You stay up late to wash the dishes, pack lunches and pay the bills. You’re up in the unmentionable hours of the morning to feed the baby. You wake up early, even though it hurts, to pick up the toys, prep the crock-pot,
take a shower and tackle a little bit of Mount Laundry until your toddler wakes up a half hour earlier than you expected (Oh the things you could have conquered with that half hour!!!) and now you’re really off to the races. Does your day ever look a little bit like this?
While I am a firm believer in being available to and present with your family, there is such a need for you to take some time alone and away for yourself. Doing even just the basic job of making sure everyone has a full belly and clean clothes to put on will wear you out! It is critical that you work time into your schedule for something that fills you up. The bottom line is that you can’t pour into your family when you yourself are empty; you will have nothing left to give.
So however regular it needs to be— quarterly (beach weekend), monthly (crafting with a friend), weekly (take a long walk… you, your music and the dog) or even daily (read a chapter in a book during nap time)— find a way to take some time to fill up! Your husband and your kids will be glad you did. Your attitude will be shifted and your spirits lifted. You will come back a more joyful mama!
Not only does taking a “time out” for yourself benefit you as well as your family’s relationships, it sets a good example for your kids. When your kids grow up don’t you want them to have a full life? A well-rounded kind of full… you don’t want them to just work all the time and be running, running, running. You want them to have good things in their days that bring them joy too. Well, they learn how to live from having a front row seat to how you live your life. And even though they hang on your leg and wail as you’re leaving for Bible study, they will grow up seeing that you prioritized. You had enough self-value and self-love to do things that keep you fresh and the best version of you.
And whatever you do, don’t let yourself be made to feel guilty when someone sees you out getting your nails done instead of being home with your kids. What they think and even their passive aggressive comment DOES NOT MATTER! Your sanity and well being is not worth sacrificing so other people won’t judge your mothering. And, don’t we all know that no matter what you do you can’t please everyone… so I say forget that! It’s just like the flight attendant teaches us: Put the air mask on yourself first before helping others (even children). You’re of no use if you’re not breathing. And when we don’t do the things that make us come alive it feels an awful lot like not breathing, doesn’t it?
If you’re not even sure what makes you come alive anymore, below are some ideas to remind you or, perhaps, even to inspire you! And if you are doing a good job of incorporating “me time” please share what you do and how/when in the comments! Let’s give each other some ideas, Girls!