Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mamas Tell All: Making Time for Mama [a linkup]

Based on my own unprofessional, unofficial observations, mom burnout is very common. However, it has a simple remedy, and we all know what it is: taking some time for ourselves. This is not profound. It's not news. And yet, for some reason we often feel we have to be busy 100% of the time. Taking care of our kids is immeasurably important. Taking care of our homes is an endlessly repetitive to-do list. And then all of the other things we do...well, we wouldn't be doing them if they weren't important. Can we justify taking time for ourselves?

Jesus himself sets an example of going away to rest. He is God. And he needed time to rest. His work on the earth was infinitely more important than anything we could do. And he took time away from it.

We need to refresh our bodies and minds. Jesus did. He told his disciples to rest with him, depsite the very important and urgent things they had on their to-do lists. We are no different. Next question: How?

Really, how do I take time for this?  How can I work it into my day? It is a discipline, and I have to be intentional about it.

I rely very much on my husband's help for this. My kids aren't old enough to fend for themselves. If I'm going to have time to myself (more than a few minutes), he has to be with the kids. There are a few ways I try to work this in.

5 minute pick-me-up

If Rodgers is not home and I really need some time, I turn on the TV and/or give the boys a snack. I tell them that I need to take a break and go to my room. They understand by now what this means. I may read or just zone out. I introvert for 5 minutes. It's a similar concept to a power nap. The boys can handle being alone for that amount of time. And it helps me keep going.

30 minutes to an hour break

If I need more than just a few minutes, I tell Rodgers, "I'm taking a break," almost as soon as he walks in the door. This is hard in practice because after a few minutes, the boys still come to me asking for things. We both have to constantly remind them that Rodgers knows how to fix snacks, help with toileting, or put superhero capes on, and I need to be left alone during my break time.

A day off

Rodgers is very understanding of my need for time to myself, and he can even recognize the signs that it's time! Every now and then (maybe 4 times per year) he will take the boys on a guys' outing, leaving me home alone for up to 8 hours. It is glorious. I am always so refreshed and energized when they get home! 

How do you make time to rest?


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3 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing - I think you really provided a perspective on Me-Time that I've never considered. Jesus thought it was so important that he made time for it - Wow! That's so powerful and inspiring. It makes my struggle to find free time seem less controversial and much more necessary. Wonderful Post!

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    1. It was something taught when I joined a missionary organization because missionaries, like moms, often justify *not* taking breaks, but we all need them. It's part of how God made us! :)

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