One of the things we struggle with around here is individual time with mommy and daddy. I imagine most large families struggle with this. It is very difficult to connect everyday with every child. I know those of you with one or two kids think this sounds crazy. But when you add the craziness of daily task and chores that come along with a large family it is hard. I have finally got in the rythm of doing things with them. For example Hadley loves to do laundry so I try to let her help me and talk with her while we do laundry. But something gets lost when you are multitasking.
I have tried to relate this problem with my relationship with my heavenly Father. He wants me to pray to Him without ceasing and in this home that means multitasking. It means praying while I do the laundry and the dishes. But I also crave one on one time with Him. A time where I am not doing anything else but focusing on our relationship.
Chad and I have developed a policy in our home to help give each of the children that time they need with us. Each child has been assigned a night of the week. On their night of the week they are allowed to stay up about 30 minutes later than the others. The only rule we have developed is no electronics (I don’t want our quality time to consist of a zombie starring at a tv or ipad). We use that time to read, work puzzles, make lunches for the next day, and sometimes just the needed cuddle. We all love this time of the night. The kids spend part of the day planning what they are going to do on their night. I love seeing them get so excited to spend time with us (I know that excitment will fade when they are older). I hope when they are older they are able to remember the time we had with just them late at night.
Watching how vital this time is to them has shown me just how vital is my time alone with my Father. I am continually amazed by how much the parent child relationship mimics our relationship with God.
P.S. Yes, I am the one who painted Bella onto our family portrait. My apologies to the artist but carrying the painting to Uganda to be updated is not in the budget this year.