Sometimes, we moms need a talking-to that will motivate us to forsake bad habits and excuses. Allowing excessive chaos during Christmas is one of those things we need to forsake, especially since it’s supposed to be a season of peace and joy.
I am not talking about controlled chaos:
- Allowing kids to make messes with crafts.
- Allowing your toddler to smear spaghetti because it’s cute.
- Allowing teens to host a crowded sleepover in the basement.
The operative word here is “allowing.” Allow implies permission granted because you are ultimately managing what is happening. This kind of chaos is under your control.
What I am talking about is children calling the shots or being allowed to do whatever, whenever all day long for two weeks. If we don’t have a plan for our children while they are out of school, the chaos will drive us bananas and we will cave to their whims. What might that look like and what can you do?
For a home in shambles: Shoes, toys, crumbs, and electronics strewn everywhere require CHORES. Decide now how your children will work while they are home from break. Devise consequences for failure to do assigned duties. Children of all ages must be expected to work and earn their keep. Moms are not maids.
For Boredom: Whining kids with nothing to do need OPTIONS. Make a list of a dozen activities that might keep your kids occupied throughout a 12-hour day, such as puzzles, games, crafts, movies, screen time, baking, visiting or hosting friends, serving others, playing outside, reading, napping, school work, and don’t forget the chores. Point your kids to these options when they tell you they are bored. And no, you do not have to play with your children constantly. You hate Candy Land because you are an adult. It’s okay.
For Fighting: Sibling rivalry reaches a fever pitch when kids are home together during holiday breaks. Few things get them to shape up more than an hour in their rooms with nothing but their thoughts. No computers, phones, or TV allowed. They need to be reminded that human contact and community are great privileges and joys of family. If they refuse to love their brothers and sisters, they choose to be alone.
For Mama Overload: This is all about your own sanity and peace. In order to serve your family with the joy you desire, you need quiet time. Get up before the children and prepare for the day. There’s something about the morning hours alone with God that make you feel empowered to serve your family. Quiet time is also your opportunity to anticipate the chaos and get ahead of it. This is where choosing chaos comes in. You can let each day happen with zero plans, consequences, and order; OR you can choose to develop some basic systems to support the peace you want.
Life with children always involves the unexpected. You won’t be able to control everything, but choose to control what you can.
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
For God is not the author of confusion but of peace…I Corinthians 14.33a