So many great things to do these days, but how do I know what to choose? Will my life be fulfilling if there isn't something scheduled for every evening? "Everyone else seems to manage just fine and they have kids in all the sports, why shouldn't I?" "There's a bake class for the girls, if mine don't go they'll be lacking in this area of their lives?"
Sports, baking classes, 4-H stuff, parties, work - these are all great things but... at what point do I say no? Really there are no right answers across the board. There are only answers for you and your family. And no one should judge you for the choices you make. I think too many times our choices are made because - What will people think? This is not the right question, not at all a good reason for making a choice. Our choice must be made based on other things.
First of all, talk with your husband. Prayerfully, together, consider what God has for your family. Your family is unique and no one else will be involved in all the same things as you are. Make a list of your desires for your family. What do you think God has for you? Are you desiring to be in ministry? Can these things allow for that ministry?
Once you have your list, prioritize that list. Decide what is negotiable and what takes top priority in your family. If it came to these two activities on the same night, which one would take precedence and why? Do you have a reason for what you are planning every night? Or is it just because nothing else is going on that night?
Now, you can make decisions based on what is on the list. The list is not something you should be enslaved to, but rather something that helps give you direction.
What about planning to be home as much as possible? My kids love being home. They can't wait to get home and see the babies I watch during the day. They tend to be disappointed if they don't get a chance to see their younger "siblings" that day. Is this not valuable time? Maybe nothing is scheduled. Maybe you didn't plan a game night at home. But just being together is necessary for our growing family.
Let's not do things by the "seat of our pants" as it were, but rather prayerfully, thoughtfully considering the things we choose to be involved in and the ramifications that may come because we choose them.
Some things are beneficial for US to do with our children. A baking day at home may be much more valuable than another night out in town to let someone else teach our kids. Again there is no judgment on your choices. Your family is unique and you need to choose the things that your family will be involved in.
My challenge to you is - Be deliberate about your choices. Don't let others rule your family. You never know what regrets they may be feeling because of the choices they have made.
Keep pressing on,