Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A mother's notion of "me time"

Some days when the laundry pile is overflowing, the kids are bickering and we've run out of milk again, I'll dream of the next opportunity for "me time" -- maybe it will be a solo trip to the grocery store or a cup of coffee with a dear friend. (Ahem! We're overdue. You know who you are.) But, either way, it seems so exciting, it seems so special, it seems so necessary. And, I know for me, for the longest time, I really felt like "gee golly, it's only fair that I get a break!!"

Yes, solace and respite and quiet time are wonderful blessings... so long as they don't overshadow the truths that: so are children who are in need of nurturing, husbands who are in need of encouragement, homes that are in need of dusting, and our God who is deserving of our attention. If we spend our weeks awaiting the next moment of "me time", isn't that kind of selfish of us?

What we should instead be doing is striving to turn our everyday right-in-front-of-our-eyes blessings into moments that we long for. We should be excited for the opportunity to bless our husband with our undivided attention when he wants to tell us about his hard day at work; we should look forward to the opportunity to bless our children with extra cuddles before bedtime; we should happily care for our homes because we have homes to shelter our family from the cold; and we should be eager to use our free time in fellowship with our Creator and Sustainer.

I'm not suggesting that there isn't a time or place for girl's nights or other independent activities. I agree, they can be totally refreshing and uplifting (which is just what us mommas need, right?). But, we have to realize that such activities should not be first on our list of priorities nor should they be held in higher esteem than those duties that encompass our calling as mothers and our calling to serve God and others-- husbands, children, neighbors -- before serving ourselves.

Some seasons it just works out to enroll in an evening exercise class with a friend (there was a time I enjoyed a pilates class with my sister) and other seasons-- a new baby or a husband working longer hours -- when those extra activities just don't fit in. Those seasons can be tough and should be met with prayers and delving into the Scriptures. And, they can also be met with creativity:

- Date nights out of the question for a while? Enjoy a late night dinner with hubby after the kids are in bed instead. A frozen pizza, bagged salad and a glass of wine would be perfect.

- A day at the spa not an option? Turn on some classical music (check out Pandora!), light some scented candles and enjoy a hot bubble bath. Paint your nails while you're at it!

- Too busy to grab a cup of coffee with your bestie? Send her a cute card in the mail with a gift card to Dunkin Donuts inside so she can enjoy a yummy cup of coffee on her own, even if you can't join her. It will brighten her life immensely, trust me! (Thank you.)

So, let's help one another to stop thinking about how to escape the motherhood season we are in and instead encourage one another to embrace it. Are you in?


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  2. Yes, that me time is hard for parents of young children. Thanks for some good ideas to do the most with what we've got. Linking with you today at Faith Filled Fridays.