I just started reading a book called "Just give me a little piece of quiet" by Lorilee Craker and today's reading hit home for me. I talked on the phone with my dear friend "D" yesterday and listened to her cry and ask so many questions, she is spent, exhausted and is searching for herself after being consumed by kids! I have been there many times, and I KNOW that I am not alone! Here is what todays reading said:
Do you ever feel that way too much of day to day motherhood is housework? Sometimes it seems that all I do is cook meals, do laundry, put away their clothes, pick up their toys and organize their stuff. Housework is simply not my gift. I often look around my cluttered yet cozy abode, with its piles of magazines, scattered toys, and stray socks, and wonder where Alice from the Brady Bunch is when I need her. They physical work that goes into mothering is considerable. Even just basic care and feeding of a child can consume a surprising amount of time and stamina.
Much harder, though, than the daily domestic grind of household chores is the emotional work that goes into parenting. I'm talking about listening to a child prattle on endlessly, trying to give her your full attention but struggling to concentrate on what she's saying, breaking up skirmish after skirmish in the never ending sibling rivalries that exist in every home, and willing yourself to be patient with the little one who is jumping on your last nerve.
Whether physical or emotional, too much work can leave you depleted of both the physical stamina you need to chase a toddler and the mental verve required to comfort a colicky baby who's been screaming for three hours. Often, motherhood taps into both types of energy.
Somehow though, as Moms, we live by the unspoken code that dictates that we give and give until there's no more left to give. We often put impossible expectations on ourselves that are, in the end, toxic to our sanity, our marriages, and ultimately our families.
Once you decide that YOU matter, that a little R&R for mom is really a good thing for everyone you love. Lindsey O'Connor is right on with her book title "If Mamma Goes South, We're All Going With Her." If you go south, you can be sure the whole clan is not far behind. So don't go south! Make self-care a priority.
My friend Becky was having a rare "day off," treated by her husband to a full body Swedish massage and a spa lunch by the pool. As she drifted in and out of consciousness on the massage table, the cares and stresses of the week melting away under her masseuse's touch, Becky was in bliss. Her masseuse, a fellow mom named Loretta, commended Becky on allowing herself to be pampered. "Its really great for moms to take some time for themselves from time to time." "They always go away from here able to give more to their families" The talented and sensible Loretta was obviously right, Becky went back to her six month old baby and her ten year old daughter with arms wide open, refueled and regenerated.
Think an afternoon at the spa is selfish? Some of you think a half hour away from the munchkins is selfish, but you're wrong! Mom work is rewarding but also hard. We need to take time for ourselves so we can do our best work with our kids.
Consider how Jesus took time from his critically important mission on earth for solitude and rest: "Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place," says Mark 1:35. And Matthew 14:23 echoes this idea: "After he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on a mountainside by HIMSELF to pray. When evening came, he was there alone."
We have been given our children as precious gifts from God. We need to rest, relax, and restore ourselves on a regular basis to be the strongest moms we can be!
Anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his . . Hebrews 4:10