Here's my cute button for you to display on your blog after you link up! (Or put it in your side bar as a reminder!) Continue reading for my contribution to this week's party:
One morning recently, I read a blog where the mother was giving advice on finding time to have Bible study or prayer time when one is the mother of little ones. Her suggestions included the idea that our quiet times were going to be short and interrupted often---and that we should learn to accept that as a mother's lot. While I agree that a mother probably doesn't get as much alone time as she likely desires, I think this is an area where mothers can easily train their children to obey and respect her time. We are not at the mercy of our children's desires but, instead, they will benefit tremendously from learning self-control for the sake of others.
A couple of years ago, after dealing with feelings of frustration over my children waking us up as early as 5:00 am some mornings (thus thwarting any chance at quiet time with God--or, just, SLEEP!), I decided that this was an area that needed training and discipline.
I bought digital alarm clocks for each of the kids' rooms. I set them to go off at 7:00 a.m. and showed them what 7:00 looked like. I told the kids that they may not get out of bed or make any noise at all until 7:00. I told them that if they were still asleep at 7:00, then the alarm would go off and they could all get up and get ready for breakfast. On nights when we are not planning on doing formal school the next day, I don't turn on their alarms but, instead, tell them they have to stay in bed and be quiet until I come and get them. (Let me just add here that this works for my children ages 4 and older. I have three in the house right now that are two and under and they still like to wake up and babble! Babbling is something I can doze or read through. Screaming sword fights and shouts of victory on the other side of the wall are not as easy.)
I set my alarm clock for 6:00 a.m. so I'm at least promised an hour. Often times, the baby wakes me up closer to 5:00 a.m. for her morning feeding and I'm able to have time with God, read the Bible, check emails, etc. while I'm feeding her and afterward until 7:00. On non-school mornings, I don't set the alarm but let the baby wake me instead. I can have my alone time and then rest a little longer if I need it. The kids might end up staying in bed until 8:00 a.m. on non-school days but they've all got their books right there from the night before so they can use that time for reading time, if they wish.
This has worked really well for our family for the past couple of years. The clocks are also handy at nighttime when the kids have been tucked in and are having reading time. I go in and tuck them in at a time that works for me---after I get all the babies to bed---and tell them to turn off their lights at a certain time. They quietly read until that time (it varies depending on what is going on the next day) and then they turn off their lamps and go to sleep.
Not only does this training in "when to get up" help me have my morning time with God or with myself, but it teaches the children respect for the rest of the family. Ours is a family of 10 and Daddy works until 1:30 am---then he comes home and either does his college homework or works on web design jobs until 3 or 4 am. This is a way the kids can show their appreciation and respect for the hard work their Daddy does for them and me.
Of course, I agree that it's important to do what works for one's own family---and it's important to incorporate your Bible study into the reality of Mommyhood---but there are also times when we need to be alone with God. What if we need to pray about something that the kids should have no knowledge of? What if God wants to really show us something profound that will take a little time to process at the time he is revealing it? We need to make these times ALONE as much as possible and there's no reason why we can't train our children to obey during our morning time (or evening time---whatever), just like we teach them to obey in other areas of the daily routine. It's just another child-training time.
Would you like to participate in the party each week but just can't remember to link up? There's a couple things I can do to help you out with that! First, there's a cute button at the top of my sidebar that you can put on your blog to serve as a reminder for you---and an advertisement for me! Secondly, I can send you an email reminder! I send out a short email to participants who've requested one on Wednesday nights to remind everyone about the party. Please let me know in the comments below if you'd like me to do that for you!
I'd love to have you link up your homemaking posts below! Hope you have a GREAT weekend!
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