Thursday, April 23, 2015

How to Choose Love By Spending Time Together

Love is spelled Time Dieter F. Uchtdorf Heaven is Smiling Above
Dieter F. Uchtdorf

How to Choose Love By Spending Time Together



"Mommy, I want you."


If I had a dollar for every time my three-year-old said that to me, I would be seriously wealthy. Oftentimes she says it when I am 3 feet away from her. My normal response would be to tell her, "I'm right here." That is, until my husband pointed out to me I might get more mileage out of giving her a hug. (See my post here about choosing love through touch.) Being the wise man he is, a hug is usually just what she needs when she tells me she wants me. 


She wants me to look her in the eyes.

She wants to know that for at least a few seconds, I can put down whatever I'm doing and talk to her one-on-one.

She wants to be the most important person in my life for just a moment.

She wants me.

What does this have to do with time? Well, quality is way better than quantity when it comes to loving. I can be with my girls all day long, but they won't feel my love for them if I'm not engaged with them in some meaningful way. 

Somewhere I once read that if we stop and engage in uninterrupted interaction for 15 minutes when our children are with us, it is much easier to get on with other daily tasks that need to be done by ourselves. In other words, quality time saves us emotional time - time arguing, time putting people off, time getting frustrated, time with tears.

In fact, often just 30 seconds will do it. It takes 30 seconds for me to grab my baby and chase my 3-year-old up the stairs, catch her, and repeat the process 2 or 3 more times. It also takes 30 seconds to read a board book to my 1-year-old. She turns pages fast! But in that 30 seconds, I've used touch, words, humor (when I catch her I tickle her), and undivided attention to have fun with both my girls.

Cleaning house, reading, writing, sports, and a million other things take our time as parents and spouses.

None of them are as important as building up the relationships that matter most.

I love the story Rachel, from Hands Free Mama, shares. She was on a deadline for publishing her book. It was due soon. She was working tirelessly on it. But her daughter wanted her to come say goodnight. She did. 

"Without hesitation."

Her little girl knew where she stood in Rachel's life. Read the story. It's amazing and what led me to start this series in the first place. Thanks, Rachel!

I have to admit, I love my nightly time alone. With six children, four of them practicing musical instruments, the house is busy and loud - especially after school. I love the quiet hours after 8 or 9:00.

I'm good about my nightly rituals with my 3-year-old and one-year-old. We read, sing, and pray. I try to touch them in the same special way - a hug for 3, a caress across the head for 1. But I've largely given up any individualized time with my 13-year-old, 11-year-old, 9-year-old, and 7-year-old. It's not that I don't think they are worth the time. We've mainly gotten out of the habit and they are old enough to go to bed on their own. 

But the other night I read this inspirational post by Melissa Ringstaff of A Virtuous Woman. She still tucks her teenagers in bed. She says it takes about an hour every night. They are best friends. Do yourself a motivational favor and read her words. As Melissa says,
"I’d rather have special moments with my kids while they are still home than I would some time alone."
These women know what's going on! They have a grasp on the importance of TIME.

What your children really want for dinner is you. - Dallin H. Oaks


LDS.org

family relationships family dinner Heaven is Smiling Above
LDS.org


We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they ... strengthen our families. - Dallin H. Oaks

Besides family dinner, which studies have shown to be vitally important, what other ways can we spend quality time with our children and spouses?

Take a look at the original 100 Simple Ways to Choose Love post for a refresher. Here are the ways TIME is listed:

10. Teach someone a skill. I'm finding out that if I want my children to know how to fold the clothes or wash the pans, I have to be right there with them, showing them how at least once. Instructions don't travel well from another room. Be hands-on! Someday their roommates will thank me!
26. Play outside with your children. Put down your phone and leave it in the house. If you don't smell like dirt when you are done playing, it doesn't count. ;)
46. Play a game with your children. Have it all set up and ready to go before you ask. My 9-year-old loves board games. She is in seventh heaven when someone will sit down with her and play - especially if it's me. I've also noticed my other children are much more likely to sit down and play with her if I lead the way. Here's our latest Sunday afternoon game. The toddlers had a good time playing with all the extra chips and cards!

Choose Love Through Time Heaven is Smiling Above

47. Take lots of pictures. Obviously, if you are documenting a moment, chances are you are present in the moment.
48. Make someone a home movie star. When my brothers were younger they made the wildest home videos. I don't know of many children who don't like to be the center of attention - at least in their own home.
91. Be awake and available when your teenager comes home. My mom was always waiting up for me either after a date or after work. Not only is it a great deterrent from more deviant behavior, but it also shows how interested you are in your child's safety, activities, and friends.

