Busy Mom Quiet Times

Posted by  | Monday, August 3, 2009  at 6:00 AM  
The topic for this week is “Busy Mom Quiet Times”. You may be asking yourself, “What is that? I have [insert number] kids and they are always running around. How can I possibly have any quiet time?” I know I’ve found myself asking that question many times, and there are certain seasons of life when a truly quiet time is not possible. I know after my both of my kids were born, while we were in the midst of all the newborn craziness, I went through what I would consider a spiritually dry time. When I wasn’t nursing or rocking the new baby I was trying to catch up on much needed sleep. So, my devotions were very brief. For a few months, I just didn’t feel connected to the Lord in my bible reading or prayer times. This was probably due to a lack of sleep and a drastic change in hormones, but it is important to stick with it anyway. That season soon ended and I was able to once again spend more meaningful time studying the Word. However, even when the newborn stage ends, it isn’t as if you aren’t that busy anymore. We all know that moms, especially moms with young children, get very little time to themselves. So how can you carve out and preserve time alone with the Lord? Be creative and be flexible!

For years my devotional time was always at night right before bed. I am a night owl and felt like I could always be consistent with it. After all, I went to sleep every night so I could read and pray every night before going to bed. But, now that my kids are small, I find it very hard to concentrate once I’m in the bed. And, with younger kids, you never know whey they’ll be up again needing something so I wanted to hit the sack asap. However, I am also not a morning person at all! Mornings are crazy enough with getting up, getting myself and everyone else ready, fixing and cleaning up breakfast, any morning errands, making beds, etc. I just knew I couldn’t fit bible study time into all that and not rush through it. I wanted to be able to take my time. (Many, many people disagree with me. I’ve read so many books that encourage an early morning quiet time. Honestly, this just isn’t me! So, I don’t sweat it and find a time that works.) My solution for now is to have my quiet time during afternoon naps. Both of my kids sleep at the same time and for the same length of time every day. So, as soon as they are down, I have time for my devotions. I don’t have to rush through them and once I finish, I have some time left to work on any projects that I want to do or that need my attention (like sewing or scrapbooking).

You may be thinking, “But, naptime is the only time I have to fold laundry, clean up the kitchen, prepare dinner, etc.”. I used to think the same thing. So, what I try to do now is to accomplish all of those tasks while the kids are awake so I can preserve naptime for my time with the Lord. This isn’t always easy. We all know that it is much easier to clean/cook/whatever when the kids aren’t around, but think of the benefits. If the kids never see you clean or cook because it is done only when they aren’t in the way, how will they come to appreciate all the work it requires? Also, I find that it teaches my children (especially my three year old) to help me! We can make a game out of cleaning up and putting things away. She can fold washcloths and put away her own clothes, peel carrots, and help me empty the dishwasher. It might take longer, and may not be up to my standards, but she is learning to help and contribute to the household AND I can still have quiet time while she sleeps! Now, I know this won’t work for everyone and I’ll have to temporarily change my routine if the Lord blesses us with another child, but for now, it ensures that I have a time devoted to the Lord every day. (I’m also planning on maintaining a quite time every afternoon even once our kids stop napping. I’m hoping that they will stay on their beds and read quietly for an hour or so even if they don’t sleep. Even as I write this my daughter hasn’t napped for two days straight so I might be doing this sooner than I thought!)

My naptime/devotional time might not work for everyone. And, it might not work for me forever. But, as kids change and schedules readjust, keep working at fitting in a personal quiet time. Morning, noon, or night, it makes no difference. I encourage all of you ladies to seek time with the Lord each and every day! Be creative and work at preserving that time. It is vitally important to your spiritual health and that effects every member of the family!


Mallory, Amy & John Mark said...

Thank you, Margaret, for this timely word. I think it's important to not excuse time with the Lord just because we're busy with little ones. Reading Shopping for Time last fall really changed my quiet times and encouraged me to rise before my family does (I am a morning person, though!). I am trying more and more to make this a consistent part of my life. My newest was born in May, and then we moved, so life has been a little inconsistent, to say the least! However, it's during those times that we need the consistency and steadfastness of Christ more than anything!

Thanks again!

KC said...

This is way in the future for me, but I am hoping to teach my little one to have his own quiet time after he gives up naps. This way he'll learn to do it and it still gives me the opportunity to have mine!

Hugh & Hollie Carson said...

Great idea KC!

Alisa said...

I, too, was always a before bed quiet timer (NOT a morning person). Getting up before the family is just not realistic these days since the kids' wake times are so unpredictable. I have also gone with the nap time quiet time, and I love it! It really fits my schedule best, forces me to be still and quiet, and eliminates any excuses I might try to come up with. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who just can't get out of bed early enough. (:

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