My husband and I made the decision before we were married that once we had children, I would be at home full time in order to have the time required to rear our children in the admonition and fear of the Lord, to support him in his ministry, and be a homemaker. Before I quit teaching but was expecting our first child, I remember my mother-in-law saying to me, "You think you're going to have all the time in the world once you stay home, but then once you're home, you see how full your day becomes. Make breakfast, clean up breakfast, think about lunch, clean up lunch, prepare for dinner, clean up dinner, and do everything else in between." It didn't take me long to understand what she meant.
It takes a lot of time to care for small children, to lovingly discipline them when it is needed, to structure their days with learning activities and fun play, while also doing the laundry for six people, cooking for six people, and cleaning up after six people. Factor in my need for a quiet time alone with the Lord, preparations for ministry activities, and time with my highest earthly priority (my husband), my days are quite full. Everything still goes very smoothly, until a lot of good things make their appearances. What kinds of good things? Any activity that is outside of my main priorities of God, Husband, Children, and Church. Anything that takes me away from my home, away from time with God, time with my husband, time with my children, away from church.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for spontaneity. There's nothing like busting out something fun for the family or to be with friends, but if I do it too much, everything suffers, first my house. Trying to catch up, I'll get tired, and then I'll be a pill to my husband or yell at my kids. That's not being sensible. So, I have to slow down and evaluate the things I do, so I'm not overwhelmed and look at every activity I do in light of what God's Word tells me I am called to be as a woman - daughter of the King, wife, and mother. For me, that means it is not the season of my life to take on every ministry opportunity (i.e. I don't sing in the choir because choir practice falls during dinner time for my kids. We don't want a low-sugar meltdown during church!). It's not the season for me to pursue all personal or professional interests outside the home right now (kids really do grow fast and I need to redeem the time I have with them, plus I can't obey Deuteronomy 6:4-9 if I'm not actually able to talk, sit, walk, lie down, and get up with my children). Finally, if I haven't seen my husband enough this week because he's been particularly busy with work, I'm going to chase away the foxes (Song of Solomon 2:15).
Now I'm going to go play with my kids and train some little women to be diligent workers at home because that's what's BEST!