Life is SO fast paced. We are running here and there and everywhere most of the time. I know many times as parents we feel like we are doing our children a great service by making sure they stay involved and many parents feel like they need to be involved in EVERYTHING! Every sport, every extra activity, every church program and on and on and it can be exhausting!
Several years back we had a conversation about what was important to us as a family. To be honest we had our oldest son try a few sports and every weekend we were out and about going to events he really didn’t even enjoy just because that is what we felt we should do. It was crazy and went against every bit of common sense we felt we had. We talked about what we wanted for our kids in the long run and anything that didn’t fit those goals we dropped.
I’m not here to tell you what you need to do. It really is a personal decision within each family and I don’t believe in mommy/daddy guilt at all. We all make individual and family choices based on our calling from God and from one another; no one should feel guilty for their personal choices unless God tells them to.
But I do want to encourage you if you are exhausted and you don’t understand why you keep doing everything and your children are not getting anything out of it. LET IT GO! It really is ok and your children will be fine!! If you want to simplify your family life, write a list on what is and isn’t important to your goals as a family. Think about what you want for your children when they grow up!
Here are some things that are or are not important to our family:
We don’t do organized sports (we just don’t want to let go of the real family time and all of the weekends) It is not bad if you do. Many families truly enjoy them and they have a blast together in sports because they share the common interest and love traveling game to game. We didn’t so we don’t. End of story! My kids are great kids. Trust me; they weren’t going to go pro anyway! Now if I had a child that showed a huge interest in a particular sport I would be very open to it. I wouldn’t take a gift or passion away that God had given them. We just haven’t seen this in our family!
We spend a lot of extra time with family – we enjoy being with cousins, and aunt and uncles and grandparents. We decided THIS was important so we do it! Every week on Tuesday evening we take turns going to or hosting family get togethers with my husband’s family! On Sundays we do the same with mine, mostly going out after church together!
Church Activities – We go to a small church and we do service there. I would hate my children to hear me say how important the Lord is and make sure they are in every sport under the sun but make church and church service optional or worse Sunday Ballgames. NO WAY! That is sending a clear message on what is really important. Right now we are preparing VBS and my kids will be right with us working to make it all happen. I’m not saying they never complain but they are learning what is important to this family and hopefully will never forget it!
Family Dinners- We eat dinner together- I’m going to be writing a few posts on family dinners soon. It is amazing the statistics on families eating dinners together!
Homeschool – We felt the call to homeschool. NOT EVERYONE DOES and that is ok too! We truly believe with every fiber of our being God told us to so we do and we won’t ever stop. Not when they are in high school, not because we have a special needs learner, and not because it would be so much easier for mom. God told us to so we will finish the job! It has been the most fulfilling thing I have ever done. I still can’t believe when I hear my children read out loud that I taught them to do that! What an honor for me!
These things free us up to live a much simpler, much lower paced life. I love that! We spend many evenings together in our pool or outside. We take walks when we want to and spend loads of time together. I won’t have them much longer, they are now 15, 12, and 10 and I just want to savor each moment I have left. This is the time of shaping and hopefully pouring wisdom into them and I’m blessed that they love being here with their family! I see kids all the time that can’t wait to get away from their parents, you can’t imagine my joy when my 15 yr old walks in and says its good to be home mom!
This post isn’t to guilt anyone that is happy with their situation; this is just to encourage ones who may feel they have to be in the rat race to have great kids. The world and this culture tells you that. I’m here to tell you it is just not so!! Enjoy your moments you create with your family! They go SO fast!!
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