A new series for July – Mom Tip Monday. Each week I’d like to share some tips I’ve found after over seven years of parenting. I know I don’t have all the answers – and I invite you to join me in sharing YOUR best tip on the topic for the week.
This week is: Finding a Break
I walked out of the door and sat in my car. I took a deep breath. It is time for just me. I listened to silence as I drove to the store. No music. No radio. I casually looked over my list, slowly crossing off my items as I placed them in my cart. My idea of a vacation is going to the store – shopping – to a book store – anywhere: Alone.
Alone time is rare, but oh so needed. Moms, we know we need this. We are told to take this time. We have help available to us. We still don’t do it. The lies creep in and we avoid taking the time for ourselves that is needed. WHY?
1. We feel guilty for it.
We feel bad leaving our children with someone else, even if that person is our husband or mother. We see them all of the time – every waking moment. It is hard to just give that job to someone else. We value our children and we want to show them that. So, we give up time alone in order not to miss anything. We also feel guilty asking our family or husband to take care of our children – even when they offer! We feel we will miss something with our children or that they will miss us.
2. We do not have time for it.
We have meals to plan. Lessons to go to. We have bills, projects, housework, and not to mention all of that laundry! We can’t justify a trip to the coffee shop alone. Sometimes our husband’s schedule is so strenuous we are left to care for them day after day. If we do come to the end of the week and have an evening free, we are so exhausted from the constant running around that we end up just sitting on the couch. Our time is currency and we spend it all on others. Isn’t that what we should be doing? Isn’t that the Christian thing to do? Sacrifice? Even our time?
The truth is this:
Time spent alone can help us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
I love a certain Bible conference for women that comes every year to our area. It is usually a Friday evening and Saturday. I have arranged to go each year and have been so refreshed each time I attend. Back in October of this past year, my husband and I took some time to go to another conference for a few days. We left our little ones with my mother and had a great time being renewed. I love to go and have lunch by myself at Panera on the week my husband is off. Or, often times I go to the grocery story by myself in the evenings. Those little pockets of times aways refresh me spiritual, mentally, and emotionally.
Truth #1 – Time spent alone can help my children.
When we are refreshed, we are more patient, kind, and gentle. When we are stressed or anxious, it comes out in harsh words and quick tempers. Our children need us to take the time away. We can gain better perspectives and refocus our attitudes. We are much happier mothers when we have some time alone.
Truth #2 – Time spent alone can help other relationships.
Everyone benefits when you get someone to watch your children: the young babysitter who is learning mothering skills for the first time, or the grandma who misses when her children were little, or the husband who has worked all day away from his children. These people get the privilege of loving and caring for your little ones. Remember, your little children are a blessing. Not just for you. Your children also get the benefit of having babysitters.
As mothers, we also benefit and develop stronger bonds when we let others watch our children. I was able to develop a great relationship with a young lady in our church, beginning when she was 14. She watched our kids for four years and is now in college. It has been such a blessing to see her grow and mature in her faith, coming along side her to encourage her! All because I wanted time alone.
Take that time momma. Combat guilt with the truth that everyone benefits when mom takes some time alone! If time is a currency, spend a little on yourself. It isn’t being selfish. It isn’t being stingy. It is a good investment. It is worth it for your entire family.
What tip do you have for us when it comes to needing a break? Where do you go? What do you like to do? If you don’t, what is stopping you? Is there a way you can arrange some alone time THIS WEEK?
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