Family Is Holy
There is no unit of human beings more committed to one another than that of the family. Comrades in a military unit are committed to one another - their lives depend on it. Co-workers in a business toil for a common purpose. My teenaged son may breathlessly jump in the car after hockey practice, exclaiming, "I love my team!" There is no question, there is nothing like the rush of knowing that you are part of a unit that has a single goal in mind and each part of the unit is working toward that end.
But hockey seasons, wars, and even jobs all come to an end. Family is eternal. As a mom, I feel it critical to do what I can to protect my family from the stresses and strains of the outside world, while nurturing each of us from the inside. Easier said than done, that's for sure!
In a way, protecting from the outside is the easy part. In our own family, it has meant making a concerted effort to cut back on the number of after school/work activities. No longer is each child committed to an after school activity. We limit it to one activity a week, plus a sport.
Early on in this parenting game, I thought I was short-changing my children if I didn't offer them outside opportunities. Here's a list of some of the activities we've gone through:
And, there's probably more that I just can't remember any more!
Cutting back isn't easy - and chances are your community is filled with those uber-parents who seem to have little Janie and Jeffie on the fast track to future success by enrolling them in every "mind-expanding" activity known to man. But are Janie and Jeffie happy? Are Janie and Jeffie ever having the chance to sit in the same room with mom and dad and read a book? Chances are, by the time Janie and Jeffie are done with their activities AND their homework (more on THAT subject to come!) AND have had dinner AND their baths, Janie and Jeffie don't know which way is up. And chances are, Janie and Jeffie aren't very happy either. Protect that holy institution known as your family, by making sure your family has time to do the most important thing imaginable: be together.