Moms, you won’t like this. But this resonated with me this morning. You can read the entire blog post at Walking Therein.
Written by a mom of 8 named Jacque:
I am sorry, but “Me-Time” is a myth. We are mothers. We do not put ourselves first; we make sacrifices because that is how God has created us. Jesus is the best example we have of sacrifice, and we will certainly not be called to make the sacrifices he did, but, just as he did, we have to spend time with the LORD and prepare for the days ahead.
I fall down miserably in this many times a day, and I want to cry to – or scream! – but, if I take God’s view, I will see it is very different than my feelings.
I am stressed out!! WHAT CAN I DO!!!
First of all, do as I said above: RENEW your mind in the WORD! If you are feeling like you need “Me Time”, it’s probably because you need “Me-and-God-Time”. Do an in-depth study of what the WORD says about children and if you can’t figure it out, ask God how they are being blessings right now. “Show me them as blessings, LORD!” I will tell them they are blessings from God when they misbehave and tell them I expect them to be a blessing too.
Secondly: Stop listening to what others say about how you need a break and how tough it is and just building up your own pity-party. Yes, it is tough, and yes, you feel like you need a break, but that is unreasonable. You are the mom, you have the responsibility, put yourself second and your children first and ask God to remove those feelings, and if need be, those friends. Instead, if they see you struggling or ask how you are, just tell them you are studying God’s Word and ask them to pray you will find God’s plan for you and your children.
Third: Change your environment – and theirs!
*Go outside. Even with young children, we can go on a walk or go outside and play in the dirt.
*Play hide and seek in the house.
*Give them a rag and clean something. No, the job won’t be done well, but that isn’t the goal. The goal is to have fun and change your perspective at the moment.
*Go to your bed, grab a favourite book of theirs and snuggle and read. And Read and snuggle.
*Make some hot cocoa.
*Go out for ice cream.
*SMILE. It is amazing how different you feel when you smile, even in the midst of a fit! You will start to see a different reaction in your children as well, as you smile at them and they smile back.
Fourth: If you are dealing with physical changes in your body that wreak havoc in your system, be sure to:
*Spend alone time in the WORD and soothe your spirit.
*Eat healthy! Eating organic will help rid your body of pesticides that will ruin your system and play on your hormones. Cut out the caffeine, junk food and even dairy if it sets you off. I can’t eat anything with nitrates in it or I get terrible migraines.
*Get fresh air.
*Take natural supplements if you need to. I got to where I knew if I was lacking in B-vitamins, because stress drains your system of B’s, and I could tell when I needed them.
In addition: Are you nursing a baby?
If you are, you need extra calories and nutrition. You will need more water. You will need time alone to sit with baby while the other children have QT. No, this won’t happen at each nursing time, but at least once a day.
Fifth: Do your children have a QT or take naps? Set rules, stick it out until they know they have to and do it. Make it a Quiet Time on their beds. Let them read a book or hold a favourite toy. The rule is quiet.
Finally – or Firstly, whichever fits for you: Talk to your husband about it. Let it all out. Tell him you are struggling. Tell him you need his advice. Ask him to pray for you and with you. Don’t expect it to be all the right answers, and you might even feel worse after talking to him – but, he needs to know and will likely come back after mulling it over with some good advice, and at the least, you have unburdened yourself to a trusted friend whose interest in your children is above all others!
A Word of Warning about having someone else watch your children while you “take a much-needed break”:
It is habit-forming. If that is the first answer you turn to, then God cannot work in you to overcome the feelings you have and renew your mind. He wants you to enjoy your children and have patience with them and love them as he loves you. He desires your heart to change. He gave these blessings to you for his glory. Taking an absence from that will not allow his will to be done in your life or your children’s. Period.
Beware of the quick-fixes and allowing your children to learn that is the answer. It is not. Being a mother is a hard job because it is a God-given one. It is shaping the hearts and minds of God’s people and building his kingdom for his glory. It is the most important thing you will ever do.