Then, after a while, the mommy guilt began to set in. "It's not good for her to sit in front of the TV for so long" I heard in my head. "I really should be doing something WITH them." "This is an excellent opportunity for that elusive quality time and you are not taking advantage of it!"
I let the words resonate for a few minutes and thought about what kind of quality time I could create. It was a dreary, rainy afternoon, so anything outside was out of the question. We could have watched movie together, but that was just more screen time. We could have baked something together, but that would have led to arguing, I'm sure, and sweets that none of us need to eat.
Then, I had a mother thought. It occurred to me that, at that moment, everyone was perfectly happy! No one was whining or complaining about homework or chores. No one seemed disappointed by this supposed lack of quality time. In fact, the only sounds I could hear beyond the "voices" in my head were calm and quiet interlaced with giggles and a little TV noise. It truly was blissful.
Why would I ever even consider disturbing that peace???
Was it because, while trolling Facebook, I saw pictures of friends on beaches or at Disney for Spring break and I felt guilty that our plans did not include any travel?? Was it because, while perusing Pinterest, my lack of craftiness was excessively apparent and I felt inadequate? Or, was it just because, as mothers, we always want to give our children the best we possibly can and we put way too much pressure on ourselves to be at the top of our game all the time?
The truth is, we were coming off a couple of super busy, hectic, and stressful weeks - ALL OF US. My children needed some time to chill out and decompress just as much as I did. They needed some time to "veg out" and relax; to not think about school or activities or what else needed to be done. They needed some time to just be and so did I.
So you know what? I let it ride. I let them play and watch TV and do absolutely nothing. I continued reading blogs (which is relaxing for me) and chatting on Twitter. Amidst the calm of that afternoon I realized . . . . .
We put a lot of pressure on ourselves these days to be the best at everything whether it's an occupation or parenting. We fall victim to comparison and feel like we are not good enough or that we should be doing better; doing more. The truth is, we are already doing ENOUGH - very often, much more than enough. We don't have to push so hard all the time to make every second purposeful and productive. Sometimes, it's o.k. to just unwind and not do much of anything at all.
It doesn't have to be quality time all the time.
Or, maybe it's just a different kind of quality . . . . . . . .