6 March 2013

T.I.M.E

I love everything about this picture - from the bold words to the wonderfully care-free image of a father and son having spontaneous fun together. 

The words in this quote have been playing on my mind a lot lately and many conversations, situations and 'challenges' have been steering me in this direction. Time really is so much more valuable to a child than anything bought with money (the discarded toys 2 weeks after Christmas, are a great example of that!) All children thrive on quality time with their parent, without exception - it makes them feel special, wanted and loved.  I know it's not rocket science, you might even say it's obvious but sadly, if your family life is anything like ours, sometimes demands, chores, commitments and so on, all rob you of TIME to spend with your children.

My girls are both heading rapidly towards the teenage years (one flying headlong rather faster than I might like!) and friends are becoming a greater influence than their boring mum and dad! I have recently been reminded that individual time is vital for my children's well-being and for our relationship as they mature.

Last weekend, Tween 2 and I spent a much-needed day together.  The agenda of the day was her choice, so she opted for spending pocket money, lunch in Nandos and a mooch around the shops. Although buying clothes wasn't particularly in the plan, a few small purchases were made (we are girls after all!) but the best thing about the day was having time and space together, not rushing but just relaxing in one another's company. It gave us the opportunity to remember all of the things we love about each other, the bits that so often get forgotten in a family of 5.
 
Of course a whole day isn't always practical, especially if you're a single parent, but just 15-20 minutes spent with your child at the end of a busy day, would work.  In our world, even that is sometimes tricky, what with after-school clubs, homework and tea but I am trying to factor this into our day and it is lovely to observe our otherwise 'private' girls opening up and sharing things that are going on in their world. 
 
Do you manage to get quality time with your children?  Have you got any suggestions of things that have worked for you?
 
I am linking this post up with Emma at Crazy with Twin's Wednesday Words linky.
 
 
 
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35 comments:

  1. You always speak such sense. I remember reading a post on your blog previously about spending time with each of your children individually and I think it's an excellent idea - and something I will look to do with my boys as they get older.

    Even with the baby now, Husband sometimes takes him out / has him so I can connect with Pip. Often we will bake together as that's something he really enjoys, is a defined period of time and brings it's own rewards at the end!

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    1. We have tried to do it from a young age but these things slip as time moves on and I know that one of my children in particular, really struggles when QT is the thing that has been put to the back burner. Hard to do but so important :)

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  2. I love this quote. You are right, we often get caught up in stupid housework and don't spend enough time with our children. But then again, all the time in the world wouldn't be enough, because as parents, there is nothing we enjoy more, than spending time with our children. I want to make a conscious effort to do more with them individually, as opposed to all together. Thankyou for linking up to Wednesday Words and for giving me something to think about. xx

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    1. I've had this quote sitting waiting to be used for ages - it's such a great reminder. I know we want to do it but often the individual time is the thing that gets pushed to one side in our house. Thanks for hosting Wednesday Words, a great little linky :)

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  3. Fantastic - time is so very precious I really need to make more time x

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  4. I love this quote too. I love having some one on one time with each of the boys. Juggling is an issue. This is why we try to do something special as a family for their birthday rather than loads of pressies.

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    1. Yes it's all about the juggling and I find the one who is behaving the worst, usually needs it the most! Thanks for commenting x

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  5. So true! We don't get this time with our kids again, I'm constantly telling myself to enjoy it while it lasts x

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  6. I have such big age gaps that finding individual time is something I find vital! Me and the teen go for coffee, or shopping, me and the middler go to the pictures, and of course Syd gets me to himself all day when they are at school. I only manage an hour or two a week of individual time for the bigger two, but it's better than nothing! And of course they see plenty of me with the others about too!

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    1. I think it's lovely to have different things that you enjoy with each one - celebrating their uniqueness. This somehow gets harder as they get older, or at least you need to more creative with it.

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  7. I love this post Suzanne. Time spent from your busy days to dedicate to each other pays such dividends but is for some reason so hard to do. From your anonymous Auntie J

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    1. Aw thanks for commenting ;) We're trying...not always easy x

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  8. One on one time is not easy for us but we still manage it as it is indeed important. I managed some this week with my eldest and have talked about it for Country Kids this coming Saturday.

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    1. Will look forward to reading that at the weekend. Must be hard in your world, what with a farm, a business and 5 (is it 5?) children!

