Saturday, April 21, 2012

All that Day to Day Stuff {knowing}

As special as parent/child dates can be,
I think there is something more essential to building a trusting & knowing connection.
All that normal day to day stuff of life.  That is important.
The stuff like eating, loading the dishwasher, pulling weeds, 
digging holes, folding laundry, being sick, 
waking up to go potty in the middle of the night, scraping knees, 
reading stories, getting hurt feelings, and so on & so forth.
That stuff, the stuff which may seem boring, meaningless, uncomfortable 
- it has great worth.
That is the knowing of real life.  
That is where people really get to know each other.

The foundation for a strong relationship is not going to appear terribly fancy.
Just being together, you will grow to know each other.  

I think there is so much value in sharing simple times together, even (& especially) 
if you are not a parent who gets to spend the majority of your time with your kids.
Scott works full-time outside of the home 
& he wishes he could spend more time with the kids.
(But we are really grateful for all the time we do have.  
Lunch home almost daily.  Only 10 minute drive to work.  Work travel together...)
He feels like he misses so much.

Maybe you have felt the same at times?
Sometimes when you aren't the parent who gets to be there all the time, 
you may believe that the time you do have should be 
super-duper special-exciting all fancied-up with bells on.
We are not pretending to know everything here.  
But, do you mind if I tell you our ideas on the matter?
It may be a big mistake to use all your time together doing big outings & super fun things.

Our kids do think dad is fun, because he is.  (But, not all the time.)
He doesn't take them to do fun things every weekend.  
We do a lot of being together at home boring kind of stuff.
And even though he is not the full-time at home parent, 
he is actively participating in all the boring day to day stuff when he is here.
That means he knows the kids well.  He is very present when he is here.
He does not feed them constant entertainment.  He does normal living with them.

We try to not make life too exciting. 
A lot about home & family is built on all that basic, boring day to day stuff.
A lot of the knowing take place in the midst of the ordinary.
We don't want to leave dad out of the real home life.


emilie said...

I love it, Erin. Great thoughts. Someone told us, kids want quantity time, not quality time. They just want lots of your time. It doesn't have to be exciting outings, it can just be playing together on the living room floor :) Real home life...good stuff.

Charlotte said...

So, so true. We have found that when we look back at a day where we had fun it was usually at home, doing something spontaneous but simple, and pretty normal. Like a pillow fight in the morning, or all cuddling to read a book or play a game. And on those days when I planned to have fun with a hike or picnic, more times than not, something didn't work out like I had planned and it wasn't as fun as I thought it would be.

Great thoughts, Erin.

Stephanie said...

I so agree with this! So much of who we are is shaped by simple moments at home.