Now that our family is complete and we can look forward to our future as a family of five, I find myself thinking a lot about balance and the quality of our life, as a family.
Growing up, we always had family dinners. My dad would be home around 4:30 from work and, like clockwork, dinner was on the table at 5. While times have changed, more families have two working parents, and schedules seem to be crazier than ever -- I still think back to those dinners as an important constant. It's a time to check in, to share (although sometimes sharing including yelling with all those kids) and to know that no matter what, you'd end up at the end of the day with the family who knew and loved you best.
Now, here we are in 2008... where my husband leaves the house in the morning and we have no idea when he'll be back. Family dinners haven't been an option up to this point. He most often gets home when Lucy's already in bed and the boys are close behind. By the time the weekend hits, there are so many tasks that need to be done that Sunday night arrives and we've done none of the things we planned to with the kids and I feel an overwhelming sense of disappointment.
I can't help but think of the term "quality of life" and really evaluate what that means to me. What is fascinating about it is that it could mean completely different things to different people. While one person just wants more time as a family, for another -- it could be career success or weekends at the lake. It's such a subjective thing... and it's truly the number one thing on my plate to work at achieving. Not only will it create more happiness within me -- it will allow the kids to evaluate what's most important to them in life and will hopefully help them achieve it for themselves as they grow up and start their own lives.
I'm actually thinking of starting a new blog focusing on my quest and asking others to jump in and find out what makes them tick too. Because I think if you can define what it means to you and make a list of those things that will bring you closer to it, you can take one step at a time to finding it.
What does quality of life mean to you?