I have a love-hate relationship with the kids' bedtime. On the one hand, I love hugging my 11-year-old, who is my huggy bear. On the other hand, I love the fact that the kids are going to bed, and now I'll have an hour to myself before I have to follow!
But my 14-year-old has recently decided that bedtime is the best time to bare her soul. So I'm starting to find that putting her to bed is not a hug-and-prayer kind of routine. It's hug, and pray, then lie down with her and chat for 45 minutes. Would I rather be having a bath? Knitting a sweater? Surfing the web? A part of me, sure. I crave time alone. But on the other hand, I am so so happy that she wants to talk to me. And it's our best bonding time. I only have four more years with her; I am going to use them to the best of my ability.
That brings me to our online book study of my book, To Love, Honor and Vacuum. Heart of the Matter Online has been studying it, and though I'm a few weeks behind them, I want to talk about their review of chapter 8, Kids Spell Love T-I-M-E.
Have you ever spent your entire day yelling, "come on, hurry up, we've got to go?" Do you ever feel like you're so consumed with the tasks that you have to get done that you have no time to love those dearest to you?
That's what chapter 8 is all about!
Here's what Lori says
Just yesterday I was listening to the news and a new report came out with the same sad story.
“Spending a lot of time watching TV, playing video games and surfing the Web makes children more prone to a range of health problems including obesity and smoking, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.”
The sad reality is that we aren’t creating relationships, if we are avoiding each other. The fact that we are here on this site as homeschoolers shows that we have made the education of our children a priority, but what about fostering a real, honest and respectful relationship. We know what we envision for the future, at least I do….it’s my adult children coming home with Godly spouses, forging onward with the values that we’ve passed down to them. Well, I know only two things…God’s plans are not always mine, and raising Godly, confident kids is not going to be easy.
But it is possible, and even probable, if we put God first and take our responsibility seriously!
And that doesn't mean we live a serious life. In fact, it's just the opposite! When we start prioritizing nurturing our children's souls, we'll laugh more. Love more. And enjoy more.
I think today's generation of parents is basically parenting by accident. There's no plan. There's no goal, except maybe to get them through school. Their main aim is to enjoy life and have fun. What they don't realize is that, if you parent by accident, you will lose your kids. Our culture is too strong, and it will pull them in.
If we want to raise self-confident, independent children who are generous and loving, we need to parent on purpose. We need to take that time to figure out their love languages, and spend the time that's needed to breathe into their lives and sort things out.
And this doesn't stop once kids grow. In fact, I'm finding in the teen years that my kids need me even more, even if it is in a different way. They may not need me to bath them and choose their clothes, but they do need me to help them sort through peer issues, and identity crises, and sibling crises. They need me to help them form good character and make good decisions. And they want to talk to me, but only because I've put in the time.
My kids really are a joy. That's the fun part: when we spend time and put in the work, our kids become really fun to be with. And our family is fun. That doesn't mean there aren't hard days; only that the joy in knowing that I am living out my priorities sweeps over everything else.
It is tiring to be a mom. Sometimes you do just want to crawl into a hole, or lock yourself in the bathroom, just to have some time to yourself. I am not saying that you can never take that time! Indeed, in this chapter, I show how to balance your time so that you don't become totally enmeshed with your kids. But they need us, and when we take that time, life can be an amazing ride!
If you're feeling overwhelmed right now, read Lori's review
. But don't stop there. Right now I'm at a training conference for marriage speakers, and one thing that we're being drilled home about is that one of the most dangerous times in a marriage is women's mid-life crisis, which tends to happen in her thirties when the kids are in toddlerhood and a little bit beyond. She works hard, gets little appreciation, and finds herself asking, "is this how I want to spend my life? Is there more to it than this?"
There is! You don't need to live your life exhausted. Life can be fulfilling, fun, and meaningful, if you arrange your relationships right so that you get what you need, but the children and your husband respect you and love you, too. To Love, Honor and Vacuum can help you make sure your priorities are being lived out--without giving up yourself!
It's on special this month, for only $11! I know it will help you organize your life and feel more purposeful! Let's start the new year off right.
Labels: parenting, To Love Honor and Vacuum