I cannot believe school has started. Summer wasn’t lazy and hazy, but it seems the demands have just amped up. Am I alone? I don’t think so. Plus, I just have to take care of myself and my vocation, I don’t have many family obligations at this stage. I want to let all of you with children and teenagers, that my prayers are with you and I am impressed by all you are doing. Life is hard, balancing work and family.
As you begin the rush of responsibilities, carve out a few minutes, breathe and think about the next few months. Sit down and write down what is important. Then, write down the tasks you are doing that you are looking forward to doing. Finally, write down the activities you are either not excited about or even dreading. Then, ask yourself, and then write down, what would happen if you decided not to participate in an activity you are not excited about or especially dreading. Perhaps your teenager would be devastated, then you may want to think twice. But, if the child is not totally committed, long term, to the activity, then give it up.
When we were raising our daughter, we had the “one times three plan.” We gave her the choice of one after school activity, one church event (along with weekly worship), and one community activity. If, for example, she wanted to do two church activities, she had to give up the community activity for the semester. She couldn’t give up the church activity, however. This gave her time for studying, and God forbid, time for herself. It also gave Jill and I time to spend with each other and as a family. Now, this was hard enough, just having one child. Making a plan and sticking to it is even more important when you have more than one child. Devise your own plan but be sure to make one that everyone understands. Otherwise, your life will not be your own.
I hope I am not sounding like an authority. We made our own share of mistakes. One of the reasons I am sharing this article is because too often I lost control of my life and didn’t take enough time for my family. You don’t get those years back. That is why it is so important to make the plan. You need to be more than simply a taxi service. You deserve better, and so do your children.
Pray over your plan and the decisions you make in the following weeks. God’s Spirit will assist you as you seek to carve out your life. These years can be the most fulfilling of your life. The control you take over these years will make all the difference. Finally, don’t forget to enjoy your life, and those children of yours. All you need to do is turn down the amp!