Chandra Rees is a freelance children’s author and mother of five.
Most parents will probably attest that one of the ongoing challenges of parenting is spending quality time with your children. What makes it especially tricky is that what defines quality time can be different with each parent and each child.
My eldest daughter loves to have a plan when it comes to spending time together. Her idea of quality “mommy time” requires advance knowledge of exactly what activities we will be doing and my active participation from start to finish.
My husband and I were traveling home after a long weekend away with our family. Our daughters were peacefully sleeping in the back seat, and I found myself reminiscing over the past years that we’d shared as husband and wife—years that almost seemed a blur, due to the busyness that comes with juggling a family with the many demands of life and work. I’m grateful that despite the many challenges we’ve faced, our marriage has remained strong and the two of us well connected.
I don’t know what planet I was on when I thought that when I became a parent all the skills I’d need would simply “come to me.” It wasn’t long before I realized that parenting, while it has brought countless incomparable joys into my life, is hard work. Every day seems to bring new challenges, but I know for a fact that being a parent has made me a better and happier person.
By nature I’m a brooder. Any topic or event will do, real or imagined. What’s astounding is that until recently I hadn’t noticed the way my brooding was impacting my interactions with others, and specifically my husband. I think all women attempt to read a person’s looks, gestures, and other unspoken communication, but I have a tendency to fixate on those musings until they’ve developed a life of their own. Sometimes my conclusions might be correct, but often I’m either off the mark or can’t fathom the full picture, and I’ve wasted a lot of mental energy and emotion without good cause.