"Quality time" is something we hear so often; it seems as though we're under the illusion that it doesn't really matter how much time we spend together, as long as it's "quality time". And more specifically – it doesn't matter how much time we spend at home, as long as "our heart is at home".
How little time is enough, then? If we come late in the evening to a home that has been empty all day long, can we say, "Now we can relax and spend time together?" Not really. Not unless you have a maid and a cook, anyway. If dishes pile up in the sink, the mountain of dirty laundry is overshadowing the poor washing machine, the refrigerator is empty and the floors are dirty, this hardly provides a healthy, nourishing, relaxing atmosphere. It's almost impossible to properly rest and relax until basic things are taken care of.
Allow me to give you a real-life example. As you know, I currently attend a training program in clinical nutrition in a hospital. So, a few days ago, we had a patient, a 7-year-old boy, hospitalized because of a certain condition that requires nutritional intervention. We went to his parents and asked, "What does your son eat?"... They glance at each other -
"Um. Well, in the morning he has some milk and cereal and then we rush him to school - he eats lunch at school - and then he has evening school until 7 PM... He eats dinner there. Then he eats a snack at home, so we don't really know what he eats during the day..."
You know, I'm sure this boy's mother loves him. I'm sure she means well. But the fact remains that she only spends time with him for - 1 hour? 2 hours? - until he goes to bed. This isn't enough. Not nearly enough. And today, it's not an unusual situation at all. What are we thinking? Isn't it obvious we need a certain amount of "quantity time" so that it can truly be translated into quality time?
Things are very different when a woman is a keeper of her home. Even if she doesn't homeschool, she has the opportunity to create a safe, peaceful, welcoming haven, and still has enough time to be cheerful and relaxed when she greets her loved ones as they come back home. Don't be mistaken - reclaiming the lost culture of the home will take a long and hard battle. But I believe it will be worth it.