Sunday, April 3, 2011

Giving Kids Presence

Time drains overwhelm 21st-century families---and not solely requirements from adult work and social obligations, our offspring has their significant schedule sucks as well. Sports. Clubs. After-school activities. Playdates...

Pre-twins, much of the advice I received from experienced parents revolved around setting aside time for get-out-of-the-house "date-nights," maybe even slotting in some time for intimacy in a calendar that most-assuredly would be beset with double baby maintenance mandates. Double Daddy-to-be and I, while grateful for the kindness of strangers, giggled. If they only knew some of our happiest of times were spent simply sitting on the couch. Together.

Now, nearly ten years later, we're frequently pulled in quadruple directions. We four each have individual activities of employment and enjoyment, future focus and fun. We'd wouldn't have it any other way. As a foursome, we also have abundant out-of-the house and under-our-own-roof times. Unstructured and by-design times we collectively treasure. We'd wouldn't have it any other way.

Time as a family needn't be an orchestrated event, an outward bound adventure, or committed to climax at a lofty pinnacle of intimacy (sorry, couldn't help it). Our presence needn't be filled with "presents." A couch formerly for two accommodates four just fine. Make a point to maximize the minimal moments.

Quantity IS quality.
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A favorite FishfulThinking resource of mine is this article on reducing parental those times we feel yanked---almost drawn and quartered---into too many directions we don't want to go. Hope you find it as helpful as I have!


Barbara Manatee said...

Great post Cheryl. Man...we're already pulled thin many days - gymnastics, physical therapy, dance, swim lessons, day care, work, church, friends, meetings, etc, etc, etc...I am somewhat fearful of what our life will be like in 10 years when all 3 kids will likely be involved in something of their own choosing. I am SO very grateful that this week is my Spring Break so we can slow down some and enjoy some Quality time in MORE quantity!!

April is Autism Awareness Month. I'm dedicating my blog to Autism all month long.

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

Interesting...there is such a stress put on family time and quality time, but I think that finding it when you can is just how this world is going to make us!

Double the Giggles said...

My favorite days are when we are all together and have absolutely no plans. If we want to all sit around together, decide to go for a walk together or even go grocery shopping, I enjoy every minute of a day without scheduled engagements.

Anonymous said...

Couch time is popular around here! Modern Family, Parks & Rec, 30 Rock...we love to watch them together.