A trap is ensnaring many families today—the trap of busyness. Homeschool families seem to be among the busiest. Besides school, parents and children are also involved in co-ops, sports, music lessons, and other programs. From the time family members get up in the morning until bedtime at night, their days are packed doing something or going somewhere, and even free time is filled with some sort of activity. Their days become an unending series of appointments, games, practices, and lessons that leave them exhausted, but they seem unaware of the box this busyness trap puts them in.
The Harmfulness of the Busyness Trap
A good question to ask is “Why are we so busy?” Because we don’t want our children to miss out on something really important? Perhaps because we feel pressured by society to add extra activities to our schedules? It almost seems as if it’s a competition among families to see who’s the busiest! Of course, the many things we have to do contribute to busyness: work, school, doctor’s appointments, housework, and so on. In addition to those we have so many good options for providing our children a well-rounded upbringing, such as music, art, and sports. But all these things, beneficial as they may be, can also bring unintended stress to our lives.
This extra busyness can harm us in various ways—physical weariness, emotional strain, spiritual weakening, and even academic regression. Pouring all our time and energy into so many different activities can rob us of the strength we need to focus on what is most vital—worshiping and glorifying God. And when we’re not doing that, every other area in our life suffers. Nothing is more important than our personal relationship with God, and no program can make up for one-on-one fellowship with Him. Even busyness in serving the Lord can become a hindrance if we’re not careful. Ministry should never come before communion with God. Jesus Christ is the perfect example of balancing service and fellowship. He was busy to the point of exhaustion but never to the detriment of His relationship with His Father.
Precautions to Take
How can we avoid falling into the busyness trap? First, we need to evaluate all the activities we’re involved in and prayerfully consider what level of busyness our family can handle. Every family is different and views busyness from a different perspective. Instead of comparing our schedules to other families’ routines, we should arrange our own according to what we believe will honor the Lord.
Now’s the time to teach our children to be busy in things that matter for eternity and then prioritize other activities. My husband recently made the observation that a busy life does not necessarily mean a full life. It’s OK to slow down, relax, and enjoy restful times with our families. By God’s grace, we can learn to balance busyness in a way that pleases Him.
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Jennifer is a pastor’s wife and mom of two young girls and loves homeschooling them. During her own twelve years of being homeschooled, Jennifer developed a passion for reading and writing. She earned a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and relishes writing during her free time.