Self love and self care.
These terms used to make me squirm a bit. I mean, we aren’t supposed to be selfish right? The very meaning of these words are “me.” I used to think they were selfish words, that Mothers jobs were to just go go go to no end – and we pretty much do. 😉 My mind was recently changed at our congregation’s ladies retreat that I attended. It was a Friday evening through most all of Saturday. I was so excited. My youngest was about to turn 11 months so that meant she is no longer nursing all of the time and eating pretty much anything and everything (the way to that girl’s heart is food!) So what that really meant to me was, yay! Daddy can stay home and watch the girls and I can get out for a weekend for the first time in…..forever! Forever being almost three years. See I had it in my mind that I wasn’t supposed to do anything fun, that my children go everywhere with me, and that meant I didn’t go many places. I was starting to get pretty cranky. All I do is take care of children 24/7. Literally, with the emphasis on 24. My 11 month old thinks that she still needs to wake up countless times a night and refuses to go back to sleep. She is so stubborn, must be that red hair. 😉 So needless to say, being sleep deprived with no breaks and not much of a social life, Momma was getting preeeetty cranky. I didn’t have any joy with the things I did anymore. Everything became daunting tasks. I was plain. wore. out. That didn’t make me very lovely to be around, my poor husband. This retreat couldn’t have come at a better time. The theme was Soul Pampering with the Almighty. Now what a perfect theme. I was needing a little pampering! I can’t tell you how nice it was to just feel like I could breath. No one pulling and crawling all over me. People didn’t even recognize me without my kids you guys! I found that pretty funny. It made me proud that people always see me with my kids, but at the same time I was so enjoying the time alone.
I learned a lot that weekend and what I learned is this, take time for yourself! It’s so simple. I learned that in fact, it is not selfish…when done the right way of course. In order for me to better serve my husband, my children, and others, I need to make sure that I am in the position to do so. If I am tired and cranky, I wont be doing my job very well. So in order to continually be a good servant, I must first recharge myself so I am up for that work. Being a wife is hard. Then add on the stresses of being a mother to that plus all of the other things throughout the week that demand your time. It can get to be a lot. So here are a few pointers that help me in order to recharge and hopefully they can help you too:
1. Be in the Word.
This should be our first priority and it’s often our last or it even gets neglected and never done. I am above all guilty for this. It’s hard to wake up early before the kids, especially when they don’t sleep through the night. Find the time. We find time for Facebook or texting friends. Make it a priority to read God’s word. After you get the kids all fed, give them something to do so you can sit down with God. Even if it’s a short little devotional. Start somewhere and don’t forget to remember and think about what you read all day. This helps my attitude when things get hard or stressful throughout the day if I’ve given myself a verse to think about.
2. Say No.
This is one of my favorites. In my opinion, we do too much running around. If you are stressed, evaluate what you could do without. You don’t have to stop everything. Just see if there is somewhere in your schedule where you could make more room for just relaxing.
3. Plan a Mom’s night out.
This is the fun one. Go out! Get together with friends, watch a movie, do your nails. HAVE FUN! It’s ok, you need it and you deserve it Momma!
Speaking of a Mom’s night out, if you haven’t seen the movie, Mom’s Night Out, you need to! It’s exactly what this post is about. It’s one of my favorites. It is so funny and totally relatable. It would be a good one to watch with some Mom friends who will get exactly what’s going on. 😉
I feel the need to say this now that I have talked about self care. I absolutely love my kids. I know you do too. I couldn’t wait to get home to them after the retreat to hug and kiss them and tell them Mommy missed them! My husband couldn’t wait to proudly announce that while I was away I missed Pipers first steps! What!? You’re telling me the one time I go away I miss my baby girl’s first steps!? It’s moments like those why I wouldn’t change being a stay at home Mother for the world. My children are my passion, my life’s most important work. I absolutely cherish all of those special moments and milestones. I have been so entirely blessed by the Lord that he has entrusted his children to me, for such a very short while, to raise them up to be servants and workers for Him. So I want to make sure that I do everything I can to love them, teach them, and be patient with them the way they need and deserve. Our time with them is so short. So that means self care my dear friends. Don’t let the Mommy burnout burn you. Take time to recharge so you can keep doing your best and most glorious work. Making and raising those beautiful, precious babies. 🙂