MoneyMindedMoms: Quality Time versus Quantity Time

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Quality Time versus Quantity Time
May 27 2011 03:55 PM | Sabrina O’Malone  in Raising Money Minded Kids -----
Can a parent have one without the other? Sure, you spend time with your kids doing nothing in particular. But those are often the moments that turn out to be the most valuable.

For example, because my father passed away recently I've had the opportunity to reflect, analyze and consider him as an individual. What turns out to be the things I miss and remember most?

His laugh.
His habit of reading the newspaper every day.
His voice.
The sight of his face...things I spent nearly 43 years just being around.

Things that required a significant quantity of time to get to know. Sure, I remember family vacations with fondness. But just sitting around and talking/arguing/debating are what I miss most. Having a significant quantity of time eventually led to a quality that was invaluable in getting to know my parent.

But keep in mind, life is more like a marathon than a sprint. We didn't have much “quantity time” when I was a child. Both of my parents were busy working, trying to make ends meet. It just wasn’t the season of life which lent itself towards great quantities of time together. Yet even as a child I knew they worked so hard for the benefit of our family. Our braces, our college educations, our weddings.

Years later, after a long day babysitting his grandchildren I recall my Dad smiling and saying, “This is what my life would’ve been like if I didn’t have to work when you all were kids.”

If you’re longing for more time with your family - try and keep a long term view. Make time when you’ve got it but let go of the guilt when you don’t. All too often, enough quantity of time will create it’s own quality time.

Sabrina O’Malone works full-time while raising and homeschooling her 6 children ages 13 and under. (That’s no typo - six kids + a full-time job + homeschooling!) Thanks to the Great Recession, she and her husband Daniel are rediscovering the lost art of frugality - and writing about the secrets to maintaining a great lifestyle while saving money. To keep up to date on Sabrina’s comings and goings and other hot-button topics, check out the following:


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