Quantity Over Quality

There’s that saying that ‘quality time’ is important. We must spend quality time with the kids, partners, husband, wife, mother, father, friends…etc.

Quality is associated with being ‘important’ and of ‘value’. As a society we are obsessed with quality time – perhaps the one or two holidays over the year are our quality time together to relax. I question if this is enough and I can’t help but think that quantity time is more important that quality time.

There are situations where quantity should outstrip quality.

In the context of family life for example, I’d rather spend lots of time with my kids without the focus on it all being about quality time. Instead of not spending much time with them and feeling that the little time we do have needs to be compressed full of quality.

I spend alot of quantity time with my kids by:

  • being around most of the time
  • giving them space and freedom
  • hanging out in the same room
  • answering on the spur of the moment questions
  • working from home
  • finding compatibilities in our interests and activities
  • taking part in their interests
  • and simply designing my life around theirs

However, I feel society often pushes and focuses on quality time. With so much work commitments, we are spending less and less time together and are then pressured to focus on the little quality time that is left. We are encouraged to do special things in our quality time. Spend money. Go on holidays. Buy things.

Is this what we really need? Does it make us happy?

I’m not saying we shouldn’t go on holidays. I go on holidays (often mixing them with work opportunities to make them more affordable). But having it as the main time we can chill out together as a family just feels wrong.

The more quantity time I spend with my family the more strongly I feel about this and the better our relationships are becoming.

2 comments on “Quantity Over Quality

  1. -

    Hi Rosie,
    Another side of ‘quality time’ is being present during that ‘quantity time’. Rather than focus on holidays I see it as turning off devices while playing with the kids, while eating together, while reading books together etc.
    I’m wondering if you already do this, and take it as given? Because if I did each of those bullet point list items while reading blogs and tweeting, I wouldn’t call that ‘quantity time’ particularly valuable to my family. We have stacks of quality time during the week and on weekends.


    • - Post author

      Pretty much, most of the time (we’re not perfect, yet!), when they want/need/should have our full attention, they get it. So yes, it’s a given.

      I realise our position is different that most. Both my husband and I work from home now. And most of our work can be done at any time of the day, so we fit it around each other. It didn’t always use to be that way. Kids are unschooling. Older ones are becoming more independent. When they need or want help, they ask and they get (not necessarily straight away). Our younger (3 years) asks for attention and pretty much gets it straight away (!) 🙂

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