While I was driving into work one morning, the radio deejays were discussing a new study that piqued my interest. The study reported that one of the biggest stressors for moms today is striving to create the “perfect life” for their children. Moms aim to get their kids involved in several activities to help them excel and truly “shine” among their peers – at the average cost of $1400 per year per child for activity fees. This puts many families into financial stress, some even into debt.
Being a mom of three, I understand the desire to see my children succeed in academics, sports, music, etc. We either want our kids to be the absolute best at something or to be well-rounded individuals with a high level of exposure to multiple activities. This may easily lead to stress as a parent, and we ask ourselves questions such as: At what age is it appropriate to start pushing my kids to be involved in structured weekly extracurricular activities? When do I let them quit a sport or instrument because they’re sick of it, but I’ve already put hundreds of dollars into it? How many activities should I enroll them in to find THE ONE that they will really “shine” in?
As I considered this, I realized that there is no dollar figure you can put on raising your kids to have an everlasting “shine.” Psalm 100:3 reminds us:
“It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”
As children belonging to our heavenly Father, our kids already possess all that they need to succeed – the promise of eternal life in heaven. What a comfort it is to know this! The most beneficial things we can do as parents to create a “perfect life” for our children are to teach them about God’s Word, lead by example how to love others, and serve God and others before ourselves. That doesn’t cost a penny!
Through our nightly Bible stories and devotions at New Beginnings, we are trying to equip our resident moms for doing just this. After they leave our program, our prayer is that they share the love of God that they learned about here with their child(ren) and teach them to grow in God’s grace, letting their light as His children shine to all people.
Beth Shiels is the Assistant Home Manager at New Beginnings. She has been married to her husband, Zach, for seven years and they have three charismatic daughters, with a fourth baby arriving in December. Beth splits her time between staying at home with her children, working at New Beginnings, and assisting in Zach's chiropractic clinic. She loves this crazy busy life God has blessed her with and is thankful to have the opportunity to share His love with the moms and babies at New Beginnings.