For another awesome way to jump the gun on moody, non-communicative teenagers, read this post by Chelsea Dyreng: Talking to a Child Who Does Not Want to Talk to You.

Want to listen to a great song?



What are some ways you take time to be with your family? Inspire us all!

For more in the Choose Love series, please see the following: 

1. The goal that started it all:
Choose Love
2. 100 Simple Ways to Choose Love:



5. Choose Love Through Humor:



I linked here: Meetup Monday Darling Downs DiariesArt of Homemaking Soul Survival Motivational Monday urbannaturale Titus 2 Tuesdays  The Scoop loulougirls Totally Terrific tuesday  Blog Fair Link Up Motivate and Rejuvinate One Project at a Time Tuesday Talk Too Cute Tuesday Making Memories Monday Wonderful WednesdayWake Up WednesdayWorthwhile WednesdayMoonlight and Mason JarsWhimsy WednesdayHit Me With Your Best ShotCreate and Share It's the Little Things Raising Homemakers Wise Woman Domesblissity A Little R&R Ladies Collective Creative Spark Work It Wednesday Cook it Craft it Share it Inspiration (2) Showcase Your Talent Thursday Favorite Things SHINE My 2 Favorite Things I Choose Joy Seasons of a HomemakerSaturday Family Free-for-All, Mom2MomMonday FundayInspire Me Monday Busy Monday Mix it Up Monday Making MondayTwo Cup TuesdayTeach Me Tuesday, Create Link Inspire winthrop chronicles Do Tell Tuesday Tips and Tricks Dream Create Inspire Bloggers Who Inspire Me Twinkly Tuesday From Dream to Reality Great Idea Thursday SHINE Sincerely Paula Grace and TruthFaith Filled Friday Fellowship Friday Christian Mommy Blogger Faith and Fellowship SusanBMead Link Party Palooza

I was featured!
The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide

51 comments:

  1. Excellent reminder! And often my 3 yr. old will beg, "Hold me, Momma!" All she really wants is some time from me. As a task oriented person, I constantly need to remind myself that spending time with my kids is so much more important than any other task that I feel like needs to be done NOW. I definitely don't do it perfectly, but I keep learning and trying to grow.

    Ps. Thank you SO much for taking the time to let me know about the Google+ issue! I fixed it and *think* it is working right now. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad I tried your button! Thanks for coming over and commenting. It's nice to meet another mother of young children just trying to do her best!

      Delete
  2. I absolutely love the quote that says that quality time saves us time spent on less desirable outcomes such as tears and frustrations and tantrums. Very insightful post! Thanks for sharing!
    The Good Enuf Mommy @goodenufmommy #MeetUpMonday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you stopped by. Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  3. What a great challenge/reminder. It is so important to show attention and love to our children.. no matter what their age. I find that my kids need and want my attention just as much as they get older ... as they did in the toddler years. The difference is that they don't demand that time... and it can be too easy to put them off... but the times w/ them are precious...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Joy! I need that reminder as my girls are getting older. It is easy to put them off. They have so many other ways of entertaining themselves now. But, yes, they still need me more than ever.

      Delete
  4. Time is the most palpable, obvious selfless gift you can give someone. It's something money can't buy and can never be given back. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, Lux! Thank you for commenting.

      Delete
  5. I really enjoyed reading this post. You are so right about kids feeling the love while you're around them. What a wonderful reminder of what's important.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great post!! This was a wonderful reminder for me. I cherish the time with my little girls...but I also enjoy alone time. I think I really need to reflect on this!

    I'm also looking forward to the posts that you linked to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Emily! There's nothing wrong with alone time when the kids are down for rests or bed, in my opinion. Moms need their sanity too! I'm so glad you liked the post well enough to keep reading others.

      Delete
  7. Great reminder that it doesn't take much to show they you love them. It's so easy to get caught up in the things we feel we 'have' to do. Thanks for sharing with the BlogFair @mummydoit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! No, it's the simple things that make the biggest difference.

      Delete
  8. Found you on the link-up... Love this reminder and all the quotes from President Uchtdorf!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tara! Isn't Pres. Uchtdorf great?

      Delete
  9. This is such a good reminder. Time is the most important thing we can give people we love. You are smart to have realized this while your children are still young.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Michele. I'm not perfect, but we're trying.

      Delete
  10. 30 seconds is just the right amount of time to keep a bond, tickle them while you can, enjoy those moments, there the ones they will remember!!
    Thanks for sharing your reminders on Oh My Heartsie Girl, hope you enjoy your week!
    Karren

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a great post, and a great reminder that our children are more important than our daily routine. Oh so often we get caught up in other things. Thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a beautiful post! I am pinning this onto my 'Great Reads' board. Thank you so much for sharing :)
    (via Mummy Do It Link Up)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you stopped by and pinned! I really appreciate it.

