Spending quality time with my kids is something that I actually enjoy. There’s nothing like hearing my son laugh hysterically when we’re pretending to have an epic battle and he’s being defeated. Or hearing my one year old giggle when we’re playing together. I love when we’re just together and genuinely enjoying each other’s company. But I realized that lately, I haven’t been as present as I’d like to be. I’ve been here, but not really here. I’ve had so many things on my mind, a mile long to-do list and only so many hours in the day to actually accomplish anything. So that one-on-one time, that intentional time, has been minimal.
There’s been a lot of Just a sec. Okay give me 10 minutes. Not right now, maybe later. And Okay after I do this. But that 10 minutes can turn into 30, and sometimes later never comes.
But the other day I stumbled upon an article that was exactly what I needed to hear. It was a parent reminiscing about the time spent with her son when he was a child. She shared about all the quality time they spent reading and fishing, talking, doing arts and crafts, and gardening. How most days they didn’t even turn on the tv, they just enjoyed each other’s company. And there was never any regret for the time they spent together because it helped this parent watch her son grow up close. You can read it here if you like.
I loved this. I love hearing from people who have been where I am, and love learning from their experiences. And this particular article came at the right time.
It was a reminder for me of how important it is to be intentional with my kids every day. And how important it is to prioritize spending time with them and giving them my full, undivided attention.
I even notice a difference in my kids when I do this. When I do give them that quality time, and when I fill up their love cup for the day, they’re genuinely happier. They’re more willing to listen, and the day runs smoother. And I know that not only does that make them feel loved, but it also makes them feel like they matter. Like they’re important enough for me to drop what I’m doing so that we can do something together. And it gives me an opportunity to really get to know them, and enjoy them. For us to enjoy each other.
Making time for myself, or taking care of the things that I need to are important, but prioritizing them is just as important. With no distractions. No phones. No tv. Or laptops. Just us.
When my children are grown, I want them to look back and say that they had a mom who made time for them. A mom who got down and played with them and wasn’t too busy or uninterested to play a game of hide and seek or rock paper scissors.
And I don’t want to be so caught up in the overwhelm of parenting that I miss the precious moments that are right in front of me. They’re only going to be this small for such a short amount of time and I don’t want to be here and miss it.
Perhaps you’ve been like me lately and haven’t been giving your kids the quality time and attention that you want to or you used to. It’s not too late. We just have to be intentional about it.
Not every task is so important that we can’t stop and take a break from it. And it’s okay to drop what we’re doing sometimes for our kids.
Here’s a few ways that we can make quality time with our kids a priority:
- Block out time in our day that is specifically for them
- Put our phones away
- Be present and attentive
- Spend time talking with them every day
- Play with them
- Watch their favorite shows/movies with them
- Go to the park with them
- Go for a walk with them
- Read together
- Go to the beach
- Tell stories
- Have dance parties
The years fly by and we don’t want to look up one day and regret not enjoying these years with them more. Or to regret not making more time for them, or giving them more of our undivided attention.
I’m so thankful for finding that article when I did. It was the reminder that I needed. And it made me see more clearly that I never want to be too busy for my kids. Even when it feels like there’s a million things to do, I still want spending quality time with my kids to be at the top of that list.