I used to get a lot of pressure at church to organize activities, teach various kids' groups, and sing in the choir. We live 45 minutes from church and I can't see well enough to drive after dark any longer. I also feel that my time is better spent at home, taking care of my munchkins and teaching the older children. My husband leaves around 6 each morning and usually gets home after 10 pm. My children NEED my attention and love. For about 3 years, I was constantly explaining why I couldn't do these jobs. I also mentioned that it was okay with me if the activities were dropped because no one wanted to lead them. Btw, at a previous congregation, I had done all of those activities, but prayerfully considered where my priorities were at this season in my life.
About 6 months ago, in a moment of frustration, I commented that laundry for 9 people was a full time job. If someone wanted to do my laundry, I would take on all these positions. The ladies who were encouraging my involvement laughed and admitted that maybe I didn't have enough time.
There was a discussion at church yesterday about people being "busy" and always waiting for "things to slow down". The point of this conversation (taken from the sermon) was that we should make time to do God's work and not wait for life to slow down.
I'm sure that you can guess what happened next. Three different people asked if I could teach VBS this summer. Did I want to be a pioneer leader at camp in August?
Why is taking children on pony rides more "doing God's work" than praying with my children, reading Bible lessons, and memorizing the catechism? Why is going to camp and supervising other people's children more noble than cooking for my family, sewing clothing for my children, and reading picture books for the 99th time?
I recognize that full-time moms are not held to the same level of respect that working moms receive. People who work outside the home and drive new cars and live in large homes are considered successes in the world's eyes. It doesn't matter that their children are tired, cranky, and want to spend time with their parents. Each caregiver has their own set of rules. Young children can't remember everyone's rules.
One woman complimented me by saying, "Your children are always so well-behaved. You would be wonderful working with the children in Sunday School." Why can't she see the correlation between a full-time parent and children who are well-rested and know what is expected.