Make Time + Take Time = Better Parenting

Being a parent is more than just popping out a baby and making sure he or she is clothed and fed. Being a parent can mean many different things based on many different variables, believes, routines and circumstances but what all parenting has in common is time, quality time. If you don’t spend enough one on one time with your child, I assure you, you don’t even know who they really are.

Since we moved to Spain, my “workload” with Ean has decreased a lot because of family that helps out and the fact that Ana isn’t working. For the past month I’ve been really busy with a house renovation as well so that meant unusually little quality time spent with Ean.

The time spent together was during this period more or less always with other family members but lately things have started to pan out and I’ve been able to set aside time to be alone with imh, to take a ride to a nearby park or watch the sunset in the mountains and I learned something very important.

When you’re alone with your child, it’s a completely different relationship. All focus is between the two of you and there is something that brews in those circumstances. Despite the somewhat exhausting full time job I had of always being with him as a stay at home dad, the relationship that was forming as he gets older, is something really beautiful.

When I’m with Ean together with his mother or other people, it’s not the same kid. Not the same manners, attitude or anything else, it’s basically a different kid all together. He disobeys me, has very short attention span and as of lately even has some borderline violent tendencies in its lightest form… neither of one attributes being anything I appreciate or consider to be a good time spent with him.

That’s why I’m saying this, especially to all you typical dads who are less than equally involved in your kids lives, you are living with strangers. Having the role I had this past month or so has absolutely sucked in comparison to the relationship I normally have with my son. I understand, we all have our lives and isms to take care of and sometimes the hours of the days are simply not enough but this is probably the most important message I will give you as parents, spend time alone with your child.

Don’t get me wrong, we have a blast the three of us as a family but there is something different about that one on one vibe. It brings you closer in a completely different way, especially now that Ean is getting older and learning to speak, it just lifts the relationship to a completely different level and it’s never too late, regardless of your kids age. Having someones undivided attention for some time makes that bond so much stronger and in a world of shattered families and intolerance we need to do everything we can to stay grounded, stay loving and stay together.

I’m sorry this kind of turned into a rant but it was just such a profound feeling that hit me this morning at the park. Even with 2 years of more or less solo time with Ean, it was so easy to just “get too busy” and stop seeing that beautiful wonder that is budding in front of my nose. It’s a month I will never get back, but I’m not wasting another moment, I’ve learned my lesson and regardless of what goes on in my life from now on, I will make sure to make time, to take time, to be a better parent.