I was reading the book of The Power of Having Fun by Dave Crenshaw when I had to ponder deeply this particular question of the book – Why is it important for me to spend time with my family? As a parent, we already know the significance of spending time with them. For the sake of being clear, a family is such a broad scope, I am limiting it to immediate members – your partner and children. Parents, grandparents, relatives and even close friends will be on another blog post in the future.
Furthermore, I had to sit down and write my 10 reasons WHY before I read the particular reasons of the author. Do you have your own? Here is my list.
- I love my family.
You make time for the people who you love and consider important. If work is your priority, I believe you are missing out. Having a family to cherish is such a blessing. It is easy to take them for granted due to the responsibilities you need to carry out. Family comes first.
- We live on borrowed time.
The exact time when our time is up is unknown. We cannot get back the lost time. Sometimes when we say I will catch up next week, an issue will come up. That urgent need will be an attention grabber. Worse, we get suddenly ill. The here and now is all we have.
- It will not be a regret.
People have so many common regrets. One of them is not spending enough time with family. I want to see myself in my old age having the overflowing recollections of love in my heart for spending quality time with my family. My mind will be regret-free because my decision is family first.
- The children will not be kids forever.
They will grow up and have their own set of schedules. Enjoy their company NOW. One good evidence on how time flies so fast is the Facebook memory notification we get now and then. Your precious baby was so cute and now he/she is a teenager, a young adult or moving out of the house to be independent. Years have gone by and not for long the golden age of 50 is just around the corner or the senior citizen age of 60. Really.
- It is an act of creating a wonderful memory to be cherished.
Seeing myself in the future old and wrinkly, it will put a smile on my face reminiscing the good old days when the kids were still dependent on mum and dad and their whole world revolves around you. Family activities were done together. Remembering the laughter you shared will make your heart sing for joy.
Of course, there will always be problematic moments in the family but why focus on that? No family is perfect anyway. Recall the funny ones, epic events, little things like Mother’s Day cards with stick figures of you… anything that will make you feel the love.
Photo by Jessica Castro
- It is one way of being a good parent.
I understand that there are parents working overseas, far away from home. You have a noble reason for doing that because raising a family involves financial struggles. The parent employed abroad is making a huge sacrifice. Homesickness, feelings of isolation and missing out on major occasions like birthdays and anniversaries are difficulties requiring courage, faith and resilience.
However, if you live with your children or just residing locally, TOO BUSY not to be with your family is not a good excuse. There are times we miss out on school events due to unavoidable circumstances. Who hasn’t? In spite of that, it shouldn’t become a lifestyle.
Love is a need.
Children need love. Showering them with gifts is not enough. The presence of the parent matters a lot especially to the emotional development of the child. As an adult, we do need love too.
Being a mother and a wife, when tears start to fall on your cheeks, it means you reached your limits. You had enough. When melancholy starts to creep in your mind and heart, love of family is essential.
- It strengthens the relationship.
The relationship between husband and wife becomes stronger when there is an investment of time put into it. In the end, it is just you and your partner/spouse who will just be left at home when the kids leave the house permanently. All these years of keeping the love alive will pay off. You will not hate each other’s guts in your retirement years. *giggling*
On the other hand, based on my experience, when there is a misunderstanding in the family, we sit down and talk. I should have finished the laundry, the ironing or even the cooking but chose to listen to their views. Still, time spent discussing the issue is so worth it. It is quite enlightening really on what is going on in their minds and their perception about the disagreement. There is an increased awareness about my family and even myself.
I imagined myself not spending time with them. I wouldn’t even know what they are thinking….ever.
- Your whole life does not only revolve around work.
At the end of the day, it is such a welcoming sight at home when your children hug and kiss you after a long day of work. Your partner may tell stories what happened during the day and alternatively, you share your experiences. Family matters a lot. It is a group you belong to when you feel the world is against you. Family makes you appreciate life more.
Spending time with family is a learning opportunity on how to be a better person.
The family can get really on your nerves and push the buttons that will make you explode in seconds. However, spending time with them gives you the chance to teach the children life skills and values (like respect) and improves your way of handling family matters.
Being a parent/spouse challenges you to think of ways on how to cope or solve life’s trials. There is a trial-and-error method. If it works, nice. If not, then charge it to experience. Situations will get better because you know your family more than anyone else. Self-help books may give you an idea but spending time with family will enlighten you on the customized solutions for life’s daily issues.
How can you be a better parent if you do not spend time with your family? How can you be a better partner if you no longer prioritize time for each other?
I noticed a tattoo on Leisa’s arm one time. She is a colleague of mine. She showed me when I asked her about it. The words are:
You are loved.
You are kind.
You are wanted.
She revealed that as a mother, she makes time to say these words to her children before bedtime. Moreover, her child replies back with these:
I am loved.
I am kind.
I am wanted.
The positive words she expresses each night and her way of showing her love moved me. Goosebumps were on my arms after her explanation.
Spending time with loved ones doesn’t have to be expensive. Just be there both mind and body. Your cheerful presence doing something together as a family is good enough.
Photo by rawpixel