If you've read my "about me" page, you know that my husband and I have made sacrifices so that we have margin in our lives for THE GOOD STUFF. And to us, GOOD STUFF = time together, silliness, and having room in our schedules to make healthy food and - if you can believe it - actually having time to eat that food together as a family. It's so 1950's of us, right? But we have gone out of our way for it because we believe that you really can't schedule quality time.
"Blasphemy!" you might say. Heck, that statement might downright tick you off. I'm sorry if it does. That's so not my motive here! So stick with me! I've heard it said "I don't have much time, but we make the time we have together count." It's a nice thought, and one I've had myself. But when I actually try to put that notion into practice, it always ends up falling apart before I even have a chance to get out the door. See, in my experience, quality time just happens...usually right in the middle of every-day life. It's hard to have quality moments when you're rushing from one thing to the next, don't you think? Because this is what a busy day at my house typically looks like - before we even get out the door:
Me: "Ford, where are your shoes, buddy? I JUST put them on you! Quick, grab them and I'll put them on again in the car!" (Baby simultaneously soils diaper. Ford somehow unscrews lid and spills sippy cup of milk all over himself and the floor.)
Ford: (Crying because he got his beloved John Deere shirt dirty, but still drives his trucks through milk puddles on the floor.)
Me: (While changing baby's diaper in the middle of the hallway) "Ford! I just asked you to do something. Please don't make me ask again. Let's go!"
Ford: "Okay! Hustle! I will huuuuuustle! My shirt is sticking to me, Mom. Is this shirt dirty, Mom? Do I have to change shirts, Mom?" (Runs out the door. Forgets shoes.)
Me: (Grabbing shoes, purse, diaper bag, snacks, drinks, keys, baby, all while setting alarm and holding the dog back so she doesn't escape into the garage as I'm leaving. Out of breath, and starting to sweat. Ignore milk till later.) Nope, you're good! Thanks, buddy!
<<Repeat in between every errand>>
Hard to have a moment for some quality convo in the midst of all that ruckus, no? Sure, you can schedule special outings or events and those can definitely turn in to quality moments, but the real GOOD STUFF kind of quality time I'm talking about just shows up unannounced, right in the middle of quantity time. And you'll miss it if you aren't carving out regular time to spend together. It stinks for us busy people, us DOERS. And I def put myself in that category. But do you see what I'm saying here?
Case in point:
The other day, I was folding laundry, and the boys were "helping" me. Exactly. So, really, I was endlessly folding and re-folding clothes. But it was in the middle of this hum-drum being with my kids kind of day that Quality Time decided to make an appearance. As I was re-folding a shirt for the third time, Ford asked me "Mom, do you remember that green lady who lived outside?" (We had driven to downtown Dallas months ago, and there was a homeless lady wearing a green shirt sitting at a bus stop with her shopping cart that had all her stuff in it. I told Ford about how some people don't have houses to sleep and eat in, and how they have to live outside and how God has given us so many good things so we can help people if they need it. We talked to her and gave her a homeless pack - basically a bag of goodies I keep in the car to give to homeless people when I come across them.) "Yes, I sure do," I said. "Do you think she has a shirt to wear today? Maybe we should give her some of these shirts. I like my John Deere green shirts." I mean, I gotta tell ya, my heart just about exploded with joy right then and there. We continued to talk about the green lady and how we could help her, and other boys and girls like her. We rounded up shirts for the green lady and her friends from Ford's closet, Finn's closet, and my closet, and we took them to the donation center. It was an amazing moment because I got to tell Ford how proud I was of his heart, and that God was so proud too because he was using his heart and his special gifts to share with people who need them, and it will be a quality lesson that sticks with Ford for a long time. And it was fun. But it never wouldda happened if I was in a hurry.
So what's a busy mom to do? You'll prob have to take some inventory of the day. What can you cut? Trust me - it will be worth it. Cut a little bit, and gain a lot. Take some time each day to slow down. And just be with. Be with your hubby. Be with your kids. Be with God. And wait for those sweet quality moments to show up, because they will! And when they do, I'd looooooove to hear about it!