Thursday, May 18, 2006

Time with the kids

I find it amazing that as a homeschooling mom who has the blessing of spending most every moment of the day with her children, that I still feel that I need to make a special effort to connect with them.

One might think that I am crazy? How can I not be connected with them when we do everything together??

It is quite easy to accomplish this. The best way is to overschedule oneself. I have a horrible habit of doing this. It has been better in the last year, but I have a history of saying "yes" to many things and "no" to very few.

While my children go with me or help me to do the things we "need" to do, we have difficulties at times truly being present with one another. We fill the spaces between the time we wake up and the time we get to bed, which most often is way too late, with lots and lots of busy work and lots and lots of demands on our time that do nothing to help build our relationships with one another.

Since mom's death, I have attempted to re-evaluate what we will allow to occupy those precious spaces in our day and have made some changes. I imagine it will be a work in progress for the rest of our lives.

The question that I have begun to ask myself is this:

How will this activity benefit our family? How will this bring us closer to one another and closer to God?

This seems like a simple question, but I have found that it is not. What if a particular activity would be great for a certain child's education, but not so great for the younger ones who need to nap? When is it time to cut down attendance at church functions, family events, and social obligations when to do so could hurt other people that we care about so much?

These are difficult choices that must be made and sometimes even I don't like the decision that is decided upon. Again, I go back to my question for myself and try to remember what exactly my husband and I are trying to do. We are trying to raise Godly children to become Godly adults.

One thing I have found that keeps us connected more than anything else is our read aloud time. Currently, Lemma is reading Little House by Boston Bay. Foo Fighter and I are soaking up The Children's Homer, and Fish and I read whatever his little heart desires!

Bean and I don't read many books together anymore, now that she is almost 15. We do discuss books as often as we can, but it is not the same. Perhaps I need to pick something for "our" read aloud time...


Cindy said...

Wonderfully said, Karen.

Sometimes the connections don't even have to be deep, or productive.. but just to keep our toe dipped in the water.


Thanks for the post.


mira said...

Dear Karen,

How true. As a recently become SAHM I find myself also trying to find more time to spend with my kids (although as adolescents they are less eager for this sometimes than I am) and to say no. It's amazing how many "now that you're not working we need volunteers for...." phone calls I get.

Good for you for standing strong and working for your family. It's important.


K said...

It is truly all about balance. And it is a constant battle to maintain that balance.

As a homeschooling mom, I am shocked still, even after 8 years of homeschooling, how often I have to explain that we actually "do" try to do school during school hours.