- Your sweet husband arrives home from work. You give him the briefest of hugs and flee to the respite of Target (purse and car keys already in hand).
- You refresh Facebook or Instragram in a dull afternoon...because you just need to check out for a while.
- You've hurried through a bedtime routine because you can't wait a minute longer for peace and quiet.
- You envy your friends with trendy hairstyles, date nights, and new wardrobes.
- You long for the days when you can (again) sleep uninterrupted, wake up freely, shop alone, and have a clean house.
Sound familiar? If you're in the thick of little-people-raising, it probably does.
Before you get all anxious that I'm going to condemn mommy manicures, solitary coffee breaks, and couples vacations, take a deep breath.
But here's my question. (Have you ever wondered this?)
How much "me-time" do we really need? In our heart of hearts, what do we really want from this season of life, and how can we get that?
I've thought about this a lot, as I pretty much entered motherhood as the most selfish mom ever. I had no idea what was going to be expected of me, and at each turn, I found myself mourning losses. My sleep. My body. My free time.
I had a vision in my heart of this mother I wanted to be - the perfect mother. She gives relentlessly, puts her own needs aside, loses herself for her little ones.
And often reality slaps me in the face. I have a pounding headache, and I'm just not sure I can read one. more. story or break up one. more. fight.
Motherhood asks too much of me.
I need a break. I deserve a break. Right?? I deserve it.
As I struggle back and forth between needing rest and needing to help someone, between wanting to be a hero and wanting to be left alone, between laying down my life and having a life, here are a few conclusions I've come to:
- Nothing we give up is ever wasted. How do I know? He said it. "Let us not become weary in doing good. For we will reap a harvest at the proper time if we do not give up." (Galations)
- It should feel uncomfortably hard. The best things in life are... A marathon. Losing weight. Gaining a degree. Raising a little one.
- Jesus knows our needs, and He will meet our needs. How do I know? He said it. "By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life."
- Moms do need rest, and relaxation, and rejuvenation, and freedom from stress. BUT THESE GIFTS COME FROM GOD. I've seen this in my own life, when I've left for "me time" and come back grumpy, self-centered, and more annoyed than when I left. God is the one who nourishes our souls. He gives these gifts to us.
Sounds good in theory, right? How in the world does this play out for a mom who has brown rice pellets all over the floor, whose back hurts and husband is late, and just. needs. a. break??
I'll tell you. Tonight, I am the girl with the messes of rice and aching back.
And this weekend is a long-awaited women's church retreat at the beach. I literally don't remember longing for some event more since maybe my honeymoon, seven years ago. I need this break.
A few days ago, when a torrential flu-like bug was ravaging our house, it dawned on me: if everyone doesn't get better, I won't be going on this weekend.
It nearly crushed me. And for once, I found myself bringing these needs to the Lord. I told God how fried I was, but eventually conceded: Lord, wherever you want me to be, I'm there. Provide for me the strength I need to get through this season.
Sweet mama, when you are tired and spent beyond yourself, may you ask Him for rest, and may He give it. May your times in Target, and snuggling a magazine and a cup of coffee, special talks with your husband - may these bolster your soul for the service. May you have eyes from the Lord to see what great harvest you reap from your days of work.
This post is part of our series Finding Balance as a Busy Mom.
Please check the series page for all of the posts!