Keys clicked away as my eyes glued to the screen in front of me, my little girl playing near my feet. Before I knew it an hour had gone by, and my husband was walking in the room asking what was keeping me so busy. Without blinking, I replied with a calm, “Researching ways to spend time with our daughter.”
Looking back, I laugh at my silliness. Instead of researching ways to spend time with my daughter, I should have been spending time with my daughter. A funny story, tis true, but a lesson which needed to be learned. How often am I putting off spending time with my children, preparing future opportunities, when I should be making the most of time we have now?
Our daughter has grown quite a bit since then, and three siblings have joined the fun. This lesson remains true, no matter their age or numbers. I need to be purposeful with the time we have, choosing the put off what could be done later for the sake of the best which stands before me.
As homeschoolers, we tend to count our learning time as quality time spent together. And this could be true. A great deal of our day is spent enjoying each other, learning together, and building relationships. Other times, our learning is book work, research, and general busyness. Busyness with a purpose, granted, but not what one could term quality family time.
Once our dedicated ‘learning time’ is done, am I quick to write off my children, and return to the general busyness of life? I hope this is not so. While I might have a myriad of responsibilities waiting for me, I want my children to know they will always come first. Whether they wish a coloring partner, someone to watch them ride bikes, to bake a cake, or just share a story they finished reading, I want to choose the best use of my time. My best should start with family.
There will be time set aside for research. Moments are purposefully chosen for writing. I have outside responsibilities needing attention. And, I too, need breaks to simply breathe and refresh the soul. But, my family needs to know they come first. My family needs to know I am never too busy to meet their needs, or merely enjoy their company.
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
Chime In!: I often spend a little time each night looking for fun activities, field trips, and games we could enjoy as a family. How do you find fun family activities?