As I continue discussing I Can’t Be a “Keeper At Home” Because … this is perhaps the saddest reason of all that a mother might give for not being home with her children. What is even worse is that often women who are at home may say similar. They look forward to shipping the kids off to school.
If you think back most everyone can think of some mother that has said some version of the following:
“Being home every day with the kids would drive me crazy!”
“If I tried to homeschool the kids, one of us would end up dead.”
“They would have to lock me away if I had to be home every day.”
“I can’t spend all day, every day, with kids.”
“I can’t wait until school starts back.”
“Just one more year and they will all be in school, I can’t wait.”
“Weekends are so tough that I look forward to going to work on Mondays.”
“Work is a breeze compared to being at home.”
Haven’t you heard mothers say this?
What is even sadder is this is not just said to another adult, but often spoken out loud with the children around.
Just what might be the repercussions that a child has when he is regularly told that his own mother doesn’t want to spend time with him?
Pay back time comes very quickly though. See by the time a child is a pre-teen or a teen they reward the parent by feeling the same way. Many times the child comes to hate spending time at home with the parent. Friends take the place of parents in the child’s life.
But an even bigger problem is this same attitude holds over into much later in life. Have you ever thought about how many adult children do not really care for their older parents? They don’t call, they don’t visit, never would they consider caring for an older parent at their home and often they really don’t mourn the passing of a parent at death any longer.
If children are a reward as the Lord has said, what has happened?
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. ESV
Why do so many parents act like children are a curse and something to be avoided?
Here are a few thoughts as to why.
1. Children are not trained and disciplined, so they do tend to drive everyone crazy.
2. Children are eating too many high calorie foods and yet never expending the energy they have stored.
3. TV, videos and sedentary games have replaced exercise and outdoors play. Children haven’t been taught how to play games like baseball and soccer without all the extras. Organized sports have replaced free unstructured play.
4. Mothers were not taught how to manage home and children because many of their own mothers worked.
5. Children are not expected to work and be productive members of the family. They have been trained to be catered to.
6. All mothers have times when we must slay our own selfish desires, some more than others.
7. The average church actually hinders a child’s development by teaching them that they need to be entertained. Children’s Church and Youth Groups send a very clear message that entertainment is necessary in order to be happy.
8. TV shows depict life for children which may cause dissatisfaction with their own life. Thus children beg for things they have seen, certain clothes, and for constant outside activity. (I have no clue about the real shows today aimed at children and youth, I just remember those of my generation doing so.)
9. Often we have too high of expectations; clean house, clean children, quiet, etc.
10. Often we have too low of expectations; doing things for the children they can do for themselves, not expecting them to help, thinking constant outside activity is necessary, etc.
Being a mother is hard work and there will be days every mother might would like to clock out for a while, but if that is your normal then maybe, you should reevaluate what you are doing.
Later, I’ll look at some of these problems closer.