My Happy Place

My Happy Place

Quantity Time Vs. Quality Time

“Mom, can I go pet that black and white cat on the other side of the fence?”


“What was that, Mom?”


<<giggle, giggle>> “I’ll take that as a ‘YES!'” and off she bounds to whisper private words of love and connection to the skittish-but-loving, too-skinny,  juvenile cat.

I’m known around town as the “Cat Lady” –and I admit it, one night I tip-toed out of the house to play with this very same black and white cat–but, really, at this point we *are* feeding our own eight cats, one foster cat and her kittens, and two of the neighbor’s cats, so I’m not enthusiastic about my daughter making friends with yet another one. I know, though, that my daughter’s Animal Addiction Issues came from my genes.

Anya and I had this interchange after an hour or so spent together in the chicken yard and rabbit yards.  She followed my early-morning directions of “Can you get the….OH!…the thing-a-majig for me?” and “Please fill that…whatever!…with…Oh, you know!”. I’m so glad she is fluent in pre-coffee, groggy mommy-talk. I count on her intuition about the animals and ask her opinion before I make any changes with their living arrangements or food. We spend hours together discussing each animal: choosing names, admiring baby bunnies, and analyzing chicken personalities.

I remember similar yet so-different times with my own mother in the dressing rooms of department stores. I was pre-teen, maybe eleven or so–with long stringy hair, huge 1980’s glasses, and the cutest little figure *ever*–and I would twirl around in fuchsia dresses with swinging skirts or stand primly in red corduroy jumpers with starched white collared shirts. Mom would be completely attentive, commenting on each one–“that one is LOVELY!”–and (Oh, bliss!) hanging them up after I dropped them in a pile.

Two days before giving birth to my first child 12 1/2 years ago, I resigned from teaching middle school students speech, theater and journalism. It was a hard decision because I truly loved my career and I was good at it…and I wasn’t completely sure I was making the right choice. My Mom did the same thing for me, only working full-time when she was my teacher at the academy where I went to school.

I have friends who have made the opposite choice for a million different reasons and I totally understand them. I watch, though, as they struggle to mash “Quality Time” in to the weekends or after 5 p.m. I am thankful that I don’t have to do that…that my children and I are able to enjoy Quality Time at our leisure within Quantity Time.

Now I must leave you long enough to take yet *more* photos of baby bunnies because Anya has interrupted my writing (does this blog even make sense?) about seven to ten times with descriptions of each cute bunny pose. And–let’s face it–these are the moments I live for.


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Wayne A Palmrose

posted May 9, 2011 at 6:41 am

Cats bring a lot into our lives, yes, dog too! I live on a hill, at the end of a road and all strays come up that road. Oh, yes, we take them in, care for them and they spend there days full, happy, playful and for the most part never even think about taking a trip anywhere again.
Aren’t we better for doing this–than to look the other way?

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    posted May 9, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I think it’s a wonderful thing to do! It really doesn’t take much to totally change an animal’s life.

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posted May 2, 2011 at 9:00 am

I love my stay at home mom title. Great post as always.

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    posted May 2, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Thank you, Tanna! I still remember when you were a teen complaining about babysitting the siblings! lol. Something happened between then and now, huh?! You are a wonderful mother and teaching them all sorts of fascinating things at your little farm.

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your northern friend

posted April 30, 2011 at 1:39 am

As a working mom, sure it is hard to fit in quality time…if you get so wrapped up in “you time” once you get home. I teach high school history (oh the horror stories I could tell you). I have a 5 year old boy and a 1 year old boy that has heart problems. I could choose to get overwhelmed (did I mention a farm, a very successful hubby and elderly parents to help take care of ;)) and come home to zen out. But, once I get home, that is my boys time (including the 40 year old one). So what if my house is not perfectly cleaned. Do I want my boys to remember my time with them or with Mr. Clean? I have time to clean and get in my time after the boys go to bed. People have often told me they grow up so quickly. And I’m discovering it to be so true. So I think, in all my rambling what I’m trying to say is that its a matter of priority for all women as to when to get that quality time.

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    posted April 30, 2011 at 8:15 am

    It’s all so true! I agree…those children are going to remember a Mama who spent time with them…not about what the house looked like! It is all about priority. I’m happy to have such a flexible schedule so I can do the things I like *and* have plenty of time to do whatever with the kids….but next year I’ll be teaching part time at a private school in time (!) so I may have to give up some of my Facebook time! ha.

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posted April 29, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Great blog Kirsten! I dont know that the working mom vs SAHM is that huge of a factor in the “quality time”. I am a SAHM & find myself having to be super aware of sending them away while I do MY thing. I get caught up in reading a friends blog ;-) or busy with tackling the ever multiplying laundry. And sometimes their little voices babbling circles around me puts me on edge until, for fear of falling off, I say “Go play! Please sweetie” in my softest voice I can muster. Breathing deeply. Then I realize O man have I spent any quality time with my lil guy today? I mean we’ve been together all day but have I given 100% of my attention to him at all? My point is that quality time is a conscious effort. We all have to choose it wether working or SAHMing. lol
Kirsten’s friends dont judge me too harshly in my honesty . I know Kirsten isnt. ;-) She loves me for me! LOL right Kirsten?

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    posted April 29, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    You are so right…I *don’t* judge you. I think you’re wonderful. I’m hearing you loud and clear…there are plenty of days that my children and I share a home but not time. I still think, though, that it counts for something…to just be in the vicinity…to be available if needed (if they screamed loud enough. lol). I love your “go play” said sweetly. I was complaining to a friend about my early-rising talkative child and she said, “Oh! I have one of those! I say, ‘Honey, Mama’s ears aren’t awake yet'” I laughed and said, “Wow! That IS nicer than ‘shut up and go away'” teehee. Just joking, of course…..

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