Articles and Books
Quantity Breeds Quality
by Corrine Bucher
As our car gained speed, I was losing patience. We were only about 48 hours into a family road trip from Half Moon Bay to Big Sur to Disneyland to Legoland and I was already questioning the idea of our family of four spending the week together without a break. Camping in Big Sur and five hours in the car had certainly offered us more closeness than we had had in a while, and we were getting on each others’ nerves. Then I took a deep breath and opened the Orange County parenting magazine I had grabbed at the last stop. My eyes fell upon the editor’s essay. It was about how we strive for Quality over Quantity, whether it is choosing organic vegetables or clothing or time. The editor boldly wrote she no longer believed quality time with your kids can be scheduled. How could she say that? What about all the working mothers I have coached who are committed to both motherhood and career, and in an effort to "have it all" bank on the concept of scheduling "quality" time? I read on, then I reflected on the last 48 hours. And I felt my perspective shifting.
The editor’s point: You can’t schedule the most precious moments, they just happen. In fact, merely labeling a date with your kids or anyone else as "quality" time creates pressure that undermines the chance of that date truly being special. Spending uninterrupted time with my children, I began to understand what she was saying. The gift of being present all day long with no computer, no work, no commitments, allowed me to see intricacies in my daughter’s personality that I hadn’t noticed before. Could I have scheduled that discovery? Not a chance.
Just for the record, I do realize what a luxury it is to be able to take a vacation for five days, not to mention that the #1 challenge moms face is feeling like they don’t have enough time. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t ever schedule time with your children; that’s healthy and good. Just don’t try to label it or expect it to go a certain way. The quality moments I’ve found, can’t be planned. They come when you least expect them. But if you take time to be with your kids because you want nothing more than to be with your kids, those moments surely will come.
Corrine Bucher is a veteran coach and mother devoted to transforming the lives of both working and stay-at-home mothers. Her Workshops for Working Mothers, originally developed for a Fortune 500 Company, challenge and inspire women to define their work/life balance vision so they may begin to feel a sense of control again. Learn more and sign up for her online newsletter, Embracing Motherhood, at http://corrinebucher.com.
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