows)|
|Having breakfast together while you mind is thinking “working day ahead”|
Ask yourself to learn more….
- Is quality time important to me personally? Is it important to one of my family members? Do we have enough? (read more about quality time in The 5 love languages, Ross Campbell).
- Do we have 1on1s at least sometime in the week (our best quality time was walking Sasha to school, 15 minutes of undivided attention and always in the talking/learning mood)
- Do we have adult 1on1s at least sometimes (we try with Maks at least once in a month go out for dinner or movie, we try to have trips just two of us at least once a year…but it happens only if planned and prioritized)
- Can we make a dinner weekdays and Sunday breakfast family quality time?
- How can I carve daily bursts of quality time with children? (I use going to bed and homework time, we spend an hour reading, bedtime stories, planning for tomorrow. but I can do this because I do not clean the dishes, and I do not do any evening work at home before they are sleeping. If you start with doing the work – there will be no time for quality time).
It’s difficult to build strong relationships without regular quality time, vacation alone will not bring the balance back. We all want strong relationships so should think, plan and have quality time.
search on pinterest “quality time” and you will find amazing tips on dates with children at home, ideas for 1on1 times with husbands and boyfriends and more inspiration on the topic