Time is a limited resource. Each of us is given exactly the same amount of time. We have 24 hours in a day. We have 7 days in a week. This equals 168 hours per week. You get 168 hours this week and so do I but how we use this limited resource is up to us.
Time was important before my divorce but I honestly never saw it as a gift. After the divorce, time looked completely different to me. Time was now a treasure and the hours with my kids were priceless. Like an expensive jewel that needed to be guarded, my time was valuable and needed to be protected. I began guarding my time with my kids as well as my time without my kids.
My time with my kids became precious and purposeful.
My time without my kids became deliberate and intentional.
When you suddenly have to share your time with your kids, you start to really see its value. No longer wasting any minutes, the divorce showed me the importance of the gift of time. Instead of letting time slip away, I started to deliberately plan and “un-plan” some time into our schedules. Slowing down and creating some margin in our life, I desired to be purposeful with the time I had with my boys. I made a list of my top priorities that I wanted to implement and then carved out some time on my calendar to make them happen.
Time with my kids:
- Time to eat together as a family and talk about our day around the dinner table.
- Time to grow in our faith together: go to church, pray together and read our devotionals as a family.
- Time to have fun together, create memories and laugh.
- Time to serve together as a family and help others in need
- Time to learn together and read books
- Time to vacation together and explore new places
Time without my kids
- Time to daily connect with God
- Time to read books, grow, and learn
- Time to recharge and reboot
- Time to connect with friends
Looking back now, I wish I had been this intentional when my kids were younger. With newborn babies, time just seemed to creep forward. The middle of night feedings and the multiple diaper changes all day made the hours go by so slowly. Years with toddlers and preschoolers seemed to have the same effect. The hours to nap time dawdled and drifted and those long afternoons until bedtime seemed to last forever.
I remember my boys asking for me to play Legos or zoo animals with them on the floor. I would be there physically but many times, my mind would be preoccupied with emails or to do lists. I so wish I could go back in time and be fully present with them, not distracted. Being intentional means you make the most of every minute, every day and every week.
Maybe you are living in the middle of this season right now. Maybe you are wishing away the hours until nap time or bedtime like I did. Maybe you are there physically but your mind is on work or phone calls you need to make. I wish I had a do over and I could see my time with my young kids differently.
Time is a precious gift.
Don’t waste your minutes, days, or weeks. I know the days seem long but the years are short and fly by quickly. Truly enjoy your time with your little ones as you cuddle your babies. When your preschooler is building blocks, kneel down on the carpet with them and fully engage and help them build. I know laundry needs to get done but you will never get that time back if you miss it. When your young elementary aged student needs help writing his letters or reading a book, connect and help him. When your junior high student needs to share about her day, be fully present and listen to her. Don’t let your mind wander to grocery lists or dinner prep. Before you know it, your child will be in high school with less than 200 weeks left at home with you.
We all have the same amount of time but how we use this limited resource is up to us.
Be intentional and guard your time.