How much quality time should I spend with my kids each day?
I remember asking this question to a more experienced mom. Being a high school math teacher, she immediately gave me a mathematical formula.
She explained, “Take the child’s age and divide it by the number of children that you have. Add to that the number of hours that you work outside the home divided by the total number of loads of laundry and dishes that you do per week. Take the total times pi (3.1415) and then multiple that by the percentage of perfection, 7%.”
No she didn’t.
Sweet momma, if one could put an equation to this question, they would write a book and make millions. There is no way to calculate the perfect number as each child is unique and every day is different.
But isn’t that exactly what we want? We seek a formula that will give us “good kids” and rid us of guilt.
Instead of looking for a number, we need to focus on finding balance. I like to call it “Keeping It Between the Ditches.”
In the same way, if you don’t take the time to spend quality time with your child, you’ve gone too far to the left and hit the opposite ditch. This could be because you are using media as a babysitter or you force your child to entertain yourself because you have more important things to do.
I find it interesting that society’s pendulum swings on both sides of the road. You are either pressured to give you kids all your attention or take care of yourself. No wonder mommas are so confused! How can you do both?
Remember the math-teaching friend from the beginning of this post? Instead of a formula, she reminded me of a helper. She said, “The Holy Spirit will guide you. You just have to be tuned in to know what is most important at that moment.”
I like to think of the Holy Spirit as my guard rails. Whenever I veer off to the side, the Holy Spirit will guide me back on the path. But if I over correct, He is on the other side to nudge me back to center.
Praise God we don’t have to travel the parenting road alone. All we have to do is learn to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice. And, this happens as we spend time in the Word and prayer.
Discover how to have a daily Quiet Time in my ebook A Quiet Time, Worth the Time, available for free to all blog subscribers. Subscribe here.