The Lure of
"Time for Myself"
by Jean Mann
Most of us have friends who have put - or are thinking (with excitement) about putting
- their preschoolers into daycare, pre-school, or moms-day-out programs. Part of us may think that this sounds heavenly for us and for our children as well and we find the idea very tantalizing! Our flesh realizes the self-sacrificing it will take to have our children home with us all the time, and we may think our children are missing out on something good!
Yes, it is a big temptation! It's quite easy to get lured into the tug of having a regular "time out" from being the mommy around the clock. In the marathon of child rearing
- it is really much easier to have them home and keep them home. It is not my intent to say we should never leave them with anyone. Certainly there are times for having a break. I don't find in scripture that a lifestyle of daily, extensive intermissions is God's plan for the family. I think it is worth considering that 'break' is synonymous with 'disunion', 'disconnection' and 'omission'.
Your children are growing up with the two people on earth who love them most. Even those people who have worked preschool and daycare and then have children of their own freely admit that the children in "care" do not get the same love, quality and tenderness that a mom gives her own children. Not even close! You just can't pay someone to love anyone, especially to care for and about them like you, as the mom, can.
Your children at home are not learning the poor training and lack of character that, sadly, is deeply ingrained in our society. They may not pick up the unwanted behaviors, but at the very least they will be confused and possibly taken advantage of. Bullies start at early ages and often go unchecked for far too long.
If you really need a break, all of you are better off to find a family or two with children the same ages and with the same values to swap time. It is not easy and you must set the ground rules before you start so no one can cry "Unfair!" in the midst of the situation. Even with that consideration it is a very rewarding, relaxing and far better situation than paying total strangers to simply contain your child in a pack within some boundaries.
I'm sorry to sound so negative, but I have seen some kids be horribly picked on, even at such tender ages. There are some great day care centers out there, but even the best are not as good as mom, dad and genuine loving care, not just hired.
Think about it - could you hire a man to be a husband to you for any length of time? Sure, you can hire a handy man, you can hire a chef, a gardener, mechanic, etc., but will you feel loved, cared for, protected and cherished by any of these? ... No.
Conversely, could your husband rent someone to care for him as you do and feel loved, cared for, honored and cherished? ...Of course not! Then why would you think you could do this for your children? ... You just can't buy genuine love -- and that's what our families need more than anything. That is what God provided for them in us.
Is 'safe' good enough? Maybe, but probably not as often as many try to justify. We are home builders for a very specific reason. It is the mission, the job that God has called us to fulfill. If He called you to minister to the sick, lame or hungry, would you grumble the whole while?
Ignore Him? Pay someone else to do it in your place? Plead your case for paid vacation time… Hardly.
As Hebrews 12:1 says: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
By Jean Mann; homeschool mom of 6 for 15 years;
all this said, I (Barb) just want to make sure that moms don't
think this refers to having time to yourself in shorter spurts,
as the Lord wants His children to have times of refreshment. But
what most moms are looking for is not short times, but a lifestyle
away from their children because they enjoy their freedom. It's
also often because they have not learned or employed effective
(and loving) means of disciplining their children, and therefore
have children that they have reason to get away
from! See my "Enhancing Relationship with and
Discipline of Children" section of my Article Chart to help
you get onto a better path in this area!