Monday, October 1, 2012

Good, Better, Best in Motherhood

Alyssa is in the middle

This week we have added in two new activities. Our daughter Alyssa who is just ending her Cross-Country running season, started piano lessons today, and starts the high school swim team tomorrow.  She is a Freshman in High School and the girl is busting with talents.

Many times she has to choose between several good things.  That can sometimes be the hardest choice.  What do you choose?  What do you leave out? They are all good.

She really wanted to be in the Jr. High play.  Really badly.  It is all she has talked about since the last play she was in. She has always liked to be up in front of others.  She also has been waiting for 2 years to join the High School Swim Team.  If that wasn't enough, Alyssa also decided she needed to up her expertise on the piano by taking lessons from a hard teacher.  OK!  All good, right!

With all the good choices in front of her, we had to help her choose the BEST choice for the BEST reasons. 

It was hard.

There were tears.

There was heart ache at leaving one choice behind, but feeling good at choosing another.

The question arises:

How involved do we allow our children to be in extra activities?

What do we consider too much?

Here is my checklist:

  • Do I feel like this is right for them,  and our family?
  • Do they have a true gift?
  • Do we have enough money in our monthly budget to incorporate this expense?
  • Does their activity schedule make sense for our family?
  • Is there benefits involved like, scholarships, part-time jobs, building self-esteem?
  • Is this strengthening our family?
  • Is it strengthening them?

 If I have to answer no to any of those points, then we need to re-evaluate our purpose and priorities.

As mothers, we all want to see our children excel and do well in life. We want to give them every opportunity we can.  We want to see them reach their full potential! 

What is good? What is better, and What is the best?

Elder Oaks talk: Good, Better, Best is a must read talk about establishing priorities and purpose with all that the choices and activities we have in families.

He states:
"We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them."
"In choosing how we spend time as a family, we should be careful not to exhaust our available time on things that are merely good and leave little time for that which is better or best."
"The amount of children-and-parent time absorbed in the good activities of private lessons, team sports, and other school and club activities also needs to be carefully regulated. Otherwise, children will be over scheduled, and parents will be frazzled and frustrated. Parents should act to preserve time for family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening, and the other precious togetherness and individual one-on-one time that binds a family together and fixes children’s values on things of eternal worth. Parents should teach gospel priorities through what they do with their children. "
A paragraph from The Family: A Proclamation to the World resembles this above statement:
"Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations."

Soul-searching questions for parents:

  • Are my child's extra-curricular activities  for me so I can "fit in" with the motherly trends of the day?
  • Do they want to do this?
  • Am I doing this so my child will be popular? 
  • Is there anything about this choice that I have to keep secret from my husband? [like the total cost, uniform cost, expenses for out of town trips]  I would encourage  you to stay up front about all of it, before signing up.
  • Is the atmosphere, of the activity or peers they will associate with, where I want my child to be?
  • In 10 years will this be a positive experience and memory? Will I have any regrets?
  • Is this bringing us to Christ now?

Choosing between many good things, is one of the hardest choices we have! 


My twins and two of their friends feeling pretty happy!