Hands-On Parenting

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“In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.” (Proverbs 31:19)

One morning last week my kids were both up REALLY early.  I usually wake them up around 6:30 am each morning, but this was Spring Break.  I didn’t have to go to school, and I wanted to sleep later.  They were both up at 5:45 am!  I rolled over and told my husband two things:  1.  “I will pay you $100.00 if you get up with them and let me sleep!”  2.  “Can we hire a nanny?”

Of course, neither of those is possible!  Giving my husband money is laughable because it would come from a bank account with his name on it.  Hiring a nanny does not fit my idea of parenting.  However, I did some thinking about what my life would be like if we had a nanny. What if another person came into my home to care for my children while I was there?

We have a friend who has a nanny. This person works outside of the home, but the nanny continues to care for the children even when our friend is also in the home.  This is a Maria from The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins kind of nanny. I decided that didn’t match the Proverbs 31 woman.

Yesterday I wrote about my amazing babysitter who keeps my children while I am teaching fifth grade.  Occasionally I run to the gym or grocery store before I pick them up around 4:30.  But I try very hard to make sure the people they spend the most time with are their parents, not their sitter.

The Proverbs 31 woman is a hands-on parent.  We read about the actions of her hands.  She doesn’t outsource her duties.  After reading verse 19, I imagine her sewing by the fire while her children are playing around her.  Instead of an image from 2000 years ago, I picture a pioneer woman here in America.  I see this hard working mama who spends her free time playing with her children and doing chores around her home.

It would be nice sometimes to have another set of hands in the evenings.  My husband comes home after the kids are in bed most nights.  I wouldn’t mind having help feeding the baby while I cook dinner for the rest of us.  I would welcome help getting the laundry folded, cleaning floors, or entertaining one child while the other is in the bath.

When it is all said and done, however, I don’t want a nanny in my home because I want to be the one raising my children.  I don’t want to miss those moments when Darling Daughter is covered in spaghetti because her brother was making her laugh during dinner.  I love watching my children splash together in the bathtub.  I even love those really loud moments when both of them are playing underfoot while I try to clean my home.

Despite my love of sleeping in on vacation days, I don’t really want a nanny to get my children out of bed each day.  I want to be a hands-on mama!

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2 thoughts on “Hands-On Parenting

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