The kids are in the middle of their lessons. I have dishes overflowing in the sink, laundry in both machines, a dog running around my ankles, and lunch which needs to be started. Oh, and let’s not forget that today is grocery shopping day. In the midst of it all, the phone rings. “Hey, I was in the neighborhood and thought I’d drop in. I mean; you’re home all day, right?”
I like company, really I do. I’m also usually good at least minute changes in our routine; I have to be or I’d go crazy! However, on occasion, it can be a little frustrating when other people assume being home means we have nothing going on.
How is one supposed to show love, kindness, and hospitality to others who assume being a stay at home parent means we have all the free time in the world and are available at the drop of a hat? With the Lord’s help!
Not everyone understands what it means to be a stay at home parent. Some people came from households where both parents worked, and being at home seems a luxury. Which it kind of is.
Before we blow our tops and start complaining how others don’t understand how much we really do, perhaps we ought to extend a little grace. The person we’re talking to might be misinformed as to what we do and how full our days really are.
Determine What’s Really Important
I once had a friend call me in the middle of our busy day. She knew I was maxed out, but had a great reason for calling; there was an opportunity available to me I wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of again. The call was well warranted.
Before we get too upset about interruptions in our day, we need to weigh the value of the break in routine. Perhaps a visit is just what our family needs right now. Maybe letting the kids take a breather so we can have that phone call is best. There might be someone in need who should come before my chores, or a person who could use prayer. All interruptions aren’t bad.
Set Up Boundaries
To prevent a multitude of interruptions in our routine, throwing us constantly off-balance, we have set up a few guidelines in our household. Mom (and the kids) generally avoid our phone until after lunchtime, unless it’s apparent that the call is important.
Unless UPS, FedEx, or some other delivery service is dropping off packages, the door is usually avoided as well.
Explain The Routine
It doesn’t hurt to explain our routine to those important in our life: grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends. When those close to us know the routine they are less likely to drop in, respecting our need to complete learning time.
We kindly and gently let them know when we are usually busy and when we are free. We ask them to please give a call before dropping in, just to make sure we are home and available. Most people have no issue with this and appreciate knowing we take their time with our children seriously.
As I mentioned, I like company. However, I love company when I am better prepared for their arrival. Yes, I may be home, but that doesn’t mean I’m not drowning in responsibility. Unless you’re calling to bail me out or lend a hand, please understand I’ll call you back as soon as I get out from under this pile of school books. Right after I finish that sink full of dishes. Hopefully…
We’d like to know… Do people often wrongly assume you have all the time in the world because you’re a stay at home parent? Share your thoughts on how you avoid this common problem.
“But hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.”Titus 1:8