I am beyond grateful that I was planted in a church where I learned not to let my children’s schedule dictate my schedule. For example, to me this meant not rushing home for nap time, not scheduling all meetings around my kids and learning to live life together and not one that revolves around them (more about this powerful parenting principle here).
I often choose to bring my kids with me – partly because I am practically a single mom as my husband works 60-70 hours per week but also because I don’t have another option and I prefer to teach them life skills in the process. My children aren’t going to develop patience by playing at home while I take one of their siblings to an appointment. Also, they aren’t going to learn their boundaries and how to approach mommy without interrupting if I only schedule my meetings while Dad is home with them.
“You might want to leave your other children at home.”
“Oh wow! Okay let’s see if the larger room is available, otherwise we will have to try to squeeze in.”
“Isn’t there anyone who can watch your other children? How about your mom?”
What if…we choose to bring our kids with us to train them how to conduct themselves in various environments? What if…the luxury of a babysitter isn’t in our budget? What if…no one was willing to take on four young children? What if…I was a single mom?
I have a “What if…I was a single mom” mentality. Props to ALL the wonderful, single moms out there! I have so much respect for you and you motivate me immensely. My mother was a single mom and it’s really shaped my perspective on parenting.
Whether it’s dance class, a doctor’s appointment or grocery shopping, I am happy to bring my kids along with me. Sure, I can zoom through the grocery store and be in and out much faster without them, but sometimes that isn’t possible and so we make the most out of completing that errand together.
Early one snowy day this past winter, I was contemplating loading the kids into the van for my daughter’s dance class (a half hour class which takes me almost three hours to prepare for). I immediately thought of my mother and all the dance classes she took my brother and I to when we were little and she didn’t have the luxury of a vehicle like we do. I definitely gained perspective in that moment and packed up the kids then headed out the door to the studio.
“Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise.” (Proverbs 6:6)
I love this scripture! Also known as “workers” and “soldiers”, ants work together to support the colony. They are extremely diligent and are so strong, they carry 10-50 times their body weight. This scripture encourages us to be self motivated but also, to go to the source for motivation, direction and wisdom. It encourages us to be hard workers!
What if…I laid low during these toddler years? What if…it were easier to stay at home and we became withdrawn? What if…I was so inward focused, I missed out on opportunities, friendships, events, memories, essentially life?
Just as others might view my family and wonder how I manage, I am gaining perspective from many of you! What if…we changed our way of thinking? What if…we aim to enjoy our days, not just get through our days? What if…we lived like ants? 😉