I prayed for children, cried over not having children, and prayed and prayed and cried and prayed some more. After a number of years, God answered those prayers in rapid succession blessing me with 4 children in just over 4 years. Sometimes, it can be easy in a house full of kids to to forget what a blessing my children are, but I try daily to remember and include them in designing my day.
As I started to write this post, Seth reminded me of the biggest thing I do to design my day with my children in mind. That big thing: choosing to be a stay-at-home, homeschooling momma. I could have chosen a different path, but I really feel this is where God wants me. Yes, my children take up a lot of my time, but I hope they realize how much I love them and how important they are to me.
There are many intentional things I do in planning my day to focus on my children:
- I try to get up before them so that I’m awake (with a few tasks done) before they come bounding out of their rooms. This means I can spend a few minutes with whoever is up first and give each of them a good morning hug as they get up. (When they were really little and woke long before the sun rose, I didn’t manage this as well. Now that they often sleep past 6:30, I’m doing much better.) In fact, if I forget a morning hug for one of my kids, they come after me later looking for that hug.
- We spend time together with our morning devotions. I just love to get a chance to hear the prayers of my little ones.
- Because I love our times of reading a great book together, this is part of my yearly, weekly, and even daily goals. It doesn’t even get put on the homeschool plan, but right up there on my top personal goals. The time we spend together like this is one of my favorite parts of the week. We have had so many great conversations and enjoyable times snuggled up with a good book.
- I try to get as much work done as I can as quickly as I can (like while they are still in bed in the morning) so that we have time to just laugh together, play games as a family, or run to the library.
- If one of my children has a special picture to show me, a daffodil picked from my garden, or a joke to share, I want to take a moment to enjoy it. So, I try to give them my attention when they want to share with me.
- Honestly, it’s easy to design your day with your children in mind. Kids (especially young ones) need lots of attention and can fill my day so that there isn’t room for anything else, but no one should think the world revolves around them, my kids included. With this in mind, I try to have responsibilities for my children that they must complete. I also show them that God and my husband come before them in my priorities.
- I spend a good part of my day teaching the kids and try to model to them being a life-long learner. I plan for our learning times to be when they have the most focus and energy (early in the day) even though that’s when I have the most energy and focus to attack other kinds of projects.
- I read books and study different educational philosophies and curriculum to improve as a mom and as their teacher. So far this year, I read The Love Dare for Parents, Bringing Up Girls, and parts of The Core and The Question with the goal of reading both of these in their entirety this year . I am also working my way through A Patriot’s History of the United States since I have so much to learn when it comes to American History (which we’ll study in the fall).
Today, my goals include making resurrection cookies with the kids and reading 2 chapters of our current read-aloud. Enough blogging . . .my kids are calling!