Choose Carefully Where to Expend Your Energy
By Jeannette Webb
There are people who are a bundle of energy. I am not one of them. If you are blessed in this way, you can quit reading here. If you struggle with having enough stamina to get to the end of your To Do List, you might want to continue reading.
Any dedicated parent is faced with a myriad of choices in how they spend their time. There are duties in every area of life: work, church, community, friends, children’s activities, home upkeep, vehicle maintenance, grocery shopping, and meal preparation to name a few. If you homeschool, add all the responsibilities of teaching multiple grades in multiple subjects, principal, high school counselor, coach, office secretary, bus driver, and janitor to the list.
I’m sure you know the drill.
For those of us who can’t get by on four hours of sleep a night, the problem becomes readily apparent. How do you chose what to do when you can’t get it all done or at least done the way you’d like?
While I haven’t always made the right choice, years of experience have shown me the wisdom of keeping an eternal perspective. If it doesn’t matter for eternity, it probably isn’t that big a deal today. As a young parent, I had to come to grips with the fact that time spent loving, training, disciplining, and discipling my children would matter for generations. My parenting would impact my children, my grandchildren, and all the generations to follow. Dusting my furniture would only last for about 24 hours in this old farmhouse. The contrast was sobering.
I need to be honest that a clean house is important to me as is a functioning car and good food. But, when faced with an either/or situation, I became comfortable letting the frivolous slide in favor of relationship.
It might help to view your choices as investments. We invest our money very carefully. We should be even more meticulous about how we invest our time. One brilliant young mother I know was pursing a promising career while raising a young family. She eventually realized that she could do her job sleep deprived, but she could not parent well. She made major changes in her life to ensure that the best she had to offer was available to her family, not the leftovers. If you’ve chosen to come home to educate your children, you need to be aware that most homeschool moms still give the kids the leftovers. Moms get so caught up in the curriculum selection and teaching, the homeschool co-op responsibilities, the music lessons, etc. that the relationship with the kids takes back seat.
My homeschooling days are over, but I still have daily choices to make in how I spend my time. You can rest assured that the lengthy incoming phone call from my husband or adult children trumps a scrubbed floor. Every time.