We’ve established I’m not a foodie.
I do, however, have enough foodie-friends to be aware of the debate over quality of food (locally sourced, takes time to prepare) versus quantity of food (I think of this as volume eating).
I’m no social media guru, yet I’ve been pulled into the quality versus quantity debate there by virtue of the nature of my work.
Is it better to have quantity of Twitter followers (you’ve got reach!) or a quality pool who act on what you share (you’ve got influence!)?
This quantity versus quality debate has existed for ages.
- Mass production versus creating homemade goods.
- Blogging 7 days a week versus sharing fewer carefully crafted posts.
- Purchasing a well made items versus owning volumes of cheap stuffs.
To my mind examples, from food to followers, all depend on individual situations.
Sometimes less is more. Sometimes more is more.
Lately though Ive swung firmly into the quantity-camp in one hotly debated realm:
We’d just finished our nightly session of the Child grumping at me as I brushed through the snarls we call her hair, and as she lay thisclose to sleep, she mumbled:
Oh, Mama. You’re always there for me.
frick & frack
Of course I immediately felt happy & prideful (who wouldn’t?), but as I sat there for a bit it occurred to me she was only stating a fact.
Quantity is absolute. Quality is relative.
I am always there for her.
I am the backdrop to all her days.
And, whether she or I likes it or not, I am indeed the quantity in her life.
This exchange was, as they used to say, an AH HA! moment.
Instead of framing my time with her as “too much,” I realized it only was from this quantity my parenting quality is born.
Instead of being forced to manufacture connective-moments during a few encounters per week I possesed the quantity-gift of being able to throw shit against the wall and see what
sticks becomes quality.
born from the gift of *quantity* of time.
That night it dawned upon me if I were a company I’d unwittingly chosen the approach of flooding the market with mama-product and hoping, along the way, I’d churn out at least a few quality stuffs.
And you know what?
I’m happily OK with that.
Here? Right now? It is quantity FTW!
What do you think?
- From blog posts to workouts to food to parenting: Is quantity necessary to get to quality?
Sarah@creatingbettertomorrow saysMarch 2, 2015 at 4:02 am
I think for me I do have to go, go, go ; get more, more, more: etc to produce some quality work in areas of life…interesting though because I’ve been focusing on quality vs. quantity – now you had to go and post this 🙂 perhaps I’ve been looking at it all wrong!
Tara saysMarch 2, 2015 at 4:15 am
For me it is definitely all quantity in all things always LOL
Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness saysMarch 2, 2015 at 4:41 am
I have been a quantity gal for a long time. Not any more. Soon it will be all quality.
Rita saysMarch 2, 2015 at 4:57 am
I am the reverse!
I think I focus too much on the quality and miss things as I do.
Healthy Mama saysMarch 2, 2015 at 4:42 am
As always you start my Monday thinking.
I am a foodie and focus on quality with my food over all else.
Motherhood is entirely a different animal.
I think I am more like you with that!
Olive saysMarch 2, 2015 at 5:17 am
I <3 the bravery quote.
I'm not a mom but I know when I spend time with my nephew he wants more and not quality.
AmyC saysMarch 2, 2015 at 5:18 am
The phrase less is more comes to mind and although I’ve gotten caught up in the “quantity” game, most of my life I’ve been a quality kind of girl!
Tina muir saysMarch 2, 2015 at 5:31 am
Wow, I would have never thought of things that way. My initial reaction is NO quality over quantity, but I KNOW as a parent I will 10000000% be quantity haha. I am gonna have to hold my reins back as best I can to make sure I do not smother them. You do a wonderful job though, and because you do….you now have a beautiful daughter!
Allie saysMarch 2, 2015 at 5:36 am
This is why I’m doing 40 days of LESS leading up to my 40th birthday. It’s been better then I ever thought! Imagine giving yourself permission each day to do less of something? There’s been a lot more quality and I’ll take it!!
katie saysMarch 2, 2015 at 5:38 am
I love your perspective Carla. I, like everyone else that have commented, haven’t really thought about it this way but agree that right now it is quantity too. I am definitely in a state of mind as a mom that I want to see what they are interested in, what they like and to do that the only way I know is to put some things out there and see what they like or in your words…through some shit at the wall and see what sticks. ha!
Brittany @ Delights and Delectables saysMarch 2, 2015 at 6:08 am
I do think quantity of parenting can lead to quality. However, I know many women who are with their kids ALL DAY, yet stay hooked on their phones or something else and just stick kids in front of the TV. It depends if you are INTENTIONAL about the quantity of time you have!
