“You know, there are only approximately 600 weekends before our child goes to high school…”
My husband told me this last week. We were both surprised. It was this realization of his that made us see weekends differently.
For those who know me, you are aware that my husband is a young doctor who is only at the beginning of his medical career. And you know what that means. He is one of the BUSIEST human beings out there.
Out of the 600+ weekends, he can probably spend only ¼ of that with our daughter because the rest of time he will be at work, at some medical mission, or a medical conference.
That leaves him with… a MEASLY 150!
Imagine… ONLY 150 weekends to spend with (your family) your children before they grow up and go to high school??? 🙁
I know it wasn’t exactly a pleasing realisation. The only compensation is at least by having this piece of information, we are more motivated and committed to spending as much time as we can with each other.
And more than the amount of time, we are also determined to make the most out of it, making it the best “quality time” possible.
Henceforth, we have decided that at least once a month, we will either take a trip out of town or do something fun and new with our daughter.
It seems very doable right? But believe me, with a doctor’s schedule, it can be quite ambitious.
But like I said, we will try our very best to fulfill this family promise for the sake of our baby who is growing up TOO FAST!!! 🙁
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Keeping our family promise in mind, we took a little family vacation. Last weekend, during one of his very RARE off-duty weekends, we went to the BEACH! Woohoo! Our daughter absolutely loves the water but we haven’t really taken her out to beach trips because of her overly sensitive skin.
The trip was a simple overnighter. We didn’t have to spend a lot (yay!). You see, family vacations need not be luxurious to be enjoyable. We are grateful to have been to the US and Hong Kong with our little traveler even before she turned one. Those were really AMAZING trips, but sometimes having simple vacations can be fun too. Local trips are more budget friendly for us parents who need to SAVE SAVE SAVE and also admittedly less stressful because they entail very little planning.
Anyway, we drove to a nearby beach in Batangas and we are so glad we were able to spend family time despite the weather not cooperating at first. There was a glimpse of sun during our second day so that was good enough for us. Basking under too much heat won’t be good for bubba anyway.
We went swimming, devoured LOTS of food, did some catching up on movies we missed, had a bit of singing sessions with our vacation playlists, and simply spent precious bonding time together, away from all the hustle and bustle of work and the city life… Such priceless moments we would never trade for anything in the world! 🙂
Initially, the bad weather discouraged us. The drive going there was actually scary and we had to pass by several flooded areas. There were not much cars traveling at that time. The beach club was also closed on our first day because of the heavy rains. Despite all of these, we’re so glad we pushed through with the family trip! It was all worth it!
SO EXCITED FOR DADA’S NEXT WEEKEND OFF! Looking forward to our next family adventure together! 🙂
“You will always have time for the things you put first.”
P.S. Thanks you so much Kaye, for lending us your beautiful house in Pico De Loro. We absolutely enjoyed our stay! 🙂
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UPDATED POST (Sep. 8, 2017):
One year later… The husband got busier with his work and more weekends were sacrificed. But we still manage to make the most of what is left.
On Saturdays when the hubby is off from work, we ask our daughter what she feels like doing. If its strolling in the mall or playing at Kidzoona, watching a Disney movie or playing in the park. And that’s what we do. We spend family time doing simple yet enjoyable things.
On Sundays when the hubby is off from work, we celebrate mass together and have lunch or dinner with our parents – our daughter’s favorite grandparents.
And on the very rare occasion that he gets a weekend off, meaning no work on both Saturday and Sunday, that’s when we plan something a bit more special like a simple out of town trip or maybe a staycation.
It’s only been a year but now our daughter is a toddler, almost ready for school. She has become more independent and assertive. It’s almost unbelievable when you remember how tiny she was just a few months ago. Children really do grow up too fast and time is fleeting faster than you can imagine.
So parents, don’t let the buzzer beat you. Before you know it, your kids have gone to college and you’re still trying to make up for all the lost time you were not able to spend together. But let me clarify, I do not encourage you to run a race against time. Instead, run alongside it. Savor each and every moment you can.
If you are a medical practitioner like my husband, or in any profession that demands so much of your time, find a way to balance things out. And on the rare times that you are home, please keep that mobile phone away! Observe a sacred family time when no one can disturb you. Like I said before, quality is often greater than quantity. Be present in the moment and I’m sure our kids will appreciate this.
At the end of the day, you will know when your children are happy. You will know inside of you if you wasted a whole Saturday letting them watch TV as you work on your new Instagram feed, or spent the only two hours you have left from a workday, reading, playing, and bonding with them. It’s really up to you to choose.
Believe it or not, kids KNOW and FEEL your sincerity. They know when you are paying attention and when you’re just physically present but not really there.
Let’s be there for our children. Let’s teach them, listen to them, and bond with them, as much as we can…on workdays, and most especially on weekends. Your time is a gift no one can buy, no one can borrow, and no one else can give.
500 weekends left! TICK TOCK!
Making Time and Making Memories,