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I have plenty of friends and acquaintances that spend nearly every waking and sleeping minute with their children. But, my wife and I don’t. (Cue the judgement. Lol.) What we do is make sure to spend as much quality time as we possibly can. Whether that’s swimming, reading, going to the park, the children’s museum, zoo, going for a walk, or watching a game, our focus is on quality. My parents spent plenty of time with me when I was young, but much of that wasn’t memorable or truly valuable time.
What sticks with me are the important moments and the memories of traveling, camping, etc and so those moments are my focus. I am certainly not giving parenting advice because each person is their own and each child is their own. For me the following three areas help to ensure that I am achieving the family balance that I am looking for.
Make Memories: When you look back at the past, what is it that you think of? For me it is those moments where memories were created, and it helps even more if there were pictures and evidence. Our family focuses on great moments that we can cherish forever, and we do our best to document them via pictures and videos. We have created and email addresses for our kids that our family and friends send pictures, videos, and other things to. When they turn 18 we will give them the password and let them see their childhood in one place. If you want to copy it feel free, I copied it from someone else.
Make it Count: Even if I only get to spend an hour or two with my son on a specific day I make sure to make it meaningful and make it count. My son loves to read and do sticker books, and color, so we spend time doing that which allows us both to learn. I might take him for a walk or quick bike ride. I might even take him with me to the store, but the idea is to spend time bonding rather than just being in the same place together. This works for us, but its not for everyone.
Let there be Light: For me light is the love of my family and my belief in God. I am not a church goer, but I am thankful, and I say my prayers. That connection, though maybe not as strong as others is meaningful for me and helps to guide me. However, you don’t have to be a believe to find your own light. Some people find that same solace and comfort in meditation, helping other people and a variety of other things. The idea is that you must have a faith or belief in something beyond yourself and your current situation. That belief and faith allows us to achieve things that would otherwise not have been possible.