There are many nights that I lay awake long after my husband begins snoring lightly beside me. My mind whirls as I think of all the ways I�ve failed that day. Phone calls and emails that didn�t get returned; laundry that didn�t make it from the basket to the drawers; and worse yet time I could have spent with the kids that I whittled away working or collapsed in a chair trying to catch my breath.
How do we find the time to be a great parent amidst the chaos? The answer: we must realize we can�t do it all. As work-at-home moms, we need to relax and strive not for perfection, but for doing our best despite the circumstances. We need to strive to be parents who are:
Playful � Motherhood is a job that most of us take very seriously. However, the day-to-day life of a mom can be full of joy, laughter and fun as well. As moms, we set the tone for our household. When we have a positive attitude anything can be fun, even teaching times such as helping with homework.
My daughter began kindergarten recently. She now has homework to complete a few evenings each week. She is learning to read and becomes frustrated when she can�t figure out a word. I�m learning that by being patient with her, allowing her to express her frustration (in a calm manner) and encouraging her when she succeeds, even homework can be enjoyable time spent with her. Whenever possible, we turn homework into a game and have fun learning together.
Prayerful � The greatest part of a healthy prayer life is seeing God answer your prayers and sharing these experiences with your children. Answered prayer is a powerful spiritual teacher in the life of a child.
Jane Evans, author of Raising Children Without Going Insane, explains it well. "When you are lost and can�t find your way, stop and pray and ask God to help you. Teach your children the power of prayer in everyday situations�even you may be surprised, as I have many times, at the way God answers when you call!�
Purposeful � When working from home it�s important to take the time to teach our children about the Lord whenever the opportunity arises. When talking with your child, there are many subjects that will come up that will give you an opening to teach them about God.
For example, this past summer my daughter, Katy, was having trouble with two of the neighbor girls. They had gone into their backyard and told my daughter that she couldn�t come in and they didn�t want to play with her. Seeing the hurt in my daughter�s eyes was hard, but I knew it was important to try to teach her about forgiveness and loving others.
Even at five years of age, Katy was able to understand that just as God loves us despite our failings, we are to love others when they hurt us. We also talked about choosing friends wisely and I explained that once school started she would have the opportunity to make new friends. We chatted about my experiences with friends and how God brings people into our lives for a reason � sometimes, like this instance, it may be to learn forgiveness. It turned into a great conversation and I�m pretty sure I learned as much from it as she did.
Motherhood is a twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week profession. There are no days off, very few coffee breaks and even fewer accolades. Despite this, we can choose to have a good attitude and make the most of each moment. By being moms that are playful, prayerful and purposeful, we�ll set a great example for our children. I think my kids may be picking up on my positive attitude. I overheard my two-year old talking to his daddy last night about his day. I could hear the smile in his voice as he summed it up, �Me happy. Mommy happy.�
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men�
About the Author:
Jill Hart is the founder of Christian Work at Home Moms, CWAHM.com. She is a contributing author to three non-fiction books, writes a column for the Wisconsin Christian News and her article appear on sites like DrLaura.com. Jill is also the editor of RadiantLit.com and writes reviews for a number of websites.
I searched for articles this evening about being weary.....which is what I am. This has helped me tremendously and is so well written. I love the practical "P" points that you have given the reader to apply when they need help. Thank you for sharing your insight. LOVE the title!