There’s a stack of dishes and pots piling up by the sink, I just discovered popcorn on the living room floor, but more importantly, my two kiddos need caring for. With everything we moms have to do, it’s pretty difficult to put your kids first. Can I get an amen?
I often feel the tension between the most important work in my life (raising my kids) and the little things that still need my time and energy. Household chores start to fill my thoughts as though they are big things, and before I know it I’m not living out my priorities.
Finding balance between the important stuff and the things that have to be done is such a common problem! It’s one of my struggles as a busy stay-at-home mom. Here are the best ways I’ve found to put your kids first when you’re also a homemaker.
Make a Daily Routine
If you already have a routine, it’s always a good step to reevaluate it from time to time. Is your current routine functioning well for you? It’s not easy to put your kids first when your schedule is full. Work to make a daily routine that reflects your priorities and allows you to focus on what’s important.
Set up and experiment with a regular routine that incorporates household maintenance, laundry, cooking and baking, time for errands, as well as larger chunks of time for spending with your kids, your husband, and for taking care of yourself. My regular self care happens during my two-year-old’s nap time or after the kids are in bed.
So, all of that might sound pretty challenging, but I’ve found it’s easier to focus on what I do when my little ones are busy or sleeping. Making over my mornings changed my world! 🙂
How to Put Your Kids First and Your Home Second
Don’t feel guilty if putting your kids first is a struggle for you, because we all face it! I’m right there with you in working to put my children first. I’ve found that my kids really thrive when I give them quality time before I work on cleaning. Easier said than done, right?
These ideas are for times when you need to knock out some chores on your own. I’ve got a whole list of ways your kids can help you with chores that I’ll share soon!
Here are a few steps you can take to put your kids first throughout your day and still tackle your housework.
How to Bond and Play with Your Kids Before Tackling Your To-Dos
- Spend some time with them before you work on each chore.
- Warn them that in 5 minutes, you’ll need to do x.
- If your kids need a little guidance, find a way to get them engaged with their play (try these pretend play ideas!) or an activity before you get to work.
- Tell them what you’re doing and get to it!
A little warning: your kids will probably whine at you or ask sweetly if you could please play, especially in the first minute or two. It’s hard not to feel guilty, but remember that you’ve invested time with them and you will again soon. It’s important for your children to learn independent play.
We all struggle to put our kids before homemaking, but it's amazing when we do. #momlife #SAHM #godlyparenting Click To Tweet
The Mess Means Progress
It helps me immensely to think of the messes around our home as signs of life, learning, progress, and parenting. It helps to remember that when my house is perfectly clean, it’s usually because we’re leaving it.
The day I don’t have to fight for a sparkling home is probably also the day my kids are much older. They are young, and a messy house is just part of this stage in our lives. Enjoying it often means overlooking the mess or thinking of it as a good sign.
I know that it won’t always be like this, so for now I’m going to do my best to enjoy this crazy hard tension between my responsibilities. So much of this lifestyle is a mental and spiritual game of focusing on the positive and investing in my kids instead of (or at least before) my house or my hobbies.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13
Invest in Your Marriage Before Your Kids
I don’t believe in putting your kids before your marriage or God. Your sweet kiddos come before housework, and they will know it if you’ve prioritized your daily responsibilities over caring for them.
They will also feel the effects of a troubled marriage more deeply than we know. Even if your relationship with your husband is in a great spot, I want you to be encouraged to maintain it. Don’t ever make your family life about the kids, as tempting as it is. Your marriage is the safe place your family is built around, and God designed it to be the cornerstone of the family, resting on Him as the foundation.
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
Genesis 2:24, NLT
Perfection isn’t necessary!
So many of us are going through life with an ideal to live up to in our minds. That “perfect” mom image, one who never raises her voice, who crafts and bakes and enjoys her children while magically living in a clean home, needs to die.
God’s word is clear that we don’t need to be a perfect mom or feel awful for the mistakes we make.
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT
Mom life is so tough, but it’s even more rewarding. And I know we can do all things through Christ, including being content despite the flaws in our lives. That includes the imperfect balance between our messy house and our little ones.
How do you balance your chores with parenting? Tell me about it in the comments!