Does your hectic schedule sometimes feel like you are performing in a circus? Perhaps juggling work, family and home? Struggling to find that balance like walking on a precarious tightrope? Life can be tricky sometimes, and if we aren’t careful, the most important things (particularly relationships and church life) end up suffering the most. No one plans for this to happen, so to help avoid it, you need to approach it intentionally and realistically.
Time is at a premium for working parents and therefore it is paramount to find a way to incorporate quality time with your children, while at the same time not neglecting the seemingly endless list of necessary household chores. And depending on their age, children also need to have their own interests and even paid work as they move into their teenage years – which involves more time for you driving them places. No wonder parents and children are exhausted by the end of the working week!
On a practical level, how can household chores be completed whilst not neglecting the needs of the family? How can they be done without bickering/dawdling? How can it be a completely peaceful experience? How can we incorporate more time with our kids despite a hectic schedule?
One suggestion to achieve this is to enlist the help of your children. This may sound like something that will actually cause more problems – either through objections from the children or from the amount of effort it might take to teach them what to do. But there are lots of great reasons to include your children in the running of the household, here are just a few:1
• Building self-esteem – by being a productive member of the family (Prov 14:23)
• Learning life skills – learning to become functioning adults (Prov 12:24)
• Role modelling – learning how to handle life through watching and participating (Matt 5:16)
• Spending time together as a family (Ps 127:3-5)
If you have a very young family, it’s the perfect time to start including them in the household chores. Starting when they are young means it will be an expected part of their life, hopefully with as little grumbling as possible. You should expect though, (and even accept), some resistance to having to do chores. It takes maturity and awareness of others’ needs to fully understand why they have to help out.1 But your own attitude towards the chores and towards the children’s efforts will make it a whole lot easier.
If your heart is to spend more quality time with your kids, then you will want to read more in our August issue. Hectic schedules don’t have to rule your life– you can rule it! The remainder of this article can be found on page 30.