When my second child was born I felt the sudden shock of never feeling like I had the quiet time to spend with God. This seems especially true once you have more than one child. The reason being that at least one of them always seems to be awake and in need of something!
Quite honestly, I started to feel pretty discouraged that I would never have that special alone time with God again. And if we’re being completely honest I still don’t have this all figured out and I still crave more alone time with God than I’m getting now.
However, I have found that there are ways to spend time with God, even if it’s not the hour-long Bible studies that I was able to have before. And here are just a few.
Early in the morning, before the kids wake up
Getting up early when you’re exhausted is hard. But one thing I’ve learned about motherhood is that you crave that alone time so much that it’s a good driving factor to get up earlier. And early in the morning when things are quiet and calm before the storm begins is the perfect opportunity to find quiet time with God.
This type of time is great for deeper Bible study, prayer, and journaling. The great thing about taking this time early in the morning is that it really sets the stage for the rest of the day. When you start your day off with God in mind, then the rest of your day seems to be fall into the same mindset as well. And that’s a really good thing because you need lots of patience and love to be the great mama you are!
While you’re driving on a commute or errands around town
If you have a commute to and from work, this is a great time to spend with God. Instead of stressing over the traffic slowing you down, take the time to slow down your mind and focus on God. Or if you don’t have a commute, then use the time you spend driving around doing errands. If you have the chance to run these errands alone without the kids, that’s even better. Otherwise you can still silently pray if the kids are occupying themselves.
This type of time is great for listening to your Bible on your phone, listening to worship music, Christian podcasts, Christian audiobooks, or even listening to video sermons (not watching them of course). You can also spend a lot of solid time in prayer here too.
While you’re doing housework
During this time, you might not be alone with God, but if your kids are off playing by themselves while you do your housework then it’s a great opportunity to spend with your mind on God.
You can listen to all those same things you can listen to while driving (the Bible, worship music, podcasts, etc). You can also spend this time in some silent prayer as you serve your family through the housework that you do for them.
When you’re in…the bathroom?
Am I the only one who some days craves the five minutes I might get alone in the bathroom (if that)? I hope not! I actually used to have some qualms about praying while in the bathroom because it somehow didn’t seem respectful.
But, here’s the thing. When we are praying, we aren’t praying in the flesh, but in the spirit and this is what God cares about. The Bible says that God is spirit, so we are to worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). If the only quiet time you can find to pray to God is in the bathroom…then go for it! Don’t let your hang ups keep you from praying without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
While the kids are napping…or at least having quiet time
Since my son turned three, nap times have been a luxury…and nap times that happen at the same time for both kids? That is a rare jewel. But when those times do happen, it’s a wonderful opportunity to find some alone time with God too. And if your kids aren’t napping anymore, you can at least institute a quiet time where they can play alone in their room for 30 minutes or so. This isn’t just good for you, it’s also good for them to know how to play independently and to slow down for a little bit.
If you are blessed with this kind of time, then take advantage of it to get into some Bible study, read a devotional or Christian book, write in your prayer journal, war binder, etc. And have some deep prayer time. If you are interrupted during this time, try not to get frustrated, but just do the best you can with the time you have.
In the evening after the kids go to bed
If you’re not a morning person, or even if you are, then the evening can be a great time to re-connect with God. After a long (probably) fairly stressful day, it’s good to re-focus on God and why you’re doing what you’re doing.
I have to admit that this isn’t my favorite time to have alone time, though. The reason being that we also need to re-connect with our husband’s too. And during the evening after the kids go to bed is honestly the best time to do that for a married couple with kids.
But don’t let that stop you from studying God’s Word with your husband! This is a wonderful way to grow together as a couple in Christ. I absolutely love when my husband and I are able to study God’s Word alone together. It’s a beautiful thing.
During a designated independent Bible study time you institute with your kids
Once your kids get old enough it’s important to teach them the importance of alone time with God. Family devotionals certainly have their place. But teaching your children how to independently seek after God will give them one of the most precious gifts that they can have as a disciple of Christ.
Now, if you still have little children then even if the older ones are in their own Bible study time, you might not be able to have yours too. But it’s good for your kids to see you studying your Bible so you can be an example to them. So, do the best you can, and if you’re not able to concentrate as much as you’d like to, plan to have some better quiet time with God at another time.
Finding time with God after kids is challenging…but not impossible
Don’t give up on finding time with God. Keep seeking after Him with your whole heart and ask Him to give you wisdom on how to find the right time to spend with Him. Once you become a parent alone time is a commodity, but you have to work with what you have. And God will meet you where you’re at in this season of your life.