Quality Time

So... time together as a family. It is one of the main reasons we are taking the leap. But, it is also one of the main reasons we wonder if we can handle the leap. Mark has been working like a crazy man forever, traveling in the consulting field since before we got married. All of his hard work has made it possible to even see this dream coming true. (Heaven knows, my teacher salary didn't contribute much!) But that same hard work and travel has been an Achilles' heel for us, too.

Before kids, it was nice to have my alone time while Mark traveled. I was able to grade papers and watch The Bachelor in peace - don't judge. Then, we'd have date nights on the weekends and look lovingly into each other's eyes - awww. Then came kids. I stopped teaching, and was suddenly bombarded with diapers, sleepless nights, and NO alone time. I was thrilled to be a mom, but life had dramatically changed, and I was not at all prepared for the transition. Those weeknights without Mark seemed endless, and the weekends with him didn't last long enough. It was a tough time for us. I was mad when he was gone, then I was mad when he was home, because he was leaving again!

Thankfully, God gives us counselors, and there is no price too high to pay for their help. (I think they know this, because they sure don't offer economic pricing per hour on the sofa!) Through that time, I realized that I needed support from other moms who knew the ups and downs of having a traveling husband. I started a group forum on Circle of Moms for exactly that. It was great to know I wasn't alone.

Our family's quality time looked different than others. We'd do Internet chats with Daddy, text messages, email photos of each other, anything we could do to feel connected. Then, on the weekends, we made the most of our time together. Our weekends came to be known as "Daddy Disneyland" because we would try to cram all the fun we could handle with Mark into those two precious days. Bowling, camping, hiking, skiing, zoo... it was a bit exhausting, really! But, that's what our family needed.

Cue boat.

Now, we are going to spend LOTS of time together. How do we maintain the "quality" of our time together without anyone jumping (or being thrown) overboard?!?! Mark is not quite used to the noise level that our dear children emit, and they are not used to the quiet that Daddy desires. SO, here's me, the Mom, stuck in the middle of "shhhhh" and "HE TOOK MY BUNNY!!"

What's a mom to do?? Here are a few of my ideas so far.

  1. Excursions - alone and as a family
  2. IN CASE OF EMERGENCY kit - puzzles, games, crafts, Valium...whatever might help
  3. A daily routine - to help with expectations
  4. A "fun" calendar including things like "crazy hair day" and "movie night"
  5. Date nights - this is a tough one. Not having babysitters could make it impossible, but maybe our date nights will coincide with kids' "movie nights" (wink, wink)
  6. Earplugs for Mark. He wore them when the kids were infants (yes, give him a hard time about that!) and it helped him sleep. If Daddy doesn't get sleep, no body's happy.
  7. Wine, lots of wine
  8. Daily quiet time, for everyone - maybe even a nap, if we're lucky
  9. "Let's play the quiet game!"
  10. TIME OUT - the name of our dinghy which can be pulled behind the boat if more distance is needed :)


  1. LOL...Mark just might end up there more often than he thinks (by his choice of course!). Sarah your writing cracks me up! I see a lot of similarities in our husbands...


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