What is the difference between quality time and obligated time?
Quality time is basically time spent together in which the focus is on enjoying said time, whereas obligated time is time spent together in which you partake in because you feel like you owe that person or that you have a moral sense of duty.
When you have a baby, you get inundated with visitors… people wanting cuddles and to compare who he looks more like. Dad’s nose, Moms’ eyes, Grandpas strong chin etc etc but they also want cups of tea and conversation, I am sure I am not the only one who thought this, but I had just pushed (with great difficulty I might add) a watermelon out of my vag, I don’t want to make cups of tea or endure conversation. I want to sleep whilst all my bits realign and get my head straight, but we are too polite to say this at the time, and when I say we, I mean new moms; we are vulnerable, emotional and tired, soo fucking tired. I let guests overrun my house to the point I took my new-born baby upstairs to feed him on multiple occasions because I didn’t feel comfortable enough to breastfeed in front of most of these people. How fucked up is that? I felt obligated to entertain all these people under the guise that they were family or friends but that’s ok because those people are going to be around forever, right? Wrong!
As time goes on, the novelty of a baby wears off…. People don’t visit as much as they did in the beginning which is super shitty as you just start feeling somewhat normal and by this stage you could use some adult company. You are at that stage in which you want to ask those questions like, should my boobs be that sore? Will I be able to poop without crying? When will I know why he’s crying? When does the love come? Ok so maybe not the last one as I was no where near ready to admit that back then, but you get the point.
I’ve touched on this slow retreat of people in a few other posts but today I’m focusing on the excessive retreat when people realise your child isn’t like other children. I am the first to admit that before I had come to terms with the fact my child was like other children that I retreated from my friends who also had children, not all of them but some… we don’t speak about it (well I mention it all the time) but that unspoken competition of who’s child is better drove me further into my mental health breakdown but there were some who didn’t engage in this nonsense in which I felt comfortable spending time with. The re-treat of these competitive moms was my own doing and I do not regret it in the slightest. It was what I felt was best for my family.
William’s baby book is full of photos labelled ‘First time meeting so and so’ when in reality 80% of those photos should say ‘First and last time with so and so. I am grateful that William won’t remember these people, but I will and I will remember the feeling when it dawned on my that these people didn’t care, we were insignificant parts in their lives despite us presuming they are main characters in ours.
Christmas and Birthdays, people pop up and disappear again out of what I imagine is some form of obligation, their comments rings in my ears… ‘It’s like he doesn’t know me, William I’m you’re so and so’ of course he doesn’t know you! He has seen you about 10 times since he was born! It gets me really angry because I would put money on it that some of these people will think it is due to his disabilities but its not. The people in his life who see him frequently get a very loving and excitable reaction from him. These visits dwindle, to Christmas but not his Birthday, every other Christmas to barely ever.
I’m not really sure what spurred on this rant as it’s been hovering around in my notebook for a few months, I guess I am just tired, tired of wasting my precious time on people who only feel obligated to see us but actually have no interest in William or myself. I would much rather people are honest as time is precious and I don’t want to waste it on people who aren’t worth it.
Take a look at this photo.
This is a five year old boy spending time with his Big Nanna whom we visit every week for quality time, she doesn’t have us over because she feels like she has to, she has us over because she enjoys spending time with us and it’s something I have done long before William was born. We don’t go because she wants us to, we go because we love spending time together and she cooks a banging sunday dinner🍗
William knows that on a Sunday, he sees his Big Nan. As soon as he can see her house, he starts running off… he knows exactly where he is going, lets himself in, makes his way to the biscuit tin, then grabs a toy or book and takes up his spot on the sofa.
Big Nanna is inundated with cuddles, love and affection throughout the day and it genuinely brings me so much joy to see. I think to me this photo shows exactly what quality time is.
Get new rants delivered directly to your inbox.
Please remember to check us out, and follow us on our social media pages 🙂
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/OurJOTS