Hey y’all, Mary Margaret here!
Just the other day I read an article about why our kids can’t pay attention in school. Being a mom and a former teacher, there is no question as to why this article grabbed my attention. What stuck with me once I read the article was a little surprising though.
Throughout the article, the author talked about the woes of technology and how we need to let our kids “be bored”, kind of an unusual concept in todays fast paced culture. I think the idea is that we need more space in our lives. There were two common problems that the article addressed. One is that we have created “child center families” while the other was our kids’ need for true, human interaction. The author suggested that parents give 10 minutes a day of focussed (unscreened) time with each child to both, encourage human interaction, and give kids the attention they need.
Around this same time, I read a blog post by Nancy Ray that mentioned this same concept, 10 minutes a day with each child. Again, the concept appears. How serendipitous to find this idea in two different places in such a short amount of time! It got me thinking, if part of the problem is child center families, then shouldn’t we focus just as much time on our relationship with our spouse as we do with our kids? What if we not only spend 10 minutes a day with each child but 10 minutes a day with our spouse? What could that do for our marriage?
I’m not talking about 10 minutes of scrolling through Instagram together or 10 minutes of watching the news, catching up on your schedules, or even a full 20 minutes of watching your favorite TV series. I’m talking about no phones, no computers, no “agenda.” Some time to step away from your roles of Bill Payer, Dinner Maker, Mr. Fix it, Doer of the Laundry, Wedding Planner, Keeper of the Schedules, Mom, Dad, and the endless list of titles we can take on in our days. I’m talking about 10 minutes to be together with no other intention but to be together. To talk, joke, laugh, and share.
Coincidentally, my husband, Tim, and I unintentionally had 10 minutes of time together the other night and did just this. We normally would have turned on Netflix to watch one of our favorite shows, but in an effort to be sure we’re all getting enough sleep these days, we had recently enlisted a “bedtime”. This particular night we only had 15 minutes until bedtime, so instead of watching another episode, we sat on the couch and talked.
Those ten minutes quickly became my favorite part of that day. I saw my husband and got to connect with him, and it was simple. He told me about some new music he had found that he liked and I told him about the book I was reading. He showed me a quick video he had seen earlier in the day that he thought I’d like and we laughed. I sat with my feet on his lap and he brushed my hair back behind my ears. Again, it was so simple, but so needed.
We’ve all been there. In the day to day, we can lose each other. We get caught up in all that needs to be done and run off to accomplish it all. We rush and in the rushing, we turn our eyes away from one another. But what you’ll find when you refocus is quite remarkable. I saw ways that Tim cares for me that I hadn’t seen before. I saw how he loves me even when we’re not together, which I’ve never paid attention to before. I put him first by listening to him and asking him questions. We reconnected and it was simple.
So tonight, I challenge you and your significant other to give 10 minutes a try! Whatever you’re doing, whatever needs to happen, it all can wait- 10 minutes. Take time to sit and be together. No agenda, just be.