Sunday, March 4, 2012

passionate, joyful homemaking: distractions to the stay at home mom

“[older women in the church] are to teach what is good, and so train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home...”   titus 2:5

“[the excellent wife] looks well to the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness”   proverbs 31:27

the bible teaches that mothers should manage their households well, and have a homeward focus.  though this certainly doesn't mean that every second of the day and every thought of her head must revolve around her household and family, her orientation should be homeward.  often times, careers can get in the way of this homeward focus.  but being a stay at home mom does not guarantee that a mother is managing her household and family well; there are plenty of other things that can distract her.

children's activities.  moms can get very busy driving their kids around to karate, soccer, cheerleading, dance class, swim team, and so on.  not only can this be a big burden and distraction on mom, it can also take away from important family time.  sports practices and other activities are often scheduled during the dinner hour, making it impossible for a mother to fix dinner, much less getting the whole family to sit down together to eat.  

these activities may also be a day-time distraction.  i know of some mothers who go to play dates with other moms/kids on a daily basis.  it starts to take away from their one-on-one time with their kids, and makes it hard to fulfill their household duties.

in our culture with the ease of getting places and lots of leisure time, opportunities for kids abound.  however, activities like these can become burdensome and enslaving.  in order for a mother to be able to serve her family well, she may need to limit the amount of activities her children are involved in.  it also helps to keep a focus of discipleship with your children:  choose their activities with an eternal perspective for the whole family (what is going to benefit the family most for eternity).
'Niall trying to eat Mom's computer' photo (c) 2009, Peter & Joyce Grace - license:

the internet.  it is amazing that with technology these days, a mother can stay in her house all day without even thinking about her household or family once.  the internet can be a huge distraction to many mothers.  even "good" things: keeping up with friends, looking up recipes, learning home keeping tips, or finding fun kiddo activities, can become bad things when they distract from a mother's important service to her family.

hobbies. hobbies are a much needed outlet for many moms.  some hobbies, like gardening, sewing, scrap booking, baking or knitting may even contribute well to the needs of the household.  but just like the internet and children's activities, good things can be bad things when they take over your life.

certainly, we honor God when we enjoy life through things like hobbies.  but the bible also makes it clear that the christian must lay down her life and desires to serve others at times.  so, there could be times when your hobby needs to be set aside so that you may serve your family well.

what other things can distract mothers from having a homeward focus?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Great post Sarah!

    I think another distraction can be ministry! I was reminded of this at a women's retreat yesterday. That even good things, like helping others, mentoring women in your church, college ministry, etc. can be a distraction from your husband and kids when you're too caught up in serving people other than your family.

    -Michaela Avery

  3. hey sarah im curious what you think a mom who is homeward focused *should* be doing during her day? you spent a lot of time talking about what she shouldn't be doing and it's a bit vague to me what you think would be appropriate/right for her to be doing...can you clarify that in a future post?

  4. could you also expand upon *why* you think those things are not (or potentially not) good? im curious to hear your thoughts on it in more detail/in specifics :)

  5. I find when I am too busy away from home: too many ill planned errands, activities, play dates then the following situations occur

    1) A week can easily slip by without any disciple ship time with my five year old: bible stories, bible memory verse, craft, reading, etc
    2) When we are finally at home my time is spent furiously cleaning and then trying to cook something halfheartedly rather than spending one on one with my daughter
    3) If I do prioritize one on one time with my daughter, then cooking goes by wayside, so we are not eating the nutrient dense meals that take time and energy to prepare
    4) Fridge doesn't get cleaned out so food always gets thrown away
    5) Laundry piles up
    6) I get exhausted and resentful from trying to do too much – clean, cook, create one on one time, activities away from home – I’ll yell and get impatient easily and always feel rushed instead of relaxed, so my child then picks up on my stress and does not respond well.
    7) We eat on run – spend money eating junk GMO foods at places like Panera Bread, etc
    8) My daughter (who is very extroverted) still needs quiet space and time at home to process events through imaginative free play, etc and when she doesn’t have this space she becomes more winey, cries easily, gets bored quickly….

    I do believe children get really easily over stimulated. We often hear people say, “Kids are so resilient. And they can handle more than you think they can.” But I find the opposite to be true – I think this ‘resiliency’ simply manifests itself as suppression into the sub-consciousness. Also, it seems in our culture (USA) our children actually can’t handle as much as we think they can – they really are way over scheduled and not given anytime to just process. So much just passes over them and nothing gets fully absorbed.

    Less really is more! Children need a s-l-o-w pace and best way to do this is to be at home. A lot. It helps them become more secure in the world.

    Suggested Reading:
    1) Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne;
    2) The Quiet Place by Nancy Leigh Demoss
    3) The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care By Sally Fallon (to be released February 2013)
    4) Entrusted With A Child’s Heart: A Biblical Study in Family Life by Betsy Corning