“I’m tired I’m worn, my heart is heavy. From the work it takes, to keep on breathing.” If this Tenth Avenue North song doesn’t sum up so many days of motherhood, I don’t know what does! Moms, I want you to know…it’s okay to be tired and worn. It’s okay to need a day off, to need a mental and physical break from caring for your children.
Mothering is a 24/7 job. We care for them while they are awake, worry about them while they are asleep, and are constantly wanting to better them, help them, love them, and prepare them. It’s what we do. It’s how God created us. We are after-all nurturers, and caregivers by design. But is it okay to be totally burnt out and desperately needing a break?
Mom guilt can creep in when you aren’t looking, making you feel like a failure for feeling so completely beat-up. But here’s a little secret….we ALL feel that way!
As a stay at home mom to five children, who homeschooled for four years, I can tell you with 100% certainty that mothers do not get sick days. We are on call, on duty, at all times. Even when dad has the kids, we can’t escape those text messages asking what they can eat (ummm ask Dad, he’s the one who is actually home!), the phone calls, FaceTime’s, etc.
It’s wonderful to feel needed, but goodness it can get really burdensome when we ourselves feel like we need some TLC.
Mom’s need a Sabbath day. Moms need to have time to rest and recharge. An actual day of rest, and retreat. While I love going to church with my family on Sunday’s, I personally do not find Sunday to be a day of rest. It’s a day to get people ready, dressed up, put together, fed and out the door by a certain time. Then when we return from church I have to quickly change and whip-up lunch. It’s exhausting! If Sunday’s are exhausting for you too, a Sabbath day of rest should be created on a separate day of the week.
It seems unlikely you are going to get a full day of rest once a week, but you should at least get a few hours of mental rest at least once a week to save your sanity. Creating this time for yourself will help you and your family to be better off. As the one who nurtures and helps develop character in your children, how can you possibly do that when your nerves are worn and completely shot?
Creating time will create peace within you, which will in turn create peace within your home.
Ways For Mom to Create Time For Rest
- Schedule with dad to take the kids out (or in depending on what you want to do) for a few hours each week.
- Hire a babysitter for an afternoon, morning, evening, sometime where you can just chill, work on a project, read, or do whatever you want.
- Ask the grandparents to help with the kids.
- Trade time with a friend. Take turns watching eachother’s kids so you each get some time off.
- Get up early, before the kids, to do a devotion, exercise, etc.
- If you homeschool, or have kids who are home 24/7, create a quiet time every day, despite how old they are. Take this time to recharge and unwind. Even if it’s just an hour a day, it’s your hour to do whatever you need to do.
Remember to care for yourself half as much as you care for everyone else. It’s so easy to worry about everyone but yourself and neglect your own needs, but that will eventually catch up with you. And catch up with the whole family. Create time to relieve some mom exhaustion and recharge your batteries.
One last thought….as moms it is so easy to cross the line from mothering well, to making our children idols in our lives. Making them have quiet time so you can have devotion time, or prayer time, shows them that God is the most important person in your life…not them. And while that can be so hard for us to do, it is completely healthy for them to understand that they aren’t #1. Seeing you pray, read the Bible, and worship God, will also be something they will want to model as well. Putting God first in your life, and creating time for Him, will help them to draw nearer to Him as well.