Linz @ Itz Linz saysMarch 2, 2015 at 6:17 am
to some degree yes absolutely!
Coco saysMarch 2, 2015 at 6:28 am
There is no “quantity” with my kids anymore, so you are smart to get it while you can.
Michelle @ Running with Attitude saysMarch 2, 2015 at 6:31 am
Hmmm I hadn’t really thought about it in those terms. Generally I have always abided by less is more line of thinking. Your take on it as it relates to parenting gives me something to think about….
Pamela Hernandez saysMarch 2, 2015 at 7:21 am
Is it cheating to say both? I pick good quality food that I can eat more of. I love spending a lot of time with my husband but quality time (sans technology) is what seems to feel like more.
cheryl saysMarch 2, 2015 at 7:33 am
Both…quantity when I make/have the time/quality when the time is readily available (usually planned ahead of time). Everything I take part in…from my lesson plans for my kids at school, to an evaluation report, to executing a fast 5k, or a 33 mile mountain bike ride, or making my own arm warmers, or putting a blog post (every couple of months?) have large amounts of QUALITY and small amounts of excellence in them, or why bother to “do” them at all?
cheryl saysMarch 2, 2015 at 7:34 am
Oh, and the home made meatballs and intimate time with hubby yesterday…THROUGH THE ROOF with quality! haha
Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner saysMarch 2, 2015 at 7:49 am
What an interesting discussion and I bet a hot point esp with parenting. As a stay at home mom, I love the quantity I have with my kids. My baby is about to graduate HS and I wouldn’t have traded that time for anything. Great post!
Marcia saysMarch 2, 2015 at 7:58 am
I’ve always been a quality girl. In all things. But I’m learning, quality isn’t always necessary. Sometimes quality leads to over thinking. In some cases quantity is definitely more effective.
Tamara saysMarch 2, 2015 at 8:25 am
hmmm. Such an interesting discussion for a Monday morning! I’m not sure that is has to be either/or when it comes to parenting. Especially as they get older and the quantity isn’t what they always want from you.
I have fallen into the ‘wait quietly in the background until they give me a sign’ approach. Then I jump full in with quality.
Sagan saysMarch 2, 2015 at 8:26 am
Interesting idea… I’d agree that sometimes it’s a very important factor. After all, in order for me to do QUALITY work, I have to spend some QUANTITY of time on it…
I guess it’s about balance 🙂
Michele @ paleorunningmomma saysMarch 2, 2015 at 8:57 am
Wow. This is something I’ve felt from the moment my first was born, but I love the way you’ve articulated it here. The being “there” all the time is what I want my kids to feel, and the only way that they’ll feel it, even when I’m not physically there, is if I am consistently physically and emotionally there for them in these young years. The quality comes out of that, so true, but with parenting the “always there” is what just feels right for me.
Elle saysMarch 2, 2015 at 9:17 am
I don’t know the answer to that. I think sometimes QUANTITY is just overhwelming and annoying… ya know? Hmmmm.
crabby mcslacker saysMarch 2, 2015 at 9:28 am
So LOVE to hear all the ways you shower both quantity and quality on your awesome daughter, I don’t see you making any sort of “trade-off” there. Both of you are so lucky as I don’t sense that’s a “normal” thing anymore.
Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama saysMarch 2, 2015 at 9:53 am
This is fantastic question. Everyday we are surrounded by everything gets better with repetition, you get out what you put in, etc etc. But how do we know when we are doing excess of what is normal? I think doing what feels right is the best. I hope that made some kind of sense, in my head it does.
Mithra Ballesteros saysMarch 2, 2015 at 10:33 am
So clever! To consider this question in the context of parenting. Very perceptive essay. I love learning on Mondays.
AlexandraFunFit saysMarch 2, 2015 at 10:54 am
My boys are now 18 and (just about) 21, and I am soooooo glad I spent sooooo much time with them when they were young. You do not get that time back. Even though I was not born to be a mom to little kids (I am super oriented toward teens), I taught myself patience and to look from their perspective. That was the key to enjoying their childhood. And a sense of humor kept me sane.
Lisa @ RunWiki saysMarch 2, 2015 at 11:15 am
Quality is definitely the way to go!
