Sometimes it’s really hard isn’t it? Being home most of the time with your children? You need to know that the sacrifices you are making to be home with your kids are worth it. You have no idea how much your presence means to them. You being WITH your children is a huge part of their development. You probably don’t realize it, but every time you nurture your children, whether it’s kissing an owie, feeding them, laying them down for a nap, listening to their stories, victories and defeats, or helping them through struggles in schoolwork, YOU being the one to do this brings security and order to their world.
In fact, their world pretty much revolves around you. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, but you truly make a difference. You matter to them more than you know. You create the rhythms that make up their lives and help them feel safe and secure which, in turn, encourages their healthy development.
You see, God made you to be the one to do these million little things with your precious ones. As mundane as they can often feel, I guarantee you: THEY ARE NOT. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if you have been told anything else, you have been lied to.
Mothering can feel so complicated, and sometimes it is. But what if I told you that it was ok for you to simplify? I mean seriously narrow your days down to what really matters. And what really matters is relationship. That happens when we are present and engaged with our kids.
How do we have relationship when we are frantically running from activity to activity? The truth is that relationships are often built in the intervals…the spaces between activities when nothing much is going on.
Honestly, it can be easier to “do” than to “be.” It’s our privilege as moms to be able to create space for “being.” Our kids need time to be kids. And we need to be engaged. It’s a gift that only we can give them. It’s a proven fact that the quirks that all kids seem to naturally have become magnified into dysfunctions when they are under too much stress. We have the ability to smooth out their days and relieve their stress (and ours) by simplifying and providing consistent, simple rhythm to our days.
So what do your daily rhythms look like? Are there regular times for meals, rest, play, and work? Children need very simple routines. I’ve had eight children and they have all done noticeably better when I was intentional about keeping our days simple. That meant that I stayed home… A.LOT. That was not always easy. There are so many distractions and things to get involved in and I had to say NO many, many times. But I never regretted it.
We now have 2 married daughters with 2 grand babies on the way. We have 4 teenage boys and 2 younger children. We have a good relationship with ALL of them and they are all walking in growing relationships with God. (The youngest hasn’t quite wrapped his head around the gospel yet, but it’s coming slowly). I was and am an imperfect mom. I keep things simple to keep my sanity because I really hate chaos. Those are the boundaries God has laid out for me. I need to respect those and live within them. (Psalm 16:6)
Have there been gaps in my kids’ learning? Yes. There ALWAYS will be. What won’t always be is this precious time we have with our kids. Someone said, “The days are long, but the years are short.” They were right.
I can only speak from my own experience, and I want to encourage you: if you feel God tugging on your heart to simplify, don’t hesitate to follow His lead. It’s easy to worry about what our kids might miss out on or what might not be achieved in our kids’ homeschooling. Take it from someone who has some hindsight…when it’s all said and done, it REALLY won’t matter as much as walking alongside our kids living life together. Follow God’s lead, listen to His voice, and TRUST Him. Ask Him to fill the gaps if you are concerned, and then just enjoy BEING with your kids.