I was with my whanau discussing how much time I actually spend with my tamariki each week and the results were very interesting.
My day starts by waking up at 7.30am and getting my kids ready for school. I drop them off at 8.30am and pick them up at 5.30pm, nine hours later. Then when we get home we go through the process of having dinner, cleaning the house and getting ready for bed at 8.00pm. So when I look at my day, I really only spend three and a half hours, each day, with my children during the week.
So, as I held up my fingers I saw that I spend this much time with them from Monday to Friday. It made me think, thank the lord we have weekends to also spend time with our kids. But, then I had to factor in other things. Once a month on a Monday I have board meetings with the local school. Every Tuesday I go and learn Maori at Te Herenga Waka O Orewa in Silverdale, and every Friday I work until 7pm.
So in reality if it’s a board meeting week, I’m only with them for three and a half hours, two days out of that whole week. I now saw that there were fewer fingers for me to look at and it really hit me how much time I actually spend with my tamariki.
There is a saving grace to this story. Even though we spend very little time together during the week, using the skills and strategies from our courses has given me a way to give them enough attention in this short time for them to feel. (a) Connected with their daddy and (b) Feel satisfied and happy in themselves, and here’s the thing: it only takes 10 minutes a day.
On the nights I am home I spend 10 minutes of quality time with them before bed doing things like reading them a story, making up a story, or watching a song and singing together. Those 10 minutes of focused quality time is enough for them to thrive and feel secure in our relationship.
So in these times when we have to work and our children are at school for the same amount of time we are away – 10 minutes of quality time is enough.
Nga mihi rawa atu.