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Best Mothering Is All About Quality Over Quantity, Study Says

Mothers and how much time they spend with their kids: It's a constant source of guilt, right? A new study has shown that it's not about how much time you spend with your child, but rather the amount of meaningful interaction you have with him or her.

So turn of the TV, get up off the couch and interact with your children. Watching reruns of "The Big Bang Theory" doesn't count as QT. Instead, cook dinner together and talk about what happened that day in the real world.

"I constantly feel like I'm up against the clock, especially if i go away for a work trip and I'm gone for a week," Angie Goff, a WRC TV anchor/reporter, told TODAY. "I come back, and I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, they've grown another foot.'"

Truth be told, how much time mothers spend with their children—at least from ages 3 to 11—has little do to with the success of those kids later in life, according to a study to be published in April by the Journal of Marriage and Family.

"We're constantly putting so much pressure on ourselves to be with our children as much as possible," Samantha Ettus, a work-life balance expert told TODAY. But the study argues that stressing about how often you're around your kids, versus how you chose to spend that precious time with them, can actually lead to a negative impact on your little ones.

The study also found that mothers today are actually spending more engaged time with their children than they were in the '70s. And that's with way more women in the workforce, which means working moms should stop feeling badly being at work when their kids are at home.

So if you're a working mom, relax! A half-hour of gardening with your son or daughter under a sunny sky is way better than a 90-minute movie session where you don't interact. Plus, it won't take as long.

That's OK too, right?

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Image via Monkey Mash Button/Flickr

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