Thursday, March 31, 2011

Quality Verses Quantity Time

I don't know about you, but I feel as though I wake up, my feet hit the ground and I am going, Going, GOING until I fall into bed at night. 

Life is WONDERFUL and I wouldn't change one single thing, but it's fast paced and goes by too quickly. Anyone else ever feel this way? 

We blink and our children are all grown up.

I remember a few years ago there was a big movement that had psychologists saying that "quality" was better than "quantity" time. As a mom of four children 8, 11, 15 & 19, I've come to find that my children need BOTH!

It's easy to take for granted one or the other. Because I am home all the time I can pacify myself with the fact that my children get to be with me all the time. (Quantity Time) But then, If all they see is the back of my head while I spend time on the computer what good is that? 

On the other hand, when I worked full time I remember scheduling a Chuckee Cheese date or park day (Quality Time) with the kids and after we'd get home I'd let them watch television while mom caught up on the laundry, chores and grocery shopping. 

I have to be very purposeful about my "Quality" time. It is so easy to take for granted my little ones gathered around during the day. If not careful I can let them do school and play with one another while I spend all my time taking care of responsibilities, or on the phone & computer. There is nothing wrong with computer or phone time when it's done properly, within balance, but in excess those tools that make life so much easier can be the very thing that steal all my time in this very short season. 

 5 Tips To Help Us (Arnold's) Balance Quality & Quantity

1) Reading one chapter a day out of a good book with my kids snuggled up next to me. 

2) Time4Learning!  Online learning allows me to delegate those subjects that don't necessarily get my heart pumping and instead allows me to focus on those ones that do!  

3) Turning the ringer on my phone off!  It keeps me from being tempted to get on the phone. 

4)- Sitting around the dinner table at night. (Still working on this)

5)- Picking one night a week for game night and another for a movie night.

6) - Making church a family priority!

How about you? Do you tend to be stronger in Quality or Quantity time and what helps you find balance?



  1. I agree, Mary, that BOTH quality time and quantity time matter. I think the emphasis years ago on the term Quality time was just a way for parents to justify their busy life away from their children. A lot of times, my kids are just content to know that I'm in the house with them. Some of our best quality time moments came out of some spontaneous event that would never have happened had I not been here.

    I'm not sure how to explain how we've found the balance other than to emphasize that my husband and my children are priorities for me. I try to be purposeful in my parenting, schooling, and marriage. The kids like coming beside me in the kitchen and the garden, and I try to always make them feel welcome there with me. And of course, a little silliness never hurts!

    By the way, I love the blog AND all of the wonderful posts! Keep it up! Oh, and you have two number three's up above. Love ya!

  2. Betty, you are letting the Holy Spirit lead your quality and quantity time. I can't think of anything better. Thank you for all your encouragement...XOXO