I once heard an expecting mother say she and her husband were bringing their child into their world. Their lives would not revolve around the baby but he would simply begin to develop into their rhythms and they would not stop for his. I thought that was a good idea for about the first three months of Sarah's life while she was in a carrier putting up little fight. Now, with three children ranging from 5 to 10, I think it is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.
I will also say this: I expect my children to be very independent. I do not jump when they ask for a drink. They help clean the house, and they take their own showers. Sarah does all of her own homework and projects. Abby cuts her own fingernails. Cooper brushes his own teeth (when so inspired). They can tear this house apart, but they also know how to put it back together. As independent as my children are expected to be, I still think the above comments are delusional.
Chris and I are finding that our kids, possibly now more than ever, require all of us. We're okay with that (most days). They need attention and discipleship. They need Jesus weaved into every fiber of their emotional and spiritual growth. We find ourselves saying that Sarah is halfway finished with the time she will spend in our home. We are halfway finished pouring all we can into her before she leaves. (Our older friends are reminding us that they really start leaving around 14 or 15. Ouch!)
How naive we are to expect that our kids will not disrupt our lives and schedules! What joy we miss in not submitting to that (at times)! Pour into them! The time is now! These years are exhausting, but we want to know that we have discipled our children well and give glory to God for the rhythm that is children.
Disclaimer: I do not do this well. Part of the reason I expect my children to be independent is because I am selfish. I'm trying to learn to get up early to get things done to not put my kids on the back-burner. I like to blog and look at twitter. I have a small side job and keep up with our bills at home. I have a tendency to make my kids busy themselves while I do things I like to do. I'm trying to learn to do some of these things before they get up, so that they are not constantly having to revolve around me.