We sat on comfy overstuffed furniture in the cafe and sipped hot drinks at the Mom’s Tea last Friday. The topic was escaping. When I had previewed the lesson, I thought, this doesn’t really apply to my ladies. I know them. They struggle more with not taking a break then escaping into alternate realities through the internet and other avenues, like drugs and alcohol. It is a relevant topic for today’s culture. Are we living in the moment with our children in the real world or are we too busy posting seemingly perfect pics on social media? I’m not against posting an occasional update for friends and family. I do that myself. What we were discussing was much more serious in nature, having to do with addictions and not living in real life in real time.
Through our discussion, I gleaned some information that I find are reoccurring themes with Moms. See if you relate to any of these.
- Moms feel guilty taking time for themselves.
- Moms work themselves hard and expect more from themselves than they do from others.
- Those Moms who work themselves like pack horses are often too exhausted to ever do anything fun or reward themselves.
- Moms who work themselves too hard, having unrealistic expectations, are prone to not only physical exhaustion, but sickness
- Moms feel as if they need to be the best ALL the time (Perfectionism)
As you can see, our conversation quickly too a turn from escapism to guilt. Do you find yourself in any of these statements? Can I let you in on a secret? I see myself in every one of them at one time or another. Maybe one or two a day.
I’m speaking from the experience of a homeschool Mom, it’s almost as if there is some invisible edict floating around our culture that says if you choose to stay home, you had better do it perfectly. My house should be sparkling because I am home. My children should be clean, respectful, well-mannered, because I am teaching them. I should prepare organic meals that take me hours to prepare and my kids love to eat them. Or maybe you work part time, or full time and you believe that lie that you can have it all and do it all.
Guess what? I can’t do it all and neither can you. We are human. We have limitations. We might be bossed around by cultural edicts, but we can ignore them. Guilt might rear its ugly head if we don’t do everything all the time, but we can tell it to be quiet.(Tweet that)
We try to balance our bank account and not spend all the money so that we don’t have overage fees, yet we over spend our mental and physical accounts. When we do, everyone pays the overage fees. Our bodies shut down. We yell at our kids. We are cranky. Instead of keeping up our standard of perfection, we crash.
Back to the list. Guilt is a scary beast. Moms don’t like guilt. Don’t let it boss you around. Take some time for yourself. Jesus did.He wanted to get away from his public (Mark 7:24). I’m not saying run around town every day and ignore your kids and home. Schedule time to do something you like. Coffee with a friend. Writing. Crafting. Something you like. It’s important for your kids to see you doing something of value apart from them. Your children will eventually treat themselves the way you treat yourself. (Tweet this)
As far as work goes, we Moms quote scriptures like ‘whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all of your might.’ That is a great scripture. Notice, it doesn’t say, do everything. How about one thing? How about whatever is before you? Not the panoramic view. The one thing. (More on this in another post).
You are not a work horse. You don’t have to do everything all the time.
“Each day, ask God what god wants us to do today; then ask God to help. A simple request, but so profound and far reaching it can take us anywhere we need to go.
Listen: all that we want, all that we need, all the answers, all the help, all the good, all the love, all the healing, all the wisdom, all the fulfillment of desire is emodied in this simple request. We need say no more than Thank You.
This plan has been made for us and it is not one of deprivation. It is one of fullness, joy and abundance. Walk into it. See for yourself.”- Melody Beattie
Last, but not least, listen to your body. Don’t ignore the signs of stress. Don’t ignore that sore throat or exhaustion. God gave you indicators for a reason. Just as you wouldn’t ignore the oil light in your car, don’t ignore the physical and emotional signals that you need a break.
Ladies, we have physical limitations. We are humans. We hunger. We thirst. We need breaks and times of refreshing. It is profitable to take them. We reap a fresh outlook when we sow seeds of the proper sort of escape.
Linking up with Kristin Hill Taylor for Three Wednesday! Join us!