“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” Psalms 127:3 (NIV)
Parents have a hard job… but it’s also the best job. One weekday in February, I was reflecting on this as I was driving home, finally, from multiple trips to two schools, all before 8:30 a.m. Our kids are high school, middle school, and elementary school – fairly self sufficient so gone are the days of extremely hands-on parenting and we’re onto more support parenting. Two of the three of them make their own lunches (the third will begin next year with supervision), they take care of the dogs before they leave for school (take out and feed) and they can dress themselves, feed themselves, etc. It’s more a matter of just making sure the household continues to run smoothly and stepping in to offer a hand when schedules get behind.
This particular morning, I was driving our two oldest to school because one had to take a test and needed to be there early. My husband used to drive them daily but with his promotion, his hours changed and therefore they were back to riding the bus. This meant the youngest also had to get up and be ready to go much earlier than usual, which he didn’t mind. We dropped them off and when I arrived home, I realized our oldest’s phone had fallen out of his pocket and was lying on the seat… which meant another trip to the school before driving our youngest to his, because with an after school job and a winter weather warning, I needed to be able to reach him if necessary.
After finally driving home from my last drop off (the elementary school), I realized just how crazy mornings are for parents, no matter how many children you have. While it seems like it lasts forever, it is a short time we get the privilege of helping our kids grow into adults.
I am privileged to have the advantage to work from home so my schedule is slightly more flexible than others. I give extra credit to parents who work outside the home and have to fit everything into the short hours between after work and bedtime and the weekends. Add in other factors like extra travel time in bad weather, sickness, bad days, etc. and your normal state of chaos can quickly derail even further. Even the most organized households have some form of hectic when trying to get everyone out the door at the same time… all dressed, with lunches, sports and/or band equipment, homework, briefcases and of course the much needed coffee.
I realized on that cold, February morning – I thrive in this type of hectic. I’ve been known to get more done in the two hours I first wake up than the six hours delegated to working while everyone is at school. Dinner in the crockpot, two loads of laundry, lunches, dogs, and even some work at times. I will miss these mornings when all our kids are grown and gone. I will miss the laughter, the chaos, the help in the kitchen, the peanut butter smeared on the counter – most importantly the hugs, kisses, and knuckle punches as everyone walks out the door or standing outside the school chatting with other moms and kids about random stuff while we wait for the bell to ring.
I want to offer encouragement to all those parents out there – those that work from home, outside the home or are full time homemakers. Parenting can be hectic but there is nothing more rewarding in life than having a great relationship with your kids. It’s absolutely my favorite job!
© Cheri Swalwell 2016