      Delete
  13. This is one of the most important messages one can share! The power of TIME shared cannot be duplicated. It is truly the most impactful way to show love. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post with us at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I'm pinning and sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome. Thank you for sharing and adding your wonderful comments!

      Delete
  14. I am not much for the debate between quality and quantity-children NEED lots of quality time even though the small moments of quality are where we build those relationships. I do agree completely that our time at home with our children while they are young is excedingly valuable-for the time we are one-on-one with them and the time they get to observe us working to care for house and home. There is quality in all of it. Great thoughts, as always,and thank you for linking up at Wonderful Wednesday! I love reading your posts. I will be featuring you this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Jaimi! Thank you so much. Your comment adds a lot to the post. I appreciate the time you took to read it and your nice compliment.

      Delete
  15. I love this...so true!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday - Link Party!! Hope to see you again tomorrow!! Love having you!! Pinned!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Visiting from the Shine blog hop! I love to play with my kids outside. I know how fleeting it will be before they don't want to. :) Also, my tween enjoys talking. About everything. What a privilege it is to listen to him, when I thought that by this age he wouldn't want to talk to me anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How blessed you are to have a child who loves to talk to you! I hope mine will as they get older. Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  17. Sharing quality time with family it's important! Thanks for sharing and encouraging. Beautiful pictures! I'm visiting you from #FellowshipFridays

    W/Love,
    Tayrina from TGAWrites

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tayrina. I'm glad you agree. :)

      Delete
  18. Oh what a sweet post. You are so right that it about quality time. I work full time and have to make the most of all time I get to spend with my son. When it’s time to go to bed is my most special one at the moment – he is really into hide and seek (though he’s not very good at it yet!) and one of us have to hide upstairs and then he comes to find us! It’s so cute! Thanks for giving us this reminder about precious time, and thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bedtime has the potential to be such a sweet time. Thanks for sharing your experience with me! I'm glad I found your party.

      Delete
  19. What a wonderful post! Spending time with our children is so important and there are so many things we can do to connect with them.

    Thanks for sharing this encouraging reminder (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop)!

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jennifer. I love your party!

      Delete
  20. I love the quotes you included. Thanks for the reminder to consider what really matters! Quiet time is important, but not at the expense of a great relationship with our kids. We can figure out a balance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There definitely is a balancing act that needs to be done. I love my quiet time as much as anyone. We just have to watch out for any immediate emotional needs at the time. :) Your comment adds to the discussion. Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  21. I love every single word of this post. I love the quote that says I would rather spend time with my kids than spend time alone. Amen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sherry! Sometimes that's a hard thing for me to want - especially at the end of a long day. But I know taking that extra time with them is something I'll never regret!

      Delete
  22. Hi Kathryn, as usual, you remind us of what is really important in our relationships. Time is the most valuable commodity, but one that can be easily given when our priorities are straight.
    Wishing you a lovely weekend.

    Hugs, Lynn

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is something all parents should read and practice. Our kids remain young for such a short time and building relationships with them is so important.

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a wonderful post and you are so spot on with what you have written. I am so proud of you and how you are spreading the word of how to strengthen families with your advice and wisdom of others. Keep it up!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Kathryn,
    What a beautiful post! Those moments with our children are so precious! I am like you and find myself with less and less one-on-one time with the older two because they are fully capable. My oldest, almost 14, and I have a tradition, though. He still likes me to head to his room to "tuck him in". It's our talk time. It's when he opens up and shares all kinds of good stuff with me :-) Although because of sports, sometimes it is 10:30 when he is finally getting to bed and I am exhausted! I have to make myself get up and go! It would be so easy to say, "not tonight!"
    Thanks for the sweet blessing this post was!
    Hugs,
    Lori

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that, Lori! I find myself with the little ones at night, too, since they are in the funky stage all my 2 year olds go through of sleeping poorly and then my four year old will still sometimes take a nap. Then she's up quite late! I hope your son lets you tuck him in until he leaves for college. What a beautiful thing! Thank you for sharing. It makes me want to sneak into my big girls' rooms tonight. :)

      Delete
  26. Everything you said is so true. When ask what we really want more of I think it will be to have more time with our loved ones.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Such a nice post dear, you are right spending time together on simple things like eating together, can really makes the difference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My family loves our dinner times together. It makes for a nice end to an often hectic day.

      Delete
  28. this is so true! I definitely feel like children just want to spend time with you! they don't really care about material things!

    ReplyDelete