So, I have friends who are well into their 30s, 40s, 50s, – some with one or two kids and some without any kids and some with grown children. And others with part-time kids (they’re a stepparent).
The majority chooses to send their kids to public school. This is the expected norm. I get that. I know I swim upstream.
I don’t ask questions about lifestyle choices. I don’t pry. I don’t make snide remarks. I don’t say my way is best for you.
Why do you feel the right to make snarky comments to me because I choose to have four children? In my home. Every day. All day. Homeschooling. Working from home. Every day.
I have different priorities. My priorities have changed over the years. I’ve been refined.
I realize what’s important for me.
I’m tired of explaining that “I don’t have time” doesn’t always mean that I literally have every second of my life accounted for, but rather that “This isn’t a priority for me” or “I’m giving as much of myself as I’m able to right now.”
I’m also tired of explaining that “I don’t have the money” doesn’t always mean that I literally have every penny accounted for, but rather that “This or that isn’t a priority” or “I’m spending as much as I desire at this time.”
Things I Don’t Do
No, I don’t want to find a babysitter so I can go to the coffee at 10:30 in the morning and listen to the little wifeys complain about commanders who don’t like their husbands or landlords who don’t do what they want and when and the culture differences that they don’t like since we live in Germany – or Utah – or Hawaii.
No, I don’t want to go to the girls night out when I could be at home with a healthy homemade meal and listening to my kids laugh over games or arts and crafts. My husband leaves for work before I wake and gets home at dinnertime. We like to spend a couple hours together before exhaustion overcomes us. I don’t want to miss that nightly read aloud time or Bible stories before the sweet bedtime prayers, then all the jumbles of snuggles, kisses, and hugs that almost physically hurt when four growing bodies pile on my aging, aching, sagging (squishy) one – but it fills my heart to bursting.
No, I don’t want to go shopping with you. We have all that we need and opening up my mind and heart to commercial temptation isn’t what I want to do. I don’t need retail therapy. Shopping is not entertainment for me. I have more than I need and I’m diligently working on downsizing, organizing, and simplifying. I don’t watch the sales. When I need or really want something, I buy it online or I go directly to pick that one item up (if I know it’s available locally).
No, I don’t want to join whatever club, extracurricular activity, or even church group that will further send any of us out of the house an extra night a week when we prefer to just be home together. I understand many perceive Scouts, AWANA, and other organizations are great. I don’t do scrapbooking or crafts. And I’m sure they are great for you. I just don’t want our family run ragged as we compete for participating in the most activities. We have peace. We’ve done it and the stress wasn’t worth it. We like to have meals and bedtime routines at home, together as a family.
No, I don’t want to watch your kids. Just no. I have enough responsibilities with my family – and being home all day, every day doesn’t mean I’m lonely and bored. I am working and teaching. I’m sorry you have so many engagements where your kids aren’t welcome. It should not be described as a play date either, when you need to get rid of your kid to get your nails done. I turn down many important invitations because my kids come first.
Their childhoods are short. Perhaps, there will be time for me to play on the other side. For now, my priority is discipling and developing relationships with my four children. I joyfully sacrifice for them.
I don’t want to have regrets about what I missed out on when the kids are all grown up. I want them to have good memories of Mommy being available and not running off all the time, leaving them alone or with babysitters. I want to cherish this time.