Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Making Time for Your Kids

One of my favorite songs is "Cats in the Cradle.'' You can google it if you're not familiar with it, but it's about a father who never had time for his son when he was growing up and then when the son grew up, he didn't have time to spend with his father. And the father says his son had grown up just like him.

The song resonates with me because I call myself a recovering workaholic who spent too much time chasing his career and not enough with his two daughters. They both turned out well and are responsible adults and I have a good relationship with them now, but I know I let time slip away that I could have spent with them.

I was reminded of this when I read an inspiring post by Emmy on Right Turn Without Signaling ( If you type it in (I am not good with links) you want to read a post called Childhood Memories.

It's about how she grew up the daughter of parents who would qualify as working poor and lived paycheck to paycheck. They didn't have health insurance (she had surgery at 6 and her mother paid it off at $5 a week until she was 20) but made just enough that they didn't qualify for free lunches but they got reduced lunches and free cheese and butter the government handed out. She talks about all the things she didn't have growing up.

And then she talks about all the things she did have -- her parents time. She writes, "Stuff comes and go -- but memories, memories are what you take with you. They don't get lost in a fire. They don't get lost. They don't get misplaced. And they don't cost you money.''

You have to read the whole post to understand how inspiring it is. And if you kids are still living with you, try to spend more time with them. It is an investment that pays rich dividends.

And now for a rant alert that you may want to skip. I am reading the book "Too Big To Fail'' about the excesses of the bankers who almost ruined the economy. And how sad we live in a country that doesn't provide health insurance and free lunches for the working poor while the rich waste millions on creative comforts they don't need. I could go on, but don't want to get too far off topic.

If you read her post -- it's now the third one down -- it is a reminder that you never regret spending time with your kids.



  1. Great post FD! I have some wonderful memories of my childhood and spending time with my parents. I cherish those memories! As a single mom, I do my very best to spend time with my precious children. I hope they will grow up and remember back to some of the best times we have shared. Not all quality time has to be expensive and fancy... simple and close to home can be just as fun together time.


  2. I just returned from 5 wonderful days of making memories with my grand-daughters and my children..priceless!!!
    As a retired school teacher..I wish more parents would understand the concept of time is more valuable than things! abby

  3. Lovely post FD and thanks for the link to rtws, it was really moving. I was lucky had a great time growing up, not much money around but we managed. I think son would say he had a good time growing up.

    It's not always possible these days FD for parents to have a lot of time with their kids with both parents having to work just to make ends meet and pay the bills.


  4. Brandon and I are not rich, not even middle class, but we have more than we need and are able to survive on only his income... and he doesn't have to work insane hours, or two jobs for this to work. We may not have alot but we have eachother and the time we spend together is more precious than expensive cars, or lots of other things that we might want but don't need.


  5. Kitten: Yes, quality time can be simple and close to home.

    Abby: Yes, making memories are precious.

    Ronnie: Good to hear you had a great time growing up.

    Alice: Yes, the time you spend together is precious.


  6. Your advice is inspiring and reassuring to me. I left a job of 12 years last fall to be a stay at home mom after putting my kids on the back burner all those years. I never had an oppurtunity to stay home until there was Master . We are struggling financially most horribly right now as I am awaiting my house to sell in shitty market conditions. I question as we struggle with money and food and all if I made the right choice; then my teen admitted to me that if I were still a workaholic she'd likely have lost her virginity by now and be experimenting with drugs as she would be home alone far too much. That was hard to swallow but also reassuring...