Help - I Don't Enjoy Time with My Kids!
It was a cold, winter afternoon. Our busy schedules had finally coordinated enough so that we could meet for lunch and I eagerly made my way to the restaurant we had chosen. We sipped tea and enjoyed our salads. Several hours had passed when my friend finally looked up at me and bravely admitted, "I don't enjoy being with my kids... at all."
There it is. She has admitted it. This precious young mom has been transparent. Honest. She has admitted what most moms feel at one time or another and she has said it out loud!
What do you do when you wake up every morning knowing you will face another day of wiping noses, breaking up fights, telling little boys to sit down while they eat, not to run in the house, and not to hit their brother? What do you do when you face the day knowing that you won't be able to eat a meal without interruption, or go to the bathroom without having an audience?
Loving your children and enjoying your children are two different things. After spending time with my friend, God brought some things to mind that have been helpful to me over the years as I’ve struggled to enjoy time with my kids.
6 Things to Remember When You Don't Enjoy Time With Your Kids:
1. Take Heart: Most Moms Feel This Way
It is normal to feel this way! Most moms feel this way to some extent, whether they admit it or not. It’s what we do with these feelings that matters. It’s important for us to direct this feeling and speak truth to ourselves.
“…and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” - 2 Corinthians 2:5
2. Remember Your High Calling
Being a mom is one of the highest callings a person can have. You have been given an opportunity to point precious souls to their Savior. It is hard work and takes years of self-sacrifice. Ask God to show you how He wants you to fulfill that calling in the season you are in. Pray for God to give you His perspective and His heart for your children.
"So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view," 2 Corinthians 5:16
3. Accept Your Need God’s Help
Accept the fact that you can't do it on your own -- no matter what the world says, you are not enough. You need God to help you persevere and an extra amount of grace to get through each day in a way that glorifies Him. Ask God to show you how to get out of survival mode and help you find ways to put some structure in your day. Pray also that he would help you to see your children as your ministry.
You need help! Ask God to help you see the little opportunities that come each day when you actually find enjoyment in being with your children. God can give us insight and perspective. We only need to ask Him for it!
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” James 1:5
4. Accept That You Need Help from Other People
You need support! Ask God to send you a little support group. Women of different ages who can encourage you and whom you can encourage in this mission of motherhood. Don’t spent a lot of time around moms that complain about their children or their lives as moms. It will not be helpful in your desire to see your children correctly.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” - Romans 12:2
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” - Proverbs 27:17
5. Embrace Your Role as Cheerleader
Remember they are little people. They are individuals! As your children grow and become their own little individual selves, it gives you an opportunity to enter into their world and cheer them on. Whether it is a sport, a hobby, or something else they may excel at, as you enter into the world of these precious people, you can cheer them on and celebrate them. Fun will come in these moments, and you will find yourself not just enjoying the season, but actually enjoying the individuals that live in your home.
“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” - Romans 15:7
“I praise you, for (my children) are fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” - Psalm 139:14
6. Get to Know Your Kids
Jen Wilkin says often says this about our relationship with God, and it applies to our relationship with our children as well: “the heart cannot love what the mind does not know.” Get to know your kids! For moms of boys - no matter how many boys you have, you have entered a foreign land! Boys do not think like we do. We must try to get to know our boys. Ask your husband a lot of questions. Read books on how to relate to men. Our boys are little men!
For moms of little girls: you’ll be able to relate to your daughter in a way no one else can, but be sure not to project your own childhood insecurities and fears onto her. She is her own person, with her own struggles. Work to get to know what makes her light up with joy and find ways to speak her love language!
If you choose to embrace your calling as mom, God will give you a heart for what He has called you to - but you must ask for it. It won't always be fun. In fact, there are seasons when it is just downright harder than we ever imagined. I think of those moms I know who have children with special needs, and how wearing that is for them. But I believe that God can give you a heart for what He has called you to do and get you out of survival mode. I believe that because it is what he has done for me!
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” - Matthew 6:21
Image Credit: ©Getty
Gina Smith and her husband have served on a Christian college campus as the on-campus parents for over 20 years. They have lived on the campus where they homeschooled and raised both of their children. In her spare time she loves to write and recently authored her first book, “Grace Gifts: Practical Ways To Help Your Children Understand God's Grace." She also writes at her personal blog: ginalsmith.com.