I look at the clock and it’s 9 a.m. I’ve already been asked 1001 questions, played the part of referee in a wrestling match, and fixed breakfast that they didn’t eat. Only 12 hours until bedtime. I think I can….I think I can….I think I can.
I look at the clock again and it’s noon. I’ve answered another 1001 questions and we’ve made it through handwriting, sight words, math, and reading. I open the refrigerator and I can’t find any leftovers. Nice. What are we going to eat? I’m listening to endless chatter from our two sweet chatterboxes. Only 9 hours until bedtime. I think I can….I think I can….I think I can.
It’s 3:00 p.m. The bills are scattered all over the dining room table, the checkbook won’t balance, the dryer just beeped to announce that the clothes are dry, and a little sweetheart is screaming because there isn’t any toilet paper. I’m feeling a bit frazzled at this point. Only 6 hours until bedtime. Am I going to make it? It’s at this point that the chocolate comes out. Chocolate helps everything.
It’s 6:00 p.m. My husband just left for work. I put my pajamas on and pray I survive the next 3 hours.
It’s 8:30 p.m. Time to brush teeth and get the sweethearts into their pajamas. Peace and quiet are coming. They are just over the horizon. Just give them one more drink of water, kiss their little heads, and tuck them in.
11:00 p.m. The little sweethearts are still not asleep. They won’t stay in their beds, they won’t stop talking, and momma is starting to lose her cool. Is this day ever going to get over?
Being a mom is a tough job. I play the roles of teacher, chauffeur, waitress, housekeeper, accountant, and referee. Somewhere in the midst of playing all those roles, I get lost. There used to be a me. I love being a wife and a mom, but I also yearn for some time just for me.
Years ago I sat in a room with people who were telling me that “me-time” was selfish. I didn’t agree with them, but I kept my opinion to myself. I don’t believe that any mom should have to give and give and give every day and never get any time to herself. I don’t think it’s healthy and I don’t think that God expects us to never get any time to ourselves.
Jesus spent a lot of time helping people, healing people, and loving people. But He didn’t spend 24 hours of every day with people. Luke 5:16 says “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” Did you catch that? Jesus withdrew to lonely places to pray. He didn’t just withdraw occasionally, but He withdrew often. If Jesus needed to take a break often and pray, then how much more do us moms (and dads) need to take a break and pray? or take a break to just do something that we enjoy?
I’ve tried to give and give and give without taking a break. Do you know what happened? Last fall I started having anxiety attacks. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I stayed in bed all day, and I couldn’t stop crying. It only happened 3 times, but I knew that I needed to make some changes. I knew that I was going to have to find ways to have some time to myself.
God doesn’t want me to be so tired and weary that I can’t put one foot in front of the other. I can’t enjoy our family if I constantly feel exhausted. He wants me to come to Him and He will give me rest (Matthew 11:28). He wants me to withdraw from my family sometimes and have a little time to myself. It helps me regroup and feel like I can go again. I’ve decided that in 2015 rest is going to take top priority. I would like to get more sleep so that my physical body feels better. I would also like to take a little more time for myself so that my soul feels better.
What things can I do that are just for me? What can I do to relax when I can’t actually leave the house? What are some ways that I can relax when I’m able to leave the house? I’ve been asking myself these questions and I’ve made this list of things I can do to have a little “me time”.
Cross-stitch ~ I started cross-stitching when I was in high school. I could sit in a chair all day and make x after x after x and I was happy. The cross-stitching supplies ended up in the back of the closet after the girls were born. My cousin enjoys cross-stitching and she posts pictures of her projects on Facebook. It makes me want to dig my supplies out of the back of the closet and start sewing again. I really need to do that. It sounds relaxing.
Eat chocolate ~ My husband never gives me flowers as a gift. I’ve asked him not to. He knows that chocolate is what makes me happy. Chocolate make the world a better place. On those really tough days, you will find me locked in my bedroom eating a piece of chocolate. It’s not good for my hips, but it’s good for my soul.
Take a walk ~ I could take a daily walk and get some fresh air. Wouldn’t that be nice? It’s free and it’s good for my hips.
Go Shopping ~ I could go shopping with my sisters. I really hope they are both reading this right now.
Read a book ~ I love to read, but I have trouble finding time to read. I’m going to always carry my kindle or a book in my purse. I can read while the girls are in therapies and dance class. That’s 2 hours a week that I can spend reading.
Go to another movie that I don’t really want to see ~ It worked wonders last time. I got to eat popcorn, drink Mountain Dew, and two little girls weren’t chattering in my ear the whole time. It was like being on vacation.
Date my husband ~ Raising kids with special needs puts stress on a marriage. Your marriage can get lost in the middle of all the chaos. We’ve always made sure to have a nice meal out by ourselves 3 times a year. We go out for his birthday, my birthday, and our anniversary. Last year we only went out for our anniversary. We need to do better than that. We were talking yesterday about getting away once a month. It could be something as simple as going out for ice cream. The main point is that we have a little time to talk to each other without any interruptions.
I encourage all of you to love your family deeply, give them your time and attention, but don’t forget to take a little time for yourself.
I just have to end this post with a little humor from Anita Renfroe.