by Stacie Van de Weghe
Sometimes God uses irony to get our attention. I recently survived one of my worst parenting days ever. Pretty much the whole day, I felt like a cross between an angry drill sergeant and a volcano. The tell-tale vein on the side of my forehead was in overdrive. Can you relate? Then, in divinely ironic timing, just as my forehead vein settled down for the evening, I received a text message. “Could you write an article entitled ‘5 Tips for Stay-at-Home Parents?’” I laughed. I felt like the one who needed the tips—not the one who should be giving them!
Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to read the following tips knowing they are written by someone right alongside you in the trenches. These are not simple strategies to make your day flow smoother. Instead, these are hardwon truths I’m holding onto for dear life. Each one causes a subtle perspective shift that profoundly impacts our ability not only to parent, but to be parented by our Good Father. There are plenty of valuable articles on how to manage meal prep, laundry, tantrums, and whining. But I want to take it a step further because if you nail the housework and the child rearing but miss out on the riches of intimacy with Jesus in the middle of it, you’ve missed the whole point. If, like me, being a stay-at-home parent has brought you to the end of yourself, and you don’t like what you’ve found there, then keep reading. These five tips are for you.