If you are a parent, you know the challenge of parenting. It is a full time, all in, 24/7 commitment — beautiful, wonderful, exhausting, and often just flat-out hard. All parents are working parents and the mix of work inside and outside the home is unique to each family. I am often asked to speak on this issue with the hope that I can provide a formula that helps balance it all. I’m sorry to tell you, but there isn’t a formula. There are, however, some myths to overcome.
5 Myths to Overcome:
- You can’t spend quality time with your kids.
Good planning and intentional parenting are necessary whether you work outside the home or inside the home. Whatever blocks of times you have with your children, focus your engagement. Be focused. Be intentional. Be engaged. There are limitless opportunities to do this as you invest in your relationship with your children. Some examples are reading together, doing a household chore together, interacting through play, gardening, grocery shopping, etc. Be intentional both in your work and in your parenting.
- You don’t have the right to discipline since you aren’t with your kids all day.
Many parents feel guilty because of the time they are away from their children working. Because of the guilt, they don’t set boundaries or discipline their children. This is a big mistake. Your children want discipline which teaches them and equips them for life. Discipline means you love them and care about them. “I love you too much to let you talk that way to your mother” is a statement my husband would use at times with our girls. Whatever time you have with your children, make sure discipline is a part of your intentional parenting.
- Regular routines and patterns don’t matter.
Yes, life and work can get a little crazy and is often unpredictable. Some days may require a break in routines and patterns but this should be the exception not the rule. Regular routines build confidence and security in children. There should be time for play, time for chores, time for dinner, bath time, story time, prayer time, and bedtime. Don’t be rigid but know that regular patterns are great for the entire family.
- You don’t have the time to lead your kids spiritually.
I love the passage in Deuteronomy 6 that gives us both the responsibility for the spiritual development of our children but also the pattern for how we lead our children spiritually.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” vs. 5-7
Leading our children spiritually begins with our heart for God that is taught as we go about the daily routines of life – as we sit, walk, go to bed, and get up! No matter what your work and life looks like, you do all these things. Teaching our kids about God should be a natural part of our ordinary days!
- More time would make you a better parent.
We all wish we had more time but God in his wisdom gave us all the same block of time. 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 365 days in a year. We must steward our time with wisdom because time keeps moving. Psalms 90:17 says it best: “Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.” More time won’t make you better at anything but the wisdom that comes from God will guide us to live intentionally and to live joyfully.More time with your kids won't make you a better parent, but God gives us wisdom how to parent. Click To Tweet
What ideas would you share that help you in balancing work and parenting?