Before I became a mother, I had these grandiose ideas of what quality family time meant. And when put into practice when I became a mother they were anything but grand. In fact, some of my ideas were just down right ridiculous and certainly not a whole bunch of fun.
Going out with a baby, or with two small children in tow is not fun. Someone always needs to use the toilet as soon as you’ve pulled out the driveway and that’s after you’ve spent an hour packing a bag of suitable snacks and a change of underpants! Let’s also not forget the crying over how tired someone is 5 minutes after arriving at your destination and spending an afternoon carrying a 15kg toddler on your shoulders, while a great work out, is just horrid.
But my children have taught me a lot about what quality time means to them.
And surprisingly, it’s not the elaborate and expensive outings that count. It’s the simplest things.
This startling realization came to me recently when one of our Friday night traditions was broken.
You see, we love to braai. And every Friday is braai night in our house. We sit out on our patio, in summer the girls swim, Walter and I enjoy a couple of beers or wine and we always listen to music. A couple of months ago, Walter came home after a particularly tough day at the office and he was in a foul mood, he didn’t want to braai and no amount of begging from the girls could change his mind. Ava fetched our wireless speaker and tried to entice him with some music and dancing and he just couldn’t get into it. She was SO disappointed!
My children love to dance!
And they love us to dance with them too!
Our best quality family time is spent around a braai with music and dancing.
I chatted to them about what were some of their favorite things to do with us, as a family and their requests were so ridiculously simple.
- Getting to go with when I take Layla for a walk.
- Riding around the corner to the small holding and feeding the rabbits.
- Visiting our local park.
- Getting to ride around the block on our bikes or running around the block on a run.
- Dancing and braaing.
- Watching the rugby together and yelling at the TV.
- Swimming together.
These are the moments they listed as their most cherished.
And they’re so easy to give and to do. It made me realize that the things my children enjoy the most are just spending time together, laughing together, being silly together, playing together. Of course they love an elaborate outing to, but they’d choose the above activities every day if they could.
What do you do as quality family time together?