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  9. Each girl goes to nursery on a different afternoon, this makes sure that one afternoon a week, they each have Mummy time and its one on one without their sister.

    Thisdayilove

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  10. Beautiful picture; and a challenge that affects us all. I am working all spare hours trying to run my own business at the moment. It has recently dawned on me that I started a flexible work at home business so that I can "be there" for my girls. Now I've realised that isn't happening I have to restructure something!

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  11. I completely agree what a lovely quote :-)

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  12. Such a lovely post. I've just had my second child and my husband and I were very conscious of not leaving the toddler out but still having time to bond with the baby. We decided to keep the toddler in nursery on the days that I used to work so I could spend them solely with the baby and we make sure we have lots of one on one time with the toddler. It's hard to juggle sometimes but we feel that we are doing our best for both of them.

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    1. It's even hard when you have little ones isn't it? At least when the toddler is at nursery, you have time with the baby but it's important to take that special time out for him too. Looks like you're doing a grand job of it!

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  13. Great post ..... I do my very best, but lately it's been rather tricky, i've been up to the neck with the move and all sorts - and then I just feel guilty! This hasn't been the best of weeks .... X.

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    1. Well I think we all have weeks like these. In fact, if I'm not careful, that bad week can turn into a month without me realising it. Hope your move is going well x

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  14. Absolutely, S, you're so right. And yes, I remember that post you wrote (i think the first i read of yours!) about you sitting down with OH at the beginning of the year and marking out in the diary time for each child with each of you throughout the year. I thought that such a practical thing to do, as we all have good intentions but the life takes over if we don't mark boundaries around it doesn't it? My OH has JUST spent an arvo after school with my eldest daughter having a MUCH overdue time together. They went to town, browsed a bookshop, and had tea out. Big treat. He's not in work at the mo so had the time. If weahter hadn't been so dreadful he'd probably have taken her for walk which is FREE! But we need to get that slot in for my son, and for time with me too. What I'm trying to do now is whilst the other is at Brownies or Beavers or whatever, I spend that hour with the other well (that means hide and seek in the dark with my son!). Mucking about with them is vital, I reckon (at this young age of 6 and 8). Anyway, i'm wittering, thanks for your sage, timely reminders me dear!

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  15. Oh, I so agree with you. Aaron thrives on time with me, and because he is so very used to it, he literally demands it when he doesn't get it.
    Liska xx

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  16. I had to come and visit after you said you had written on a smiliar subject and yes I cannot wait for my girls to be old enough for a real girlie day with lunch, cinema and shops! Mich x

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  17. So true, spending time with your children is what create the bond between you and as with yours they head to difficult teenage years that when you want them to feel that bond and be able to talk to you if they need too. I spend a lot if time with my children but often I've got my eye on something else. Actually making quality time is what's important. Well said.

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  18. This is very true. I've have just written about time in relation to when you have more than one child and there's special needs in the family. I'm glad you both got some quality time shopping together.

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  19. This totally resonates with me. I notice that if I give my eldest daughter some one to one time at the end of the day, she goes to bed much easier and without drama, than if I don't. Children usually want your time over everything else xx

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  20. This totally resonates with me. I find that my eldest daughter goes to bed much better and happier if I spend half an hour with her before bedtime, just the two of us, chatting and laughing and sharing stories about our day. Children usually want our time over everything else xx

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  21. We do try. The 8 year old and I will often head to a gallery or something, and recently the 6 year old and I went to a nature museum. Would be nice to do it more often though! :)

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  22. Such a good reminder of what's important, even though as you say, it can be difficult to achieve amidst the daily routine. I usually have some one-on-one time with my eldest in the evening before we start with the bedtime routine, we build Lego together or play a game and I can see that he really values that time, as do I. There's always room for improvement though!

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  23. I so need to make adjustments for quality time with Bethany, it really is so easy to get side tracked x

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  24. A 'timely' reminder of how important it is to put aside proper time to spend with your children. I find car journeys are a good way to reconnect. Yesterday our eldest played a game with us in which she had a whole lot of questions and scenarios to test us with such as 'What's your funniest memory of me when I was very little?' - it proved a useful way of reminding her how special she is to us and her place in our family.

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  25. This is so true. It's so important to spend time and not just money with our babies. All they really crave is our time and attention! It's easy to forget and this is a lovely reminder xx

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