Sometimes quantity is more important than quality, particularly when it comes to fuel for your vehicle. Regular unleaded will get you to a destination just as good as premium unleaded, as long as you have enough in the tank.
On the other hand, quality is preferable to quantity when it comes to something like pastries. A Little Debbie’s snack cake, for instance, doesn’t hold a candle to a pan au chocolat, particularly when eaten from a Parisian bakery. Trust me on this one. One melts in your mouth and leaves you puddled up on the floor. The other just gives a sugar jolt without much taste. Have I mentioned that I liked Paris and want to go back? The photo doesn’t necessarily show a pan au chocolate, which is like a croissant filled with chocolate, but it gives you an idea of how preferable quality is over just about anything else when it comes to pastries.
So, anyway, now that I’m back from pricing airline tickets to France, I’ll continue with my thoughts on quality and quantity. Depending on the situation, one might be more important than the other. I can think of one exception, though. Relationships.
In relationships, quality and quantity are equally important. Your children don’t have a frequent hug card for you to punch, nor do they grade you on the quality of your service. They just want you. All of you. All of the time. While I do have a “day job” and maintain a couple of websites, I am readily available to my children most of the day. I often snuggle on the couch with several of them while they are waking up in the morning, instead of rushing them out the door to a daycare. I fix their breakfast, rather than throw them a poptart. I homeschool them, so I know what they are learning and how they are learning it. Any learning challenges are not a surprise to me at the end of the year, like several of my friends whose children are in public school. The niece of a friend was in advanced high school math classes but couldn’t figure a 20% tip on a meal. We eat dinner together 99% of the time, even if we have to wait until 8:00 when my husband gets home from work. I put them in bed at night, and no one falls asleep in front of the television.
If I worked full time, we could afford a few blow out vacations, and Mickey Mouse might make fabulous memories. No one argues about that. But we would miss the day to day stuff, which is the quantity. That’s where the rubber meets the road. Of course, I’d also miss some of the whining and fighting and get to go to the bathroom by myself, but that’s part of the relationship, too, unfortunately. Quantity means we know each other inside and out, warts and all. Quantity develops the depth of the relationship. I know what they are thinking before they think it.
Quality time, for some, might be the icing on the cake. It’s the fun times. But no matter what, weekend fun mom can’t replace every day present mom. I might not like laundry or cleaning bathrooms, but I do them so we can all stick together. We also do park days (free), swimming (free for now in our apartment complex), hiking (free), museums, short vacations, and whatever else we can fit in. Quality is important to break up all that quantity with a few high spots.
Overall, quality and quantity time are both integral to healthy and vibrant family relationships. Keep them both in perspective.