Wrong, wrong, wrong attitude. Most of us are such Marthas! As I picked up a couple of my kids at “Strings Camp” this afternoon (where they play the violin and cello), I found myself listening to the other moms: “It so nice to get the kids out of the house for a while.” “When this camp is over this week, we are doing Art camp next week.” “I feel like I am in the car all day driving to this practice or that friend’s house or the pool, but it is sooooo good to keep the kids busy . . .” Hearing all their comments, I felt myself ready to chime in in agreement. After all, there I was with my children at camp, too. But something didn’t feel right. Is it our job as mothers to just keep the kids busy?
Although keeping the kids busy is not so bad in itself, I believe that many of us moms fall into that parenting trap of thinking that keeping kids busy and out of trouble is equivalent to good parenting.
In reality, this is a Martha approach to taking care of our kids. I use the term “Martha” loosely here to refer to busyness–like the Martha in the Bible. I suspect most of us need to take a more Mary approach in our homes. What needs and priorities do our kids have? Are we taking time to meet these or are we just filling their time with activities to keep them out of our hair?
Of course this extends more importantly into our own personal lives. Do we find ourselves just busying our own lives, going from one task to the next? When our personal lives are more reflective and thoughtful and our priorities are in order, this can’t help but spill over into the lives or our children.
Copyright 2010 Tami Kiser