It’s hard to admit it, but I was a hurried mom.
When my daughters were young (elementary-school age) our lives were over-packed with running from one commitment to another. Church activities, after-school programs, sports, dance plus homework – all good stuff, but they added up to a frazzled state of life for us all.
It’s easy to continue in the frenetic flow of life without noticing it. There finally came a point when I realized I was living the hectic life I always said I wouldn’t do. Oh trust me, I was always quick to point out the sad state of all the other hurried moms, I just didn’t recognize that I was one of them. Eventually I decided to slow down and take a deliberate look at what we were doing and why we were doing it.
Honestly, I realized the reason my daughters were in many of their activities was simply because everyone else had their kids in those activities.
I didn’t want our kids to miss out or not be involved with the other kids. If everyone was playing soccer at five years old, then we were going to do it too! Sign up for dance classes, sure! Piano, of course! Gymnastics, why not? Everyone else was doing it! My kids didn’t even have an interest in some of these activities, but that didn’t seem to come into my decision to sign them up. Hopefully you are not trapped in the same kind of rat race I was in during those early years.
If you sense that you are headed in that direction or are living the life of a frazzled mom, let me share just a few thoughts to help you regroup and rethink your schedule.
- What’s right for other families, may not be right for yours. Guard against comparing or competing with other families. Instead, decide what is best for yours. God has given you your family to raise in a way that is wise and best for your kids.
- It is better to do a few things well, rather than a whole bunch of things haphazardly. Play to each of your kids strengths. Discover what motivates them and where they are gifted. Build on their talents rather than trying to match everyone else’s gifts and talents.
- Always keep the bigger picture in focus. Ask yourself, “In the long run will this build character in my child, and is it something that will have long term benefits in their life.” Consider the time and financial commitment and the effect it will have on your family time. Is it worth it.
- Seek the Lord’s direction daily. The best cure to for an over busy life is to invest more time on our knees in prayer. As we turn our day over to God and ask Him to direct our steps, He guides us and gives us daily discernment. We can also seek the Lord’s guidance in what makes sense for our kids. Commit each activity or potential activity to the Lord. I always go back to Proverbs 3:5-6 when it comes to making a decision about an activity.