A few more thoughts on Can We Do It All? The Lord, Husband, Children, & Home. This is how we should order our priorities.
Much of what is important for us to accomplish in our homes is whatever is important to our husbands. My Beloved would rather eat very well than worry about the last time the toilet was scrubbed. So I spend more time cooking than I do cleaning. I also have helpers for cleaning, so I do less of that all the time. Also, my Beloved is not too picky about how the house looks. He likes it neat, but he’s a little more relaxed than I am. It’s a little more important to me, the resident perfectionist to have everything just right. Unfortunately, I am a frustrated perfectionist, because especially with a new baby, things aren’t looking like I want them to.
I think a clean and orderly home is something to strive for. Our God is a God of order. (I Corinthians 14:40, Paul refers to orderly worship in this verse, but are we not worshipping the Lord when we care for our families as we are called to do? Colossians 3:23) With many children, it can often look rumpled around here. I heard a saying once: Clean enough to be healthy, dirty enough to be a home. I don’t know where that came from, but it’s something to keep in mind. I try to remind myself of it daily, as I feel frustrated by my lack of time to do what I feel needs to be done. When I have a baby to care for and that baby just won’t nap, I use my abbreviated routine. Get meals, school, dishes and laundry done. Nothing else matters on those days. And sometimes it’s the children doing the laundry or meals!
Crystal talks about the different seasons in our lives. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 It’s encouraging to hear her talk about slowing down when you have had a baby. It’s okay. It’s what we’re supposed to do. When my third baby was born, he had feeding difficulties. In the weeks that followed, my time was taken up with feedings, pumping and feeding with an SNS, and visits to the Lactation Consultant for weigh ins.
It was a tough time for our family. Folks left and right were asking me why I just don’t quit nursing him. That wasn’t an option for me. I had successfully nursed two other babies and I knew I could do it. A good friend arranged meals for us for three weeks, and my Beloved was very supportive. I was lucky to get a load of laundry in a day, and everyone fed during that time. A young woman came in to help me weekly for a while. But she couldn’t do everything. I know the way the house looked bothered him. It bothered me, too. But getting our child fed was more important. I ended up nursing him the longest, 20 months (through about a dozen debilitating breast infections). And he only weaned because I was pregnant with #4.
A good way to set your household priorities is to sit down and ask your husband what is most important to him. We have been married for 15 years, so I pretty much know what my Beloved wants by now. Eating well is definitely at the top of the list, as I’m sure it is for most men. It goes without saying that discipling the children is a huge priority for him. And there are other particular things that he would have me do first. It’s important to remember that we are created to be our husband’s helpmeet. Genesis 2:18 For this reason, I help my Beloved with his business as he desires, I am available for him to consult with about issues that arise and I make his travel arrangements, pack his bag, etc. I have the packing down to a science by now, including all the special things that make him more comfortable when he travels. Smile. (As a side note, my daughter has shown interest in packing for her dad and actually did most of the packing for his trip this past weekend under my supervision. She did a great job. She’s my right hand man!)
There are a lot of things that I would love to be doing right now but can’t. I want to grow my own organic produce. I would like to design and landscape the yard around the house. I would like to make my own bread, most of my daughter’s and my clothing, matching shirts for all my boys, finish decorating my home, and the list goes on. Am I disappointed that I can’t do these things in this season of my life? Yes. But I am working on being at peace with it.
Can we do it all? Not all at the same time. There are different seasons in our lives. It’s our responsibility to recognize and appreciate each one. Seek the Lord’s will. Seek your husband’s desires. Prioritize accordingly. Bloom where you’re planted. Enjoy where you are right now, and give the rest over to the Lord.
In Part Three, I will talk about using our “servants” and delegating to others to accomplish our work.