When I reflect on my experience of parenthood, the struggle to prioritize my children first of all is most evident. On one level, I completely believe that these children of mine are my most important task, but I often have to walk through life focused or distracted by other things.
But if my children’s well-being and raising them right isn’t a part of my overall mission, they suffer. And I suffer along with them, too. Neglecting to attend to my life with children in a mindful way is a form of self-negation, because I willfully ignore a task borne out of myself, and given to me by God.
In Raising Them Right, St. Theophan the Recluse says the education of children is a most holy endeavor. It’s hard to take that into my heart, because raising children is one of many things I must do. My household tasks, client projects, and childrearing are all deserving of my attention and must be done with the right heart, but there are far more outside pressures telling me that the childrearing piece is less important.
So let St. Theophan set you straight–the education and upbringing of our children is a most holy endeavor, and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.