I’ll preface this by saying that I’m a stay at home mom and that’s the perspective I’m taking on this, but this also applies to moms working outside the home too.
I think many of us moms unintentionally get caught up in disproving the notion that we sit around all day and we get so busy taking care of others that we don’t take of ourselves. Think about it: there’s always something more to do. When the little ones nap and the older kids are outside playing, aren’t we supposed to take advantage of that time and mop the floors, make dinner, etc? A good mom wouldn’t sit down, prop up her exhausted feet, and open a good book, would she?
Or would she?
Moms, we are the heart and center of our home. Think about it. What would our families do without us? They would fall apart pretty quickly. They need us.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying we should neglect the kids because we want to soak in a nice bubble bath. But I am saying that when the baby’s been hanging on you all day and you’re exhausted and ready to sit and scream right along with him, (Yep, that’s pulled straight from the pages of this mom’s journal) it’s okay to shelve the gourmet dinner (ok, who am I kidding? The tuna casserole) and give them cereal instead. *gasp* Yes, they will survive on cereal. And chances are, they will love it too and actually clean their plates (or bowls) for once!
I used to feel instantly guilty if I ever sat down. Whether it was get off my feet for 5 minutes or hop on the computer to check my email for a few minutes. Or even *gasp* turn on the tv to watch a few minutes from last night’s The Bachelor on my Roku! (Granted, the last one is quite the rarity.)
Why is that so wrong? Why do I feel so guilty? Granted if that’s all I do and my family and home are being neglected, that’s not right. But I’m talking about taking a few minutes to recharge. Or even an afternoon. The best advice someone gave me when I was having a horrible day a few months ago was to “take the afternoon off.” Naturally I couldn’t really do nothing all day. But this person meant that I should put my expectations aside and just enjoy my children. Sit with them, watch movies, read stories, have fun. I did exactly that and a bad day turned into an amazing day.
Now that’s not always going to be practical, but I hope you see my point.
A few months ago, I began realizing how stressed I was all the time and I didn’t want that to be my life. I started making some changes.
One of the best things I did was to establish my own special place where I can relax. It’s my glider rocking chair that sits by my bedroom window. It’s nothing huge (our house isn’t that big) but it works. I can sit there with my cup of tea, my phone nearby (I like to set my phone timer so I’m not worrying about losing track of time), my relaxing music playing, my favorite candle lit, even my funny little stuffed red “eczema beast” (you can see him in the photo. What can I say? He makes me laugh!)
I read my Bible. I blog. (I’m sitting here now as I type this.) I play Angry Birds or Solitaire on my phone. And I also close my computer, turn off my phone, close my eyes, and just breathe. I relax.
Sometimes I come upstairs just for 5 minutes. In the evenings, after my 2 little ones are in bed, I try to spend time here every night.
In the last couple of months, I have found myself feeling happier, more energized, and peaceful than I have in a very long time. My kids are happier too. And the best part? I’ve had so much more time to spend in prayer and reading my Bible. I am amazed at the things the Lord is showing me. I read this verse recently and I love it because I can just feel Him doing this in my life. Psalm 16:11 “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy.”
Moms, in taking care of us, we’re taking care of our families too!
Do you have a special place? Do you take time for yourself? If you don’t, I encourage you to think about! You need it!