What’s with the quality time that everyone tries to accomplish with their families?
Do you run yourselves ragged trying to cram
a week’s worth of quality time into your evenings
and weekends. As a result, you feel even more
pressure and guilt because all this quality time
has left no time for housework and the more mundane
aspects of family life.
So you feel stressed, overwhelmed and even more frustrated.
Then you feel resentful, overburdened and panicked about the upcoming week. Not good feelings for anyone.
Sunday Night Panic
Our family used to hate Sunday night and rightfully so. After church services, dinner together and then relaxing naps, I would turn into Frankenstein around 4 pm.
Knowing that I had an overflowing week of my own work ahead, I would micro-manage every little detail of everyone’s week in an attempt to get organized. It was a disaster. It was quality time alright. But the quality was very negative and certainly not productive to family harmony.
Finally, the family had a long discussion and helped me to see that my attitude was spoiling our together time. So I smartened up and realized what got done, got done and what didn’t, oh well!
They taught me (as it usually happens when we parents slow down and listen) that my idea of quality time had some flaws in it. They shared, unanimously, that they would much rather work, play and organize with a pleasant person than a Sunday Night Manic.
They also gave me a plaque that said:
Blessed Are Those Who Are Pleasant To Live With
I may be dumb, but I am not stupid. I learned new ways to have quality time.
So is there hope for you? Absolutely! First you need to
know that quality time, as many of you perceive
it to be, is erroneously based on two myths.
Myth #1: Quality time must be spent doing
educational or recreational activities.
Reality: The truth is quality time just needs
to be time spent. Going to zoos, movies or museums
can be wonderful time spent together. But if you
are merely cramming the activities into your life
in a frenzied rush, you and your children won’t
experience a real sense of relaxed camaraderie.
In all actuality, they may prefer some time working
side by side with you on a family project or task.
Myth #2: Quality time means lots of time.
Reality: Not necessarily. Hours and minutes alone
don’t measure quality time. Quality time can mean
a hug, a pat, a reassuring chat, telling jokes while
doing dishes, sharing confidences while pulling weeds
or just working together on a project. These types
of parent/child interactions can be some of the most
valuable and treasured times of all.
Don’t Feel Guilty, Feel Empowered
So quit feeling guilty. We don’t need to blast
through chores in order to spend quality time with
our kids. Our time working together can be quality
time, too. And better than that, working together
can even be fun! Cooking, washing windows and mowing
the lawn won’t be perceived as dreaded chores if
children do them right along with you–especially when
you’re talking as you go, learning more about each
other and teaching specific skills in the process.
These myths are an excerpt from my book:
Kids, Chores and More. To learn about this handy
little resource and get a free ebook check out:
This one small investment just may be one of the
smartest things you can do for your family.
Judy Helm Wright aka “Auntie Artichoke” Author, Speaker and Life Educator