Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Those days tend to fall upon me after my boys have been here and gone.
You see, I'm a full-time wife & mom but only a part-time parent. (You can read more of my story at It's Okay to be Mad at God)
Having a heart for mom-hood makes being a part-time parent all the more difficult.
I want my children here, with me, all of the time.
Reality is, that isn't going to happen.
If I'm honest, this reality creates two very distinct problems in my life!
1) My part-time parenting guilt pushes me to over indulge my children. I cave-in on a lot things I normally wouldn't. I allow certain things and am more lenient than I normally would be. I know this to be true because when they did live with me full time, I never allowed some of the things I currently do.
2) I lose focus of the balance that needs to be created between being a wife and a mom when the boys are here. Most of my focus falls on my children and I tend to 'neglect' my Mr. Right.
Whew! That wasn't easy to admit to you or to myself!
I think it's said that the first step to solving a problem is admitting there is a problem.
Friends, there's a problem.
The answers to the problem are simple...but never easy! Boy does that phrase seems to pop up in my life quite frequently.
While I may not always get it right, here are a few things I'm learning and growing into:
♥ God First: I don't think I've always believed this. I'm learning that without God, nothing goes right and I fail over and over again with great devastation. Oh, I still fail, but the failures don't devastate me like they used to. I'm now able to see the 'good in all things' upon occasion. I try to take time out of each day, regardless of how busy I am, just to be with God. I can't hear his wisdom over my problems if I don't take time to listen. I'm learning to build my foundation on Him and stop trying to be super mom/wife!
♥ Nurturing my marriage is vital: my children need to see what a healthy relationship looks like. They know what divorce looks like and now it is up to me to show them what a loving relationship looks like. It's important that I schedule date nights with my Mr. Right, even when the boys are visiting. It's important that Mr. Right and I spend time being a couple, with and without the boys. It's said children learn by what they live. Well, I want them to learn how to treat their future spouses so maybe, just maybe, they will never need to experience divorce again.
♥ I can be and am still fully involved in my children's lives: being a part-time parent does not mean I am not actively involved in the lives of my children. My involvement just takes being a bit more intentional. I have to be diligent and intentional about knowing what is going on in their personal, school, and home lives and then take action to keep myself involved.
♥ My children have friends; they need me to be MOM: My boys need my guidance, discipline, and love. Being a part-time parent doesn't mean I need to try and be more of a friend than a parent. Letting my guilt of not being there full-time compromise that is a huge negative for all of us. My children need me to guide them towards being the Godly men they were created to be. Overindulging them out of guilt doesn't do that.
♥ Finding the joy and looking for contentment: an attitude of gratitude is something I strive for in every aspect of my life, being a part-time parent shouldn't be the exception. No, this isn't how I wanted it to be, but there is joy to be found. I want to make memories. I want to experience laughter, crying, ups, downs and everything in between with my family! Am I always joyful? No, but I'm finding it essential to my sanity to be thankful and content in all things.
God blessed me when he sent my children to me. He blessed me again when my Mr. Right walked into my life eight years after I thought life had ended.
Juggling guilty feelings of being a part time mom and finding time for my marriage is not easy.
The simplicity of balance between Mr. Right and the boys, finding the joy, and looking for contentment doesn't mean I always pull it off or that it's easy, it just means it's worth it!
Every second I get to spend with my boys and my Mr. Right are precious.
I don't plan on wasting one second of it!
Walking by Faith,
*Are you a part-time parent? I would love to hear how you balance it all, please share your story!*