So we’ve been talking about loving our children well this past week . . .
We started out with a vlog about not causing our little ones to stumble, then discussed what our children need the most – for us to listen with all of us, not just some of us.
And because if you’re like me, you need to know that even though you just lost your stuff on your kids, they’re going to be OK. So we talked about that, too.
Lastly . . .
Here’s one more way you can love your kids well: give yourself a break.
If you take nothing else from this week, take this: listen to them and give yourself a break. The end.
You can’t do it all, though I know you try. You can’t be their everything, though I know you think you can. You can’t attend every class party or game or field trip or whatever because you need a break now and then to fill your own cup so you can love from your overflow.
A friend of mine once said it like this:
“What’s more important? That you go to your kids’ Valentine’s parties a frazzled mess because you’re so overscheduled and suffering from burn-out (but you had the perfect cupcakes!) or you take that time to exercise, read a book, or take a shower so when they come home, you’re honestly happy to see them and ready to pour-in again?
Wait. A shower. Uninterrupted. I think we all know about the rejuvenating powers of hot shower without anyone else around.
Need I say more?
We live in a culture of inflated expectations surrounding mothering so listening to the world’s definition of a good mother isn’t accurate.
A good mother is one who is there for her children, yes, but also knows when enough is enough and she needs a nap. Or a shower.
She goes to some class parties, field trips and games but doesn’t think her child is emotionally doomed if she chooses to refrain and do something for herself.
She recognizes the importance of loving her family but, like Jesus, she has her own needs that need to be fulfilled so she can love others well.
When we give ourselves a break by not falling for unrealistic expectations or just say “no” when we’re empty, we’re preparing our hearts to love well.
And that’s saying “yes” to yourself and the ones you love the most.
So have a wonderful weekend and exhale and rest and read and give yourself a break already. Don’t forget to take a shower.
Oh I needed to read this today. I’ve been wrestling with longing for the days when my small kids were in BED at 8:00. Now my high schoolers are up as late as I am, and my husband’s on a two week trip. I’m thinking I need to just say, “Mom will retire at 9:30. After 9:30, she can’t talk. She can’t listen. She can’t watch the youtube video you think is funny. She’ll be back on call in the morning.” I’ll have to think of a way to say it nicely.
Betsy, I had never thought of that…In my current season, everyone is in bed around 8-9p.m. every night and I KNOW there will be quiet. I KNOW I will be the same way when my kids are in high school…I’m brain-dead at night so 9:30 would be my limit, too! HA! Thanks for sharing that perspective!
Yep. Definitely struggling with that one right now as my hours at work increase, and my being gone more means more responsibility put on my busy husband, and more guilt over taking any time for myself….all when I’m still getting used to being married and having kids to begin with!
I hear you, Ann. You are doing a wonderful job – keep going. Change takes time – give yourself lots of grace and…take a long bath. Or a shower. :)
Don’t worry, I have a whirlpool tub and I know how to use it! ;)
I do too – it’s the best thing EVER, isn’t it??? There have been MANY of arguments diffused by the whirlpool tub…