Insert your *gasp in horror* right here.
Let me say first that I love my kids with all my heart. I thoroughly research every decision I make about them and almost all my time is spent caring for them. I am a true believer in the fact that if you are going to have children then they should be raised by you.
There is a disturbing trend that I have noticed when it comes to motherhood. One that leaves the mom unfulfilled, frustrated and even depressed. It's not doing the kids any good either.
We are idolizing our children.
While children are a blessing, and a gift from God, raising them is not the sole purpose that God put you on this earth.
Yes, I know that it may shock you, but God has a purpose for you beyond your just your kids. Raising little ones is such a tiny percentage of both their lives and ours. They should be a blessing, but they will end up driving you crazy if they are not taking the proper and God given role in your life.
The first thing that we need to understand is that God did not design children to come first. God is first, then your spouse, THEN your children. Spending time in the Word of God is the best way we can grow in our relationship with him, it needs to be a priority. This also means that we should be nurturing and improving our relationship with our spouse before our children. If you don't spend time laying a firm foundation in your marriage then your entire family will crumble to the ground. Kids do not come before your spouse. Don't get mad at me, the bible says it. I'm just the messenger.
Some ways you can put your spouse first are:
- Going on dates regularly
- Putting the kids to bed early so you have alone time with your spouse before bed
- Making the kids have a "quiet time" or nap during the day so you can spend a little while connecting with your spouse
- Bottom line is that your kids should not run the house, you and your spouse should.
The other point we need to consider is that when we spend all our time and energy on our kids and their millions of activities, we are doing them a disservice. Kids need to be bored. They need to have time to play and get creative. If we are over scheduling them then they will not have this crucial time and it will effect their development. They learn through creative play, yet these days there is such a child centered mentality that we worry if they have a single moment of boredom then it will ruin their childhood.
You know what my kids do when they are bored. Clean. No, not for money. There are extra things they can do if they want to earn money, but they have regular tasks that they do as members of this household (even the 3 year old.) I sure wish someone paid me every time I cleaned my house, but the truth is that ain't happening! We don't want to raise spoiled and entitled brats.
God has big plans for you. Plans beyond just your kids. Yes, your kids will be part of that plan, but we shouldn't limit ourselves. We need to be spending disciplined time in the Word to grow into the purpose that he has put us on earth to accomplish. God comes before your spouse and your kids.
"I just don't have time to spend time in the Word because my kids just take up so much of my time!"
I get it, but you need to schedule everything around your relationship with God. Your kids are under your command and if they are not "allowing" you to spend time in the Word then you need to get your house under control. Set aside time every day that you can pray, read your bible, or listen to a good podcast.
You only get one life to live! Put your kids in the proper ranking order in your household and watch your life flourish!