When you are a working parent you spend a lot of time away for your kids. In fact, most of the time you are able to spend with them is during the difficult moments of getting ready in the morning and going to bed. Getting a toddler and infant ready for the day is never easy and unlike mom and dad I don’t think they ever “want” to go to bed.
A few mornings ago I had this conversation with H.
H: I want cowboy boots Mommy!
Me: H, you will need tennis shoes to play on the playground. Don’t you want to be able to run around with your friends?
H: Cowboy boots!
Me: How about we wear the cowboy boots and take your tennis shoes?
After putting on cowboy boots, I pick up the tennis shoes.
H: No, mommy! No! (while grabbing the tennis shoes and throwing them back in the closet…
This is all over just shoes. We still have to get dressed, brush our hair and teeth, get breakfast and get into the car. I am tired already. These moments are not what I would consider quality time.
For all of these reasons the quality time I do get to spend with my children is very special. It is the in between times that I feel have the most impact and quality. Those are the times that they are able to open up to you, enjoy you and you them. For me it is like watching a flower bloom or a beautiful sunset creep over the horizon. I wish I could bottle the joy that they see in everyday things. Lately, this special time is being eaten away by obligations I have. Conference calls in the evening for work are taking away from my talks with the boys on their way home from school. Both Andy and I have needed to handle work items on the weekend or other obligations. It makes my heart sick.
Hearing H describe his day in toddler speak is incredible. Watching Baby C2 light up when I pay attention to just him is priceless. I can’t even describe the excitement in the car when I am able to say yes to going to the park before dinner because we got home a few minutes early. Taking the extra few minutes to understand the important things in their worlds help us connect as a family. Isn’t that the important stuff life is made of?
Other than adding more hours to the day, I don’t know how to fix my problem. I am pretty sure adding hours to the day has already been thought. However, I am hoping by being cognizant of the issue I can limit the encroaching priorities and make the little time I do have sacred.
How do you handle when obligations interfere with time with your kids?
Peace, Love & Cherishing Their Time,
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