You don’t know me, but I know you. You are the woman who gets up early, gets ready for work, gets the kids on the bus, drops your toddler/infant/and or preschooler off at the baby sitter or day care. Then you put in a full-day of work, putting up with cranky bosses, irritable co-workers, and sometimes obnoxious customers. Then you pick up your children, go home and put in another day of work getting supper, doing laundry, washing dishes, bathing kids, getting clothes ready for the next day, helping kids with their homework … the list goes on and on! Then you get up the next day and start it all over again! Saturday rolls around and you try to catch up on all the things that have gotten behind, dusting, laundry, etc. Sunday is hectic enough as it is trying to get everyone ready for Bible Study, have a nice “Sunday dinner” and try to sneak in a nap before evening services. Then it’s Monday morning again and the whole cycle begins again!
Now ask yourself honestly … “How much time am I spending with my children and husband?”
Like I said, I know you . . . the reason I do is because I was just like you … I did all those things and more! I told myself “I have to work.” “We can’t make it without what I bring in!” But when it came down to it, I had to ask my-self, “Is it really worth it?”
Consider the following: If you work a 9-5 job, Monday through Friday, your child is spending 47 and ‘h hours per week with a sitter or school teacher and only 25-27 waking hours with you. And that is if you are spending all day Saturday and Sunday with them! So ask yourself, “Who is raising my child?” “Who is having the most influence on him?” I thought I was O.K. because I had their grandmother taking care of them, but when it comes down to it nobody can raise your child the way you would have them to.
Now I know that there are some mothers out there that really do have to work. And I am not directing this toward them. I would ask you to ask yourself the questions that my husband and I discussed before we decided that I should stay home to be a full-time wife and mother.
How many times do you eat out a week? I know that we ate out a lot more when I was working the reason was that I was too exhausted after work to even think about cooking.
Do your children wear new, name-brand clothes? I found that we could get by just as easily with used clothing from resale shops and yard sales.
How many times do you go to the movies? Go to ball games? Go bowling? Golf? Tanning? Exercise classes? How much money do you (or your spouse) spend on little “extras” such as fishing equipment, hunting supplies, craft supplies, books, magazine subscriptions …?
You don’t have to give up everything to be able to stay at home. You just have to learn to cut corners. My husband and I found out that it seemed like the more money we made, the more we “had to have.” We have learned to be content with the more simpler things in life. Instead of going to the movies, we might rent a tape (or better yet borrow one from a friend), and have popcorn at home. We have learned to leave the TV off more and play board games, or even have a Bible study.
You can go on a picnic, take the kids to the park, go for a walk. The list goes on and on. Years from now your kids are more likely to remember the time you spent with them and the little things more than their designer tennis shoes or pizza for supper. Please take the time to really reevaluate your priorities. After all God has given us these blessings. He expects us to take care of them, and make sure that they know his will (Deut. 6:7-9). And how can we truly bring our children up “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” if other people are spending more time with them than we are?
So I ask you dear friend, who is raising your children?
Guardian of Truth XLI: 10 p. 7
April May 1, 1997