The urban myth that quality time is sufficient has produced children who are unsupervised, and unprepared for life. The result?
- Teens have been left to receive advice from their peers or from educators who often do not hold the same values as their parents.
- As a whole, the current generation is being shaped by ungodly worldviews from friends, the media, music, and the Internet.
When my youngest daughter, Kayla, started kindergarten, I went back to work full-time. I tried very hard to balance my job with raising my children. Each day after school, the bus dropped Kayla and her brother off at my office. All in all, it seemed like a perfect arrangement.
As the school year went on, however, Brandon, my quiet one, became quieter. He lost himself in Legos and videos. Kayla, on the other hand, grew quite demanding, and because I was tired from working all day, I gradually developed a habit of giving in to her. Maybe you can identify with my struggle?
By the time the second semester rolled around, I no longer knew the names of Brandon’s friends at school. And each evening, as I gave Kayla her bath, she would make an effort to talk with me about her day.
I clearly remember one day Kayla was particularly animated as she told me a story about something that had happened on the playground. I was tired and trying to wash her hair.
As she chattered on, I grew irritated that she wouldn’t stop talking so I could rinse the soap off of her face.
Then it hit me: I had become so consumed with work I had forgotten my real calling was to be this precious little girl’s mommy! To look her in the eyes, listen to every detail about every person she played with that day–what kind of shoes they wore, and how they did their hair.
After I tucked my cute little chatterbox into bed, I went downstairs in tears and told Steve how much I had gotten off track. We knew we could not afford for me to quit working, but we decided to do whatever we had to so I could resign.
I worked through the rest of the school year making adjustments in our budget so that we could prepare for my eventual unemployment. All the while I was researching ways to earn money as a stay-at-home-mom. I ended up babysitting and tutoring to make ends meet.
Financially we had to tighten our belts, but that summer my children were overjoyed to have their mommy back!
Because I made my number one priority helping Kayla relearn the values we had established when she was young, we fondly refer to that summer as Kayla’s “bootcamp.” By the time she started first grade, she was her charming, obedient little self.
WORKING MOMS, DON’T FEEL GUILTY. I am not trying to make working mothers feel guilty, or to call all mothers to stay at home. If you need to work, then ask the Lord to provide you the strength and time that will enable you to enjoy meaningful interaction with your kids.
Do not despair, for many working mothers who have gone before you who have raised wonderful, godly children.
STAY-AT-HOME MOMS. If you are a stay-at-home mom, don’t let opportunities for quality time slip by. Without any effort on your part to have purposeful interaction with your kids, you will miss the opportunity to develop a good relationship with them. And when they reach adolescence–when they need your insights and wisdom more than ever–you may find they won’t have time for you.
Whether you work outside the home or not, you must DETERMINE to schedule quality time with your children. Ask God to give you His wisdom to help you to develop a close relationship and sincere conversations with your children from an early age. This will build the foundation you will need to guide them toward NO REGRETS decisions as they mature into young adults.
QUALITY TIME VERSES QUANTITY TIME? Both are important. One is not a substitute for the other. So mom, make sure you take full advantage of the time you do spend together with your kids.
Learn more about Rhonda’s NO REGRETS MESSAGE visit: NoRegretsWoman