Motherhood is not easy. It is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting, no matter what age your kids may be. As we try to meet the needs of others around us, we often neglect taking the time we need for ourselves.
Yet while I was writing this post, “The Law of Diminishing Return” kept coming to mind. At some point, a mom’s productivity level and quality will greatly decrease if she does not get time to re-charge. Dear fellow Mom, it is okay to take time for yourself. Even if it is just 10 minutes in the middle of your day, you need it to re-charge.
But how? In the midst of balancing the crazy schedules that come with motherhood, how do we re-charge? How do we find “Me Time”? What even is this thing called “Me Time”!?! Well, I took the question to Facebook and let fellow moms in the trenches answer the question!
1. Choose a night to purpose to not “keep working” after kids are put to bed.
Lay aside all the household tasks that still need to be complete. Instead, take time to read the Bible or a book, watch a movie, or even go to bed early.
One mom says, “At nighttime, I take a long bubble bath. Sometimes my toddler is in the bathroom playing beside the tub. But it still helps.”
2. Plug into God’s Strength Through time in His Word and prayer
Wake up early. Utilize naptime. Study after kids go to bed. You may even read aloud to your kids at a mealtime.
Jani Ortland, author and speaker, shared on a Revive Our Hearts broadcast that when her kids were little, she and a friend would take turns watching the kids for 2 hours. The “free” mom would strictly use this time to dig in depth into God’s Word. Yes, she still had quiet time every day. But every other week, she knew that she would have 2 hours to dig deeper and be revitalized.
3. Get Involved with Church
Use Sunday School and Service Times as “Me Time” to get rooted and challenged in God’s Word.
4. Get Involved in Bible Study or a Mom’s Group
Over and over again in my Facebook poll, mom’s would say, “Go to a Ladies Bible Study at your church”, “Join Bible Study Fellowship”, “Find a mom’s group like MOPs”.
I have to admit thinking, “These ladies must all be extroverts!” But even being an introvert, I love being part of a ladies Bible study, getting encouraged and challenged in God’s Word. Our “MomStrong” group is one of my favorite activities each month. Often, a Ladies Bible Study, BSF or Mom’s group will have free to low cost childcare. You will have some time enjoying adult conversation knowing your kids will be well cared for.
5. Wisely prioritize your time to what is truly important to you. We waste so much time on things that don’t matter.
How much time is spent on social media, surfing the internet, browsing Pinterest? Put your phone away! Leave it somewhere in your house where it is not easy to access. Instead, focus on the tasks at hand so that you can have time later on for yourself.
Also, be organized. So much time can be wasted looking for things. My mom always said, “There’s a place for everything, and everything in its place.” I too now say that to my family. Have a “home” for everything in your house. Make sure items get put back into their place.
Take time before the kids wake up or after they go to bed. Put a show on, or let them play “ABC Mouse” in the middle of the day so that you can do a little workout. If needed, put the kids in a stroller and go for a walk.
Join a gym that has childcare. One mom says, “The YMCA is a lifesaver for me…I get to workout and my little one has fun playing with the other kiddos.” The YMCA even has a Parent’s Night Out.
7. Wake up early or Stay Up Late
Get up an hour before the kids. Take a long shower, enjoy a cup of coffee alone, spend time in the Word.
8. Get Outside
Throw kids in the stroller and go out for a walk. Take the kids to the park or to a place to hike. Sometimes a change of scenery is what both you and the kids need.
9. Allow People to Help
Find a group of God-living, Kingdom-seeking mommas to share life with. Maybe there is a mom you can trade days with once or twice a month so that you can run errands by yourself, or just sit somewhere to read or dig deep into Bible Study.
If possible, find a reliable babysitter so that you can go and do something for you! It’s beneficial to everyone for you to get a break so that you can take care of you.
10. Early Bedtimes
My mom would always tell us, “Kids turn green after 8 o’clock!” And it is so true. My kids could be fun and cheerful all day. Then 8 o’clock comes, and they change for the worse.
In my home, I try to have my kids in bed by 7 or 7:30. There are a couple evenings that we have later nights, due to church or activities we have scheduled. It makes such a difference though when they can be in bed early. I realize that this gets a little more challenging as children get older, or if they are in school. Set a reasonable bedtime for your family and stick to it! You need time for yourself to unwind.
11. Utilize Nap Times / Mandatory Quiet Times
Use nap or rest time to let yourself re-group and breathe. Non-napping children may listen to an audiobook, read, do puzzles, or play quietly. Let them know that interruptions are only allowed for emergencies (otherwise quiet time will be extended).
During this time, have a cup of coffee or tea, take time to read God’s Word and pray. It’s okay to do absolutely nothing during naptime. Sometimes you need time to re-charge yourself, so the rest of the day can be productive.
12. Find Ways to Make Life Easier (like use paper plates!)
One mom says, “When my friend’s husband is on deployment, she uses paper plates so she doesn’t have to wash up after bedtime. Her kids think it’s a blast”
13. Re-Frame and Re-Prioritize “Me Time” and Self-Care
Re-think what you call “Me Time”. Think of it as getting something completed that will add value to your life and will reduce your stress. For example, “Me Time” may be folding and putting away laundry. Or perhaps it is clearing the kitchen sink from dishes. This takes a stressor off your plate, and it’s one less thing to think about later.
14. Be Creative
I remember some time ago, a friend posted on Facebook that she was sitting in her van sipping a Starbucks beverage while her kids watched a movie. As moms, sometimes we have to do whatever works for that moment.
Susanna Wesley was a mother of 10 (living) children. You may recognize the names of John and Charles Wesley, two of her sons. If you have time, look up her story. It is fascinating! She had a lot of responsibility. Yet time with the Lord was dear to her. So, in the middle of home-life chaos, she would sit down, flip an apron over her head and pray.
15. Schedule It
Make “Me Time” an appointment that you cannot miss. Write it on your calendar. Make it part of your “to-do list”. Prioritize it. Take time to be refreshed so that you can be the best mom and wife that you can be!
Chime in! How do you recharge? Is there something you need to start doing to get time for yourself?
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