I was asked, “How does it feel to go home to children after a long day at work?” I laughed, then seriously reflected. Young children are bubbly, constantly moving, and want to be close to their parents. In contrast, after a long work day, it can be exhausting to be touched by children, talked to, and watch the little energized children. How do I go about approaching this home/work puzzle?
I do my best to leave all my work at work. I allow the children to talk and express themselves on the ride home. Once home, I explain that I need everyone to pause until I can bathe and refocus myself. Sounds easy enough, but the reality is it doesn’t always work. Sometimes the toddler is overwhelmed and throws an afternoon tantrum after having to keep their emotions in all day. Or they are hungry mixed with crankiness and demanding food. In these moments, patience is short; therefore, patience, like Job, should come into play with the understanding that small bodies have big emotions they do not know how to express. We must stay calm when they are not. Children bring us joy, but they can also challenge us in many ways.
Scripture states, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3 KJV). The key word is reward. Yes, the day was long. Yes, the mind and body are exhausted. Yes, being alone would be the ultimate treat. Our reward though, is the smiling face when the frenzy has stopped. A hug from a small child that makes us feel warm inside. So what’s the answer to the question? It feels rewarding.
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