Quantity Is Quality Time

Many years ago, parental experts were advocating that quality time was all that was necessary for your children instead of quantity time. This belief possibly began to appease the consciences of some women who chose careers over their children and didn't want to deal with the feelings of abandoning their child to the day-care center.

However, my personal experience with organized quality time was quite different. I found that I could not experience quality unless there was also the dimension of quantity time involved with my children. After all, they were not little robots who turned on and off affections and responses when the convenience of the moment fit into my schedule. They came to me at inopportune times and opened their hearts when I least expected.

The favorite talk time for one of my teenage daughters was 11 p.m. Being a morning person, I could feel the lure of the pillow on my bed at 8:30 or 9 p.m. at the latest. Staying up later in the evening to spend time with her was always a challenge. Some nights we would just hang out together and play games or watch TV. Other nights we would have deep theological debates about God, life, and boyfriends. I never knew when those bonding moments would take place, but I knew that unless I made myself available, she would never share her heart.

I learned later that part of the reason for my daughter's responses was a result of her particular love language. She felt the most loved when someone wanted to be with her. Giving gifts, acts of service, words of endearment, and physical touch were important, but having someone who wanted to be with her communicated the most love.

Homeschoolers have a unique environment to provide both the quantity and quality time their children need. Deuteronomy 6:7 says, "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." This verse is speaking in regard to instructing our children in God's Word. It also shows the importance of taking advantage of all times during the day to interact.

Are you spending real quality time with your children? Just because you are homeschooling doesn't mean you are connecting with your child's heart. Allow those quantity times to turn into quality times by being available and looking for opportunities to share meaningful experiences.

Lord, thank You for all the special moments of love You provide each day. Help me to see the real needs of my children and continually reach out with a heart of love. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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DEANA H 07/22/2009 06:52:44

I'm so thankful that I get the chance to have that quantity time as well as quality time. So many of my friends "have" to work, and I'm so thankful for a husband who desires for me to stay at home to raise and teach our children.

AL J 07/22/2009 08:55:07

Kudos to all the women who desire to spend quantity and quality time with their children. Perhaps our children will make a real difference in the world, instead of just being 'cogs in the machine'.

ASHLEY H 07/22/2011 04:09:28

This was for me this morning! My mother, who disagrees with me homeschooling my children, would always give me this agruement of quality over quantity. This devotion gave me such a peace today.

ANGIE W 07/22/2011 06:10:51

I wouldn't have it any other way. I praise God above for giving my husband a good job to allow me to stay home with our children. Even though I have a nursing degree, I just have no desire for someone else raising my babies! They are 10, 9, 5 & 1 and I cherish every moment with them. Thank you Lord for such a blessing!!! Bless all you other moms too.

SHARON W 07/22/2011 06:39:31

I appreciate the sentiment of this daily devotion but not the tone I'm picking up in it ... that stay-at-home moms are somehow superior / better than those who work. Using the language of "they chose careers over their children" is, to me at least, highly inflammatory and offensive. I don't know a single working mom (myself included) who views it that way, and it's not the place of anyone on the outside looking in to make a pronouncement that assumes they know the motivation behind any decisions that are made in a household about such things. I am fortunate to be both a working AND a stay-at-home mom, but having me "not" work is not an option for our family. Even if it was an option, I would not automatically assume that God was calling me to quit my job -- I would ask Him. As I have posted before, we need to bear in mind that just as we do not like it when parents who choose conventional school look down on or belittle us for homeschooling, it also is not right for us to project that same arrogance back out. God calls different families to different paths, and not every family is even "supposed" to homeschool -- I know for a fact that God specifically directs some parents to send their children out. So, please ... let's be sensitive and humble and not impose our callings on the world at large. Blessings to everyone.

MAYA T 07/22/2011 07:10:04

I am challenged in the fact that i need to strive harder in spending more time with my kids. I do spend time with them, but I could do more. I feel that I am holding on to self and I have not lost myself in the process. If you loose you life for his sake you will find it, but if you hold on to your life you will loose it. That's where I am. I need to loose myself in homeschooling and being there for my kids instead of feeling so overwhelmed by it all. That is just a matter of prayer and seeking the Lord. This is something that I must do.

TONI E 07/22/2011 08:18:41

I have noticed that it is at really odd times that my children open up their hearts and really seek the way God wants them to live. Many times we will be doing our devotions and I think it's a really "good one", but it isn't until later when my kids are doing something else during the day that it will 'click" and they will bring up the discussion again. I love the fact that I can be there when those moments happen and they just don't slip by unnoticed in a public schoolroom.

