Sunday, July 25, 2010

Family Time

People always talk about family time.  Quality time spent with your family...perhaps gathered around the dinner table or a favorite board game or any number of activities.  It always sounds so nice to have mom, dad and kids together enjoying each other and catching up on everyone's activities.

But what is family time when you have a family of two?  My family is me and my seven year old son.  After my divorce I went through a period of time when I questioned whether or not we were still a family.  I realized that just because we don't fit into the traditional mold does not mean we are any less of a family.  All families are different.  But, back to the question of family time.

All of our time as a family is spent together - me and my kiddo.  There are no other immediate family members to draw into the circle.  Sometimes that is hard.  Sometimes it is nice.  But I do miss being able to have a conversation over dinner that involves more than two people.  I miss the dynamics of a group rather than a duo.

When we are at home, it is often just the two of us.  This does get switched up a bit now that he has friends over more often - for play or sleepovers.  When it is the two of us, sometimes we do things together, but more often it seems we are doing parallel things.  He might be playing nintendo or reading while I might be on the computer or cleaning.  We do both enjoy time to ourselves but I also want to have that QUALITY family time.  That is truly the struggle.  I have the quantity of time, but do I have the quality?

I am trying to find out more about how other single moms of only children manage this issue.  Do other people have different ways of looking at it?  Do others even think about it like I do?  So far I have not found much about it in the blogosphere but I am still looking.


  1. I am so with you on this one. I also have a 7 year old son and sometimes it seems like we're just not enough. I also organise lots of play dates and sleep overs, or invite another single mom and her daughter over for dinner or outings.

    We go through stages of enjoying an activity together - bike riding, playing a board game, building lego but eventually tire of that. I'll be watching out for other replies!

  2. For the most part, it is just me and my daughter but I do have a lot of family and friends around us. I guess I had never thought of the whole family thing just because we have never really had that to begin with.
    My daughter is only 3, so we are attached at the hip right now. I wish we had more parallel time where she would do alone things but she is pretty needy right now.
    I like my family the way it is. We are a good team of two that sometimes allows others in to plaY! :)

  3. You probably have more of it than you think. Family time, to me, is anything from snuggling together to watching TV or playing a game together. I personally think the more free time you have together, the more these things happen naturally. I wouldn't stress about it too much.

  4. I consider family time to be any amount of time I'm with my son. My son and I (he will be 3 in September) live alone and it does get a bit isolating sometmes. We make the most of it though; sometimes we do things together, such as when I read to him, or we watch Nick Jr. shows together - but other times we will be doing parallel things in the same room. To me, it doesn't seem to matter, so long as you're there. When they want to engage, they'll let you know, otherwise just knowing that you are right there with them seems to be enough. Sounds like you're doing just fine!