No one can tell you what’s its like being a parent. No amount of books, tapes, seminars or intimate conversations can prepare you for the major life change that happens after the birth of a child. It’s especially hard for women who have been self-sufficient, self-reliant and independent. After many years of independence and carefree living (other than a job)…BAM…you now have to shift gears and learn the meaning of unselfishness and sacrifice time, energy and money.
Career women are torn between foregoing their ambitions and relinquishing personal dreams, goals and future plans for diapers, daycare and Disney.
It’s not that we don’t love our children. We adore them. “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” (Psalm 127:3). They add depth and meaning to our lives. They are the apple of our eyes and the topic of all conversations. Yet, the season of having children for busy, hard-working businesswomen is stressful. Mama needs a break and she needs some blessed quietness in her schedule.
Even basketball star Michael Jordan didn’t play every minute of the game. In order for him to continue to play at his best, he stepped out, sat down and rested while another player stepped in and took over. That’s what teams are about. That’s what friends are for and what families should be. It takes a village to raise a child because the parents are heading towards burnout.
Mothers are especially pulled a million different directions and not really effective in anything. We’re over-committed. Yes, we can do all things through Christ (Phil. 4:19) but we can’t do them all at the same time. We’ve become experts at being multi-tasked. We can work, cook, create, cuddle and clean all in the same hour. Life is moving too fast and the more we do, the more is expected of us. This “do-it-all-by-yourself” thing has got to stop. There is no honor in self-sufficiency. We just become weary, exhausted and worn out. No good for no one and “not good for nothing.” Just frazzled and short with our kids.
We have to ask for help and build a support team to help with our children. It’s pride that prevents us from asking for help and it’s selfishness that prevents us from offering to help others.
Friends and family are the “village.” We must learn to have sensitivity to what others are going through and offer a hand.
Our lives are not simple. We have too much going on and very rarely do we have time for intimate conversations or leisure time to enjoy the company of others. We may need to cut back some stuff and cut out a lot of stuff. But until we do, we should work as a team being considerate of others and help where we can.
If you’re taking kids to dance-class anyway, help out a stressed out mom and take her kid too. If you’re going to the latest Disney flick, pile up the car and give another mom a break for a couple of hours. Trade weekends having a few of your friend’s kids over on Fridays. That way every other Friday you’ll have a house full but every other Friday you’ll have an “empty nest” and time to rest. Sometimes taking care of three or four kids is just as easy as taking care of one.
Become a support network to parents at the daycare, school and at church. OFFER to take a kid home from church or have them come home from school with you for dinner. Parents don’t want to bother grandparents all the time. Kids love the company of other kids better anyway.
News parents are especially not used not having time to “hear your own thoughts.” Children require an enormous amount of energy and attention. No matter how much you love them, you’re going to eventually be in overload if you never get a break from the norm. This is not the way to live. We should have an extended family that extends a hand once in while to help those who are trying juggle life’s balancing act.
In Titus 2:3, it talks about women mentoring women. We’re all in a race to the finish line and some of us just need a caring soul to run a few laps for us so we can catch our breath. We reap what we sow. Be a blessing and you’ll receive one back.
As “the village,” we are to live in harmony, be sympathetic, compassionate and love one another as family. Our children will be better and happier when we are more balanced and refreshed.
What steps will you take this week to make a difference? Let your actions speak louder than your words; your team needs you to step up.
Pam Perry, PR Coach, PR Coach & Social Media Strategist
Ministry Marketing Solutions, Inc