KATHY L 07/22/2011 09:01:25

In response to Sharon's comment - I can see how you could take offense at the expression "those that choose their careers over their children". But I think it is an overstatement to say that stay at home moms believe they are superior to working moms. As most of these posts indicate, the women writing here are so thankful and blessed that they can stay at home. We all know this is not the case, that there are many who have to work. But it is equally true that there are women who do put their career first, or who view public school as allowing "me time" (see recent post on the feeling gulity issue of homeschooling). I have met people personally who have said they do "the happy dance " when the school bus comes back in the fall. My sister -in-law said it would drive here nuts to stay home. Her daughter has spent her life since 6 weeks of age in daycare, before school or afterschool care - and this is a family consisting of a lawyer and an engineer. When you are gifted and driven to work in a career, and are also a mom, there should not beanyone saying that there is something wrong with that. Look at the Proverbs 31 woman - talk about someone who could do it all. But many women brought up in 70's, 80's have had the culture bias of if you don't work you are a loser pounded into them. The point to this topis is that the time available to spend with our kids is indeed finite. There are only so many days until they reach adulthood. We can't get them back. And so the act of being available for those times when our children need us can not be penciled in on a calendar. It requires quantity. I can relate to the post above about the mom who really wanted to go to sleep, but her daughter needed to be with her then. My younger teen son is like that. And my older son really tends to clam up so quantity has been crucial with him. And I personally have juggled full time - part time - full time - moving - PRN work to make ends meet through our homeschool journey and if I could I would choose being home all the time. You're right - as long as our kids' spiritual and emotional needs are met, we have to listen to what God guides us to do, not what the latest blog says.

TRISTA J 07/22/2011 10:25:24

I too, have difficulty on rare days with the devotional or some of the comments, implying that the method or action discussed is the "right" way. Some days the difficulty stems from my own guilt or uncertainty about the choices I make, some days it is defensiveness because I, or people I care about fall on the opposing end of the spectrum, and sometimes it is that sinful pride and feeling of superiority because I forget that the "right" way to do things is only the 'right" way for me at this time. Today is a day where I felt all three of those. Additionally, like Sharon, I regret the specific words used in today's piece, because not one working woman I know CHOSE her career over her children, if a choice was even there. But that was not what I really wanted to comment on......... what really struck me in today's devotional was the distinction between Quantity Time and Quality Time. Because I spend such a vast quantity of time (all of it!) with my children, I lose sight of how important it is to have quality time too! Taking the time to play or giving a few moments of truly undivided attention are important and build strong connections with your kids. Sometimes I get so caught up in the daily chores and responsibilities, and preparations for whatever is coming up next that I neglect to do this. Another thing that challenges me is making the effort to to spend time one-on-one with each child on something other than school work or disciplinary issues. What works well right now at our house is widely spacing the kids' bedtimes so that I can have some time alone with my oldest in the evening (he's a night owl) after the youngest is in bed and then spend some alone time with my little one (a morning guy....sigh!) before his big brother rises. But it is tempting to bathe them and put them to bed at the same time for my own convenience......In summer there is so much more outdoor work to be done early in the morning or after the children are in bed and in winter I crave the additional sleep! It is true that as a homeschooler I have more opportunity to spend time with and really get to know my children, but that does not mean that I am actually doing it. Sometimes spending every second with my kids allows complacency to sneak in and I fail to cherish every moment because they seem so endless and I feel like I can always fit the time in later. These are the same things that happen in my mind that keep me from conscious effort in my relationship with my heavenly Father.... He is always there, and so I procrastinate or I get complacent. Or worse, it is not convenient right now, or I have other things to do. Thanks for the reminder..... Today I am going to do my very best to invest wholeheartedly in these most important relationships. There will come a day to reap what I have sown.

REGINA C 07/22/2011 17:23:29

I think the key word here is "choose" . In all things what we value shows in our "choices". There is possibly false guilt both ways. Just we believers remember there is a season for everything and having just graduated our first son we know this to be true- "The days are truly long but the years are very short."

JULIE J 07/31/2011 15:13:59

Yes, this is so true! I am so grateful for the blessing of homeschooling so that I can trully spend time with my children and get to know them every day. This summer we got a little taste of what it would be like to be the "typical" family with kids in school all day when my children were involved in a couple of day-camps. We were up at the crack of dawn every morning, rushed to get out of the house, driving 30 minutes one way in rush-hour traffic, driving back at the end of the day exhausted, rush to get home, about an hour of down time before karate lessons, then rush home and get ready for bed, then up to do it again the next day. Whew! We were all glad when the week was over! I felt like I hadn't seen my kids all day or spent any time with them because I hadn't! We were all grateful to get back to our normal routine where we are together all day long.