Erin@BeetsPerMinute saysMarch 2, 2015 at 11:16 am
Great post, Carla! I am constantly moving back and forth in my mind about which is the right approach. I have to say I committed to quality the past couple of months with just about everything I do (blogging, exercise, classes, etc) and I think that it’s paid off. I think it really has a lot to do with the type of personality you have as well. I am a somewhat, okay I’ll say it, LAZY person at times, and I’m also easily overwhelmed. For me focusing on having the best attempt at what I do over how many times I do it just works best for me. I’m not a mom yet, but I do love the wonderful relationship you have with your daughter, it’s very inspiring — I’m taking notes! 🙂
Kim saysMarch 2, 2015 at 12:37 pm
I feel like my parenting as evolved from quantity to quality – now that the boys are older and have more activities (and one of them drives!!!) we don’t spend all of our time together anymore:( Because of that I try to go for quality in the time we do have – I think all the years before this when it was about quantity helped this transition happen. I know too many parents of teens that have neither quality or quantity.
Katrina saysMarch 2, 2015 at 3:29 pm
I alternate between quality and quantity just due to time constraints and content (posts) and with SM – hmm, time to think about this again!
Bonnie saysMarch 2, 2015 at 5:07 pm
Super interesting perspective! As with many readers and commenters above, my initial thought was quality over quantity, but I’m not so sure about that after reading! I’d say that through quantity, quality comes for me too! I’m not detailed or careful enough to be a quality girl anyways! 😉
mimi saysMarch 2, 2015 at 7:23 pm
Kids know if you are spending time with them, and why. They need their parents to be there, and to know someone has their back.
cherylann saysMarch 2, 2015 at 7:36 pm
YES…just BE there…consistently and always!
MCM Mama Runs saysMarch 2, 2015 at 7:29 pm
For my children and running, I’m all about quantity in hopes that in there is plenty of quality as well.
For blogging? I’m trying to step back and be more quality not quantity, but there’s still a part of my brain that wants to use the blog as a place to dump its random thoughts LOL.
cherylann saysMarch 2, 2015 at 7:35 pm
You need QUANTITY (doing/being) to get a QUALITY final product…so you can’t have one without the other,unless you are ok with an unfinished product (or one that doesn’t “last” long.) This includes parenting for sure…the last time I was with my “kid” (28) I was just THERE for her. She knows I still am. And always will be. It’s all you can do and the best thing…
Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes saysMarch 3, 2015 at 5:40 am
In most things I would say I value the quality vs. the quantity. Even as a stay at home mom I feel like there can be TOO much quantity with time with the kids, and I even feel guilty saying that. They are little and trying and when I go away for a weekend or something I value my time with them that much more when I get home, the quality. It should be a yin/yang, but often times it’s not and I struggle with that. Great post!
Jody - Fit at 57 saysMarch 3, 2015 at 8:35 am
In the way you framed it, it works for you. Many moms or dads or people in general do not have this option & have to go the other way…. it is great you can do this right now & have the option to plan your day that way since you work from home.
I think like all else, find what works for you & does not make you feel bad as a person…. it is about balance in life I guess…..
Erica saysMarch 3, 2015 at 12:03 pm
Love this. Makes me feel better about yelling at my daughter this morning for the way she talked to me. At least we spend every morning together…
emmaclaire saysMarch 3, 2015 at 12:59 pm
I think that quantity was very important, both when the kids were little and we were together most of the time. When they became teenagers and they were off sprouting their wings, they had gotten so used to me always being there for them, they knew where to find me when they needed me – for advice, cuddling, a shoulder to cry on, someone to take their side, someone to celebrate. I remember when my middle son didn’t get into the Air Force Academy, a dream of his since middle school, and he walked into the Starbucks where I was waiting and just burst into tears. It was SO important to be there. And there were more tears just a few weeks ago when he called to say he’d gotten a pilot’s slot after 4 years of college AFROTC. The quantity of time together leaves the door wide open for the quality to happen!
Abby @ BackAtSquareZero saysMarch 3, 2015 at 6:05 pm
I am all about trying to find the happy medium, but sometimes I go too much towards one or the other.
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table saysMarch 4, 2015 at 12:57 am
I’m all about the quality. For me growing up the times I got 1-on-1 undivided attention were so very special.
Linda @ Veganosity saysMarch 6, 2015 at 9:15 am
Love this!!! I never understood the “quality” over quantity BS in regards to parenting. Is it an excuse for parents who would rather be doing something easier? Every free moment I had was for my kids and my husband, it still is. My kids are in their twenties now and there are days when my daughter calls me every hour to tell me what’s happening in her life. Does it interrupt my work? Yes! Could I ignore the phone? Yes! Would I ever do that? Never! At the end of my life my family and friends will be the only thing that mattered, therefore I will always choose to spend my time on them over anything else. Great post.