Family movie night. Housework and laundry. Spring/summer clothes shopping for all three kids. Cleaning out closets. Piles of trash bags filled-to-the-brim with old clothes to donate. Reorganizing our budget. Planning meals for the week. Grocery shopping. Errands. Add in there middle-of-the-night wake-up calls from a teething baby, soccer games, forgotten homework and discipline. Lots of discipline.
It's crazy how one day the kids seem to be fine, and then the next day, I see horns growing out of their heads and these little hellions are fighting and yelling and acting crazy right in our family room. Totally tuning us, their parents, out and the seeds of selfishness, greed and entitlement start creeping in.
A family purpose statement and our family rules are in dire order, displayed for the kids to see. The kids' allowance system is getting some changes - focusing more on work ethic, attitude and behavior. And there'll be more housework added in as consequences to help build responsibility too.
This parenting stuff is hard work. It's easy to get overwhelmed and feel like giving up some days - especially when you're exhausted and bone-weary from training little ones 'round the clock and keeping everything going. But, God's always there when I reach my wits-end and gives me little rays of hope. Reassurance that Scot and I are good parents, desperately trying to do the best that we can each day. Strength to get through today, with plenty of grace for tomorrow. And hope that, one day, this will all be worth it.
Our children are a gift. The biggest blessing of all, besides our spouses. May I never take that for granted.
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.