Sunday, April 29, 2007

Quality time and the E.R.

I'm going to one up Katherine's post.

You see, I've found you can have quality time, even at the E.R.

With the crazy season we've had with pneumonia and hot tea, I think it's probably a requisite that we go to the E.R. at least once this year, but twice wouldn't surprise me either.

Case in point: About 4 weeks ago, my third daughter was getting tickled by Daddy, and hit her head on the couch. This required a trip to the E.R., and a staple in her head. I didn't know the E.R. was "fun", but that's what she told me when we got home. I think I know why. A mama....all to herself, a cozy lap...all to herself, attention...all to herself. While we were giving the administrator our information, she sighed contentedly against me, snuggling with her "chicky" blanket (a favorite blanket with chicks on it), and said to me..."Mama?"...yes?..."I love you....." I could see why she was prompted to say that--the comfort of being taken care of, the quality time we were spending together. Who knew a memory could be made at the E.R.? She is fine, by the way.

Yesterday, the littlest one was having trouble breathing. After a scary time and a breathing treatment at the E.R., he is fine. (We still don't know exactly what it is...allergies? Reactive Airways? Croup?) Of course he charmed everyone there, and we had lots of time to wait. We played, sang, and read books in the uncomfortable medical room. Momments like these are rare with a larger family. I found he is fascinated by turning the light switch on...and off. This is quality time?

Quality time is one of those modern terms that has come about in our busy culture. Although I do believe it is important to spend one-on-one time with each child whenever you can find the time, I think we are sometimes pressured into believing that we are not spending enough quality time with our children. I want to make the momments matter, but what really constitutes quality time in the life of a busy mother?

I like what Nancy Campbell says, "You don't mother in hourly time-slots, but in momments. They need to know you are available."

I am trying to make the most of these momments: trying to be really present with them. (This is difficult!) I am trying to look for opportunities when I can have one-on-one time with them. These opportunities can be anywhere or anytime---something I even trips to the E.R.!


bluemountainmama said...

that is great, andrea! it IS surprising sometimes where those moments come from. of course, only having one, my son gets PLENTY of quality time.....

but, i know my younger sister struggles with that, having four like you. and i was one of four, also, nad never really got one-on-one time with either of my parents. i'm glad that you are finding these moments....and your decision to homeschool adds more of these, i'm sure....

L.L. Barkat said...

Once again, this reminds me that many of our efforts to "entertain" our children are overkill...maybe even damaging in that they create an approach to life that is fill-up-the-spaces oriented. And here, in these simple examples, we see that what our children really want and need is love and attention. As you say, they can happen anywhere, even the ER.

Beverly said...

I'm glad your little brood is doing well. Yes, those special moments with our children can happen anywhere and at anytime. They are all the more precious for that.

What a sweet feeling your daughter must have had in the ER, being cherished by her mommy.

dorothy said...

I can just picture your little girl snuggled up on your lap and loving it, even though she's in the ER, just as well as I can imagine your little man charming all the ladies! So glad he's fine!

Yes, it's important (for me) to remember to be available during those moments that truly put the quality in our days, rather than see those opportunities as interruptions. The rewards are so great - a sweet kiss, tender words, often moments only a mommy gets to see.

Sharon said...

First, I love the picture in your header, it is so peaceful.
Second, I love the message in your post. Mothering in the small moments. I wonder how many of these moments I miss because I'm too busy doing "things" for them. I need to slow down and be aware of the moments I will never have again.

Anonymous said...

Just remember the old saying:
"Housework waits, babies don't!"
Snuggle every chance you can, I still do even with my "big babies".

Love, Mom

Elise said...

Well, I didn't have time to comment on this the other day, but I just wanted to let you know that I love the reminder of the moments! Even the really difficult ones.
I'm so glad your little ones are okay! Hugs, friend!

Katherine@Raising Five said...

Yes, it can all be quality time, can't it? Glad your little ones are okay. I avoid the ER if at all possible!!