KATHY S 07/22/2012 08:05:12

I am a "disabled" single Mom. Some would think it a "curse" that they were disabled, Although I don't like my disability itself, I thank God for my disability, as it allows me to spend every minute with my son. And it's not always easy. When he was little we had 4 therapists coming to our house 7 times a week. Frequent Trips to "Shriners Hospital" and Easter Seals", and countless trips to the Pediatrician. I rarely slept. When he became preschool age, I was told to put my son in Public "Special needs " pre school. It just about killed me. I sat in the car in the school parking lot 2 hours every day. And my fears were justiufied as there was complete lack of supervision, and cleanliness there. My son was injured by the fault of the school many times. Then kintergarten came.I Hated even the thought, and it was for a reason, my son was "choked" by another child while 120 children were outside at recess together, as you can imagine we never found the child who did it. Each grade worse things happened, I hated my time away from him and couldn't wait for him to walk out of that school and get into my car. I've told my son's "horror stories" from mostly Public and Catholic school, so I won't repeat. Started home schooling 7th grade last year, best thing ever. I have friends both working ouside of the home, in the home, and stay at home Moms that work at the job of being stay at home Mom's. Let's give some credit, it is quite the job to do housework, take care of and homeschool your children 24/7. Even though it is enjoyable, it is still a job. I have testimonies from my friend who works out of the home leaving at 7 a.m. and coming home at 7 p.m. .She has expressed when she has time off that she could never do this on a regular basis, she longed for the "Peace and quiet" at her Office. Now, I do admire that she can do this, that is a long day and then she does come home, do laundry and spend a little time with her children. Her husband fixes dinner each night and does the homework with the children, so they have it worked out so to speak. My other friend worked outside of the home until her son got "burned" by a babysitter with his cigerette at about 3 years old. Then she pursued finding whatever job she could do "in" her home and still bring in a paycheck. Her children are College and highschool age now, and she has a great job doing a type of computor work out of her home. I love both of my friends, and here is my "take" on it, neither of them really had to work. Both having husbands that had jobs, they wanted "better" things, bigger and better homes, cars, vacations, ect. Now, neither can quit their jobs because they have huge homes with huge mortgages, new cars to pay for ECT. It is good to strive for better in our lives, but what really is better? That is the question to ask God. If you have to and are able to work and it truley is a necessity? If so, then you do what you have to do, and do not feel bad at all. But if it's just for the "luxeries" in life, think about the luxery your children would experience by you being there with them all the time. That is the greatest luxery you can give them. I can tell you,( and not about working,) that our Public school systems are so messed up, it's an atrocity (at least where I live). I highley reccomend Homeschooling, for saftey, for peace of mind, for a better education, for the fact that "God" can be in your childs day of school. I didn't think I could do it, but with God's help I can, and am so thankful that my son is home learning safely with me, than in an envirornment of bad language, bullying, and other "UnGodly things". Be Blessed everyone!

ELIZABETH C 07/22/2012 16:51:49

Here is a perspective from a mommy who "chose" to be home. We felt God telling us as a couple from the time we conceived our first daughter, that our hearts were being prepared to be selfless and be content. He wanted me to be content and grateful for the opportunity to homeschool, and by the grace of God, He has opened my heart so completely and fully, that embracing this gift He is giving is as natural as breathing for our family. We chose that I, as a mother, would say goodbye to a "career' that was very successful (by the world's standards). I am humbled daily, that through His grace and mercy, I could not survive saying good bye each morning the these precious children He has given me the responsibility to raise, TEACH, and love. Amen to my Father God who has shown our family His biblical mandate for teaching our children. The "choice" is one we must all face...it really isn't a "choice" at all, but an obedience to our Father's mandate and command. Our prayers should be with other Christian mother's who work. "Have" to or not, I know what God expects of our family.

LINDA F 07/23/2012 07:13:51

Frankly, I am offended and hurt. Not all moms have the luxury to be home. It is not always a "choice." And it is hard enough to work without being condemned. Please consider yourself very blessed to be home. We are also blessed to be able to keep a roof over our children's heads and food on their plates by having a job. God is great!

ALYSSA W 07/23/2012 10:45:04

I am not quite sure how this got turned into a debate about whether staying at home or working outside the home is right? Some people choose to work, others must work in order to survive. Others, myself included, make ends meet, just barely, and stay home. This whole article is about making sure you are available for your children, whether you work outside the home or not. We can all get wrapped up in ourselves and OUR own duties and not focus on God and what he wants from us. Just remember we are here to glorify Him, wherever we are and whatever we are doing :)

KATHLEEN G 07/24/2012 07:11:34

It is all a challenge! Whether you stay (work) at home full time, work outside the home (part or full time), or stay at home and work (part or full time). Not to mention the additional job of homeschooling! Parents work 24/7!!! I worked outside the home as a certified teacher up until my daughter was 6 and I was pregnant with my son. I don\'t think any parent should judge any other parent, because it is all hard. Yes, I feel blessed. Yes, I thank God daily for my blessings. But we, as parents, must lift one another up, not tear each other down based on own fears and insecurities. This parenting thing is amazing, beautiful, truly a gift....but hard. We need each other\'s support and compassion. Always.

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