Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Priorities and Schedules

Kim's post today and the links she includes were very encouraging to me. Kim has nine, yes, nine children. This is the kind of person I was talking about that would have to know how to make a household work! :) The common thread I find in most of the reading I have done about household management in a Godly way focusing primarily on the tone in the home. The house can be spotless, but if the kids are undisciplined and unhappy and the marriage has been neglected, it would still be a miserable place to be.

Kim's comments about stopping right away to work with children who need you really resonated with me. Hannah had been having some attitude issues recently, and in doing some reading I have realized the problems weren't with her as much as they were with me. We moms simply cannot afford to be lazy, or to avoid dealing with stuff. An angry lecture a few minutes too late is not an appropriate substitute for attentiveness and quick action. I have seen this play out in our home this week. Things have been much happier.

This reminds me of a family I saw yesterday while sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office. A very heavy (like, maybe 300 pounds), very tired looking mother herded her four children in to the waiting room while we sat. My intent is not to be critical of this woman, but I could hardly keep from watching the drama that unfolded. The two youngest boys were stinkers. They were into everything, and very unkind to each other and to their sisters. One of the daughters was there for some sort of injury, and when she was called to the back, the other three kids stayed in the waiting room alone. As soon as the mother left, the girl lit in to her brothers, "You're too close to the tv! Move! Leave that alone! Stop it!" She got louder and louder until everyone in the waiting room had turned to look and make a judgment about the situation.
Eventually the mother came back to sit some more and found her daughter extremely frustrated and practically screaming at her brothers. She sat that little 8 year old down and proceeded to lecture her in front of everybody, not letting the kid get a word in edgewise, about what Jesus would do and how she always acts like this. You could see the rage on the girl's face. In five years I can only imagine how she will feel toward her mother if that continues. It made me sad. I wonder if the reason the girl got it instead of her brothers, is that the mother has given up on the boys. She was alone and did not appear to be currently married. I can only imagine what it would take to raise four kids alone, and especially to raise two boys that were handfuls.

There's no way for me to help or judge in the case of that family, but I do know what I want my home to be like. I don't want to have to raise my voice for my children to mind, even if it means spanking them when it's appropriate. I want my home to be a peaceful, joyful place to be, even if it means I don't get to do what I want to do, when I want to do it. The quest continues....

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