Thursday, June 28, 2012

Getting It All Done With Little Ones - Part 2

As we saw in Part 1 of this series, your first priority in getting it all done with little ones is to nurture your relationship with the Lord. In Part 2, we will see how our second and third priorities line up with God's Word.

Believe it or not, your husband comes second in your list of priorities. Yup, even before the babies. Some women just don't get this one. They think, He's a big boy; he can take care of himself. These babies need me. As they say, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. But when you have four or more squeaky wheels to tend to, you just might end up broken down on the side of the road if you neglect to oil the engine.

Let me give you a revelation from the Word, friend. Your husband needs you, too.

Genesis 2:18, "And the LORD God said, It is not good that theman should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him."

That's you, girlfriend. If he could make it on his own, God would not have given you to him. At the bare minimum, you have a responsibility to your husband to meet his needs for
  • nourishing meals
  • clean clothing
  • a pleasant and reasonably clean house to come home to
  • intimacy on a regular basis
  • and true companionship.[1]
You say, I can't do all that! Oh, yes, you can. Bear with me. I promise, if your first two priorities are in line, getting it all done with your third priority, the little ones, will be much more pleasant.

If you are a mother, your third priority is the children God has given you. However, that does not mean you should be constantly doing something with the little ones. Though y
ou must meet your baby's needs for food, clothing, and cuddling, if you find yourself holding him for no other reason than that he wants to be held while there is work to be done, it's time to either put him down or wear a carrier.

He will learn to entertain himself sooner if you are determined to train him to do so. Some little ones have trained literally everyone else in the family to pick them up at will and entertain their every whim. You will never get anything done if this is the case in your home.
If he's too big to wear in a sling, put him in an exersaucer (most babies LOVE those things!) or on a blanket on the floor near where you are working. If necessary, partition off a space where he will be within sight or put a responsible older sibling in charge of his welfare at least while you are cleaning or preparing a meal.

That brings me to another point regarding getting it all done. If there are older children in the home, though they should not become a second mother in your stead, they can be trained to be your right-hand man. Even small children have the ability to fetch things, clean up after themselves to a great degree, and keep baby occupied for short runs while mom finishes a task. In truth, this is part of their maturation process and is vital to their well being by having meaningful work to contribute to the family. If they are playing while you do all the work (or rather are not getting it all done), you are robbing your children of priceless lessons in the value of work. In the process, you are also running yourself ragged while the house falls down around you.[2]

Getting It All Done With Little Ones - Part 3
Getting It All Done With Little Ones - Part 1

[1] For a more in depth study on this subject, please refer to my post At the Well about Standing for Your Marriage.

[2] There are a few ideas for getting the children involved in my posts At the Well entitled Keepers at Home and A God-Honoring Schedule.