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Being Available for Your Kids

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Children need Mom to be available for them.

Dr. Swenson, in his book Margin, suggests that Christians need to have enough margin in their life so that when God asks them to do something, they are available to do it. He calls this the ministry of availability.

I’d like to suggest a slightly different perspective on that. I believe that motherhood is the ministry of availability. Our fast-paced world desperately needs people who recognize that life doesn’t fit into nice little compartments of time such as: this is when I’ll work, this is when I won’t work, this is when I’ll take care of myself, this is when I’ll play with my kids, this is when I’ll spend time with my husband, this is when I’ll talk with my kids…I think you get the picture. Life doesn’t work that way, and if we expect it to, we will find ourselves not only sorely disappointed but racked with guilt as well.

When Kolya jumped in the car after school and immediately asked, “Mom, who is my real mom? You know, the lady whose tummy I was in?” being available was of the utmost importance. His class had been discussing family trees in school that day, and his mind was swimming with questions that exploded out of him as soon as he left school. I needed to be available to answer those questions then — while they were fresh on his mind.

When my sister, who was pregnant with twins, ended up on full bed rest for more than three months, I had to be available: available to do her laundry, available to clean her house, available to take her older boys occasionally. But I couldn’t do it all — her moms group stepped up to be available as well. Marilee spent one morning a week at her house asking, “What do you need done today, Juli?” Lianne organized women from the church to come and help do housework Juli simply couldn’t do. Women from all over brought meals for months to help keep Juli in bed and keep those babies from being born too early. There was a whole band of women who stepped up because they believed in the ministry of availability.

Lotte Bailyn brought some perspective to this availability concept when she said, “Instant availability without continuous presence is probably the best role a mother can play.” There is a balance between being there for your children and smothering them with your presence. Children need Mom to be available but not hovering over their lives in such a way that it robs them of independence and their ability to eventually fly from the nest.

Availability also doesn’t mean that Mom is so focused on the needs of her family that she cannot take care of her own physical and emotional needs. Mom may be the site manager, but even a site manager has to step away from the job occasionally and take some time off. Who takes care of Mom? Mom has to learn the art of self-care.

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Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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