Quantity Time Versus Quality Time

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Monday morning I lived a dream come true.  For months I’d been longing to have an hour or two alone at a coffee shop to do whatever I want.  I could have gotten there sooner with a husband as supportive as mine.  But whenever I made the time to get out for this coffee shop alone time I end up rooted to the spot, within the four walls of my home, due to a kind of obligation to stay within arms reach of my two daughters.

Although I have career passions and photography business obligations on top of my responsibilities as a day care provider and mother I find I always push them aside in favor of as much motherhood as possible.  People say they grow up so fast, and they’re right, and I’m so desperate to not miss a thing.  But is the amount of time, the quantity, what matters or should I be scheduling in breaks for myself so that when I am home with the girls I’m more willing and able to dig in to some quality time with them?  It seems like the latter should be the obvious answer and yet I find myself conflicted all the same.

Penny is an amazing baby and, for all I know, my last.  It physically hurts me being apart from her and missing even just one smile, one laugh, or one snuggle.  She’s already so big, I can’t handle it.  It also physically challenges her as whenever I leave I’m also taking her source of food and security with me.

Now that Maisy has recently entered another challenging phase she, honestly, is easier to want some space from, but even still I feel compelled to not miss a moment.  To soak up her presence and little self even in the moments I’m not super happy about it.  Where’s the logic in that?  And yet I’m completely torn between the quantity time and quality time concept even still.

Reality is, no matter what I decide, they are growing up, and too fast.  Despite my desperate efforts not to miss it I know I still am.  As parents, are we doomed to “miss it” no matter how many hours or how much intentional time we put in?

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