I don’t know if I’m super sensitive right now because our oldest just started high school and I came to the sudden realization that we only have 4 more years with him, but I’m struggling with the amount of time we actually spend together as a family.
I am blessed to be a stay-at-home mom so I do get more time with my children than most. What bothers me is how our days are filled. My kids attend public school so their day starts early, up at 6:45. We rush around packing lunches, getting showers and stuffing backpacks…not my idea of quality time as most days this puts everyone in a foul mood. They spend just over 7 hours in school but it doesn’t end there. One of my kiddos is in band so she is at the school until 5:30, just as I am leaving the house to coach my XC team. Hubs arrives sometime while I’m at practice and eats dinner with 4 of the 5 kids. Runner boy and I shovel it in sometime after 7 depending on how long practice went. The littles have to crash at 8:30 or there is NO getting them up the next day. A quick math problem reveals we spend approximately one hour each weekday together when school is in session. Are you kidding me?!
One would think that weekends would be better, one would be wrong. Saturdays will become filled with invitational meets & band competitions that will cause us to divide and conquer. Sunday we’ll ride to church together, but quickly separate to go to our designated classes. After several hours there, we’ll grab lunch and crash from the exhaustion of the week, maybe a family movie after naptime….hold up, momma forgot she’s low on lunch supplies for the school week so to the grocery I go instead of relaxing with my family!
Y’all, time is fleeting and it scares me to think of how little we are investing into the family that we’ve been blessed with! I am terrified that one day down the road I will wake up to an empty house and broken heart over the number of hours I spent away from the people who mean everything to me! So what do we do?!
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Prov 90:12 ESV)
To me this means taking a quick inventory of what is necessary and what needs to go. Determine your priorities and start eliminating things you do simply out of obligation or because it’s what is expected of you, (or your tribe). There is no glorification in having an overcrowded schedule. You and I will not receive praise for making sure that our family calendar is packed full of clubs, sports, volunteer assignments, etc, etc, etc. I am NOT suggesting that we all become hermits, quitting every activity that means we have to go our separate ways for a time. What I am proposing is that we don’t become so focused on our “to do” list that we spend our days rushing through this one life we are given. I’m so tired of having to say the words “we don’t have time” to my husband and kids. If we have reached the point where we no longer have time for each other, then we are doing something wrong.
Like I said, maybe it’s just me dealing with having a high schooler and the thought that my “baby” starts big kid school next year, but I can’t shake the feeling that my time could be better spent when it comes to my circus and my monkeys. Sending my kids back to school this week was not a relief, it was hard. I know I sound like I’m complaining, and I guess in a way, I am. I have become increasingly jealous of our time. Anyone out there face this same struggle and have some words of wisdom to hand down to young momma’s everywhere dealing with these feelings?