Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How Does a Mom Get a Moment to Breathe? ~ Big Family Idea Bonanza Series


Have you ever had one of those days? The baby is clingy and screams if you put him down. The toddler wants to sit on your lap for every meal. The four-year-old insists that you play Princessopoly with her…for the fifth time in a row. You can’t get to the coffee maker without a Little riding on your leg. There’s not a moment to catch your breath.
I’m not a proponent of a lot of me-time. But even Jesus took time away from the crowds to refresh and recharge. Finding a balance can be tricky and is probably different for each of us, but a moment away every now and then can make us better wives and mothers. {Especially for us introverts. J

How does a mom of many get that down time?

Before I get to suggestions, let me tell you the absolute truth. You simply aren’t going to get that much down time, especially if you homeschool. But I want you to think about your situation. The Lord Himself has entrusted you with these precious creations, your children, and now is your only opportunity to raise them in His will. The more you stay focused on how short your time really is with them, the less you will feel the need for time off.

Okay. Now, the reality of working in breathers in your day or week ~

Maintain a strict naptime. There’s nothing wrong with enforcing a naptime and even a quiet time for the Bigs. Set a timer. They can get up when it beeps.

Maintain a strict bedtime. Preferably a bedtime that allows you a bit of quiet/adult time before your own bedtime. Alternatively, get up before everyone and enjoy the quiet of the morning. Perhaps this is your morning devotional time. {Or both, if you don’t mind missing sleep. J}

If you have a willing husband or mother, leave the children with them and take one or two hours each week out of the house by yourself. Go to the library or your favorite coffee shop or out to eat to catch up on your reading or paperwork or just to sit still quietly.

Extend and appreciate those moments when you are alone. What child really wants to hang around Mom when she’s brushing her teeth or scrubbing out the oven? Take a few extra minutes and breathe deeply.

Assuming all are safe inside, take a few minutes to walk to the mailbox.

Play hide-and-