If you are a parent of young children, I want to offer encouragement. To those who have only young children at home, this may be some of the most difficult times of your life. There are several reasons for that.
First, this may be the tightest money may be. Either a spouse stays at home or you pay for daycare. Not only is there loss of income, you also are purchasing more things for more people at the same time. This can make finances very tight.
Second, you have less time available to date your spouse. If you don’t have grandparents or really good friends you can trust with your children, you end up having to pay for a sitter. Less money may mean having less dates.
Even if you have help, because small children take more energy, it’s harder to have the energy to go out. Many times when our kids were younger, I’d ask my wife if she would go on a date, but she’d rather stay at home with me and watch a movie or chat after the kids went to bed.
Third, there is the struggle of figuring out how to be parents. There’s how to discipline, encourage, balance spoiling kids vs not giving them too much … the list goes on. Usually your spouse was raised differently from you, so it takes time to discuss and come to agreements on how these dozens of decisions a week should be made.
Fourth, small children are needy. Their attention spans are short, so they need more time with parents. They need more done for them, and you will clean up more because of them.
This time of raising small children can take a toll on you. It can take a toll on your energy, your patience, your health, which in turn can take a toll on your marriage. Be aware of this. Don’t change a desire for kids, but know what you are up against.
So here is some encouragement. First, soak up having small children. There are so many things you experience with small children that you won’t be able to experience again. The fun of mispronounced words, spaghetti hanging off of their faces, and times when they just want to sit in your lap, even if you are working and can’t play with them. Some of these things will go away and be missed greatly.
Second, “this too shall pass.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says for everything there is a season. If you keep working hard at it, eventually they brush their own teeth, shower themselves, and even start cooking for themselves. You not only have relief that you don’t have to do everything for them anymore, but take joy in watching them grow in their skills and development. You will have many proud moments watching their progression.
Third, you will get more time with your spouse. You should attempt date nights even when your children are young, even if it is chilly on the back porch and simply talking over a soda. If that’s as far as you can get, and all you can afford, do it. Make time to spend with your spouse.
Before you know it you will be able to go out more. You will be able to travel more together, and plan more dates. Hang in there because it gets better. Whatever you do, don’t let it break, or even hurt, your marriage.
Fourth, don’t neglect to talk to God about these things. He has hundreds of millions of kids. He gets us. He created us and knows our struggles.
Take the kids to church. Make that normal. More so, go yourself. They will follow by example. Trust in God’s plan for how children develop and how to train children, and you will prosper if you build your home following His ways. This will help them and you on your journey through life. Life is tough. Life without God is insanely hard.
What season are you in right now? Where is your largest struggle raising children? What do you need to cherish now with small children? What do you look forward to as your children are growing? Where do you need to rely on God better and follow Him better during this process?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.