Scheduling Quiet - why and how
"How do you have time to read?" is a question other moms ask me a lot. Truth be told, when I had my first baby (and maybe my second) I didn't have much time to read. I don't know if I was actually busier then or if I just hadn't learned how to manage the crazy yet - I suspect the latter. Many parents, especially those with young kids in their home struggle with finding any quiet moments in their day and to my worn-out, overworked friends I want to let you in on a little secret...you are allowed to send your kids to their rooms for quiet time every day. Did you know that?!?!?
All of my kids dropped their naps WAY before I was ready to give them up! As I was beginning to sink into despair, feeling that any "alone time" was now gone forever, one of my friends told me about Quiet Time. What is this magical time you may be asking? Well, in our house it is an hour and a half somewhere in the middle of the day (starting around 1 or 2) when I send all of my kids to separate rooms, provide them with toys, puzzles, books, and water and tell them not to come out until the timer beeps. During that hour and a half I have my time in the Word, read books for fun, drink coffee, close my eyes, or anything else I want or need to do - like go to the bathroom all by myself.
Again, did you know you are allowed to do this?!?! This isn't even child abuse! In fact, it's actually healthy for your children to know how to entertain themselves for a small amount of time and to get comfortable being alone and enjoying quiet.
Developmentally I love that time alone inspires creativity and imaginative play. Spiritually, I love that my kids are learning that quiet time is an important part of our faith. Think about it, we teach our kids that's it's important to read the bible, talk with God and listen to God and then we pack their schedules so full of noise and activity that they don't have any time to practice these spiritual disciplines! And the same could be said for us parents. We all need moments of quiet scheduled into our days to think and meditate on scripture and rest - moments where we can be still and know God.
So I encourage you to schedule quiet into your daily routine. If this isn't something you've ever done, you may need to start small. Set a timer for 30 minutes and give your kids some ideas of how they might spend their time. Teach your kids to stay in their rooms and be prepared to enforce that boundary with a spanking or loss of privileges or whatever form of discipline you use in your home. It may take a couple of days for your family to get on board with this new routine but I promise you it will be worth it!
Why not try this today? Brew some coffee, get a comfy blanket, and curl up with a great book. Happy reading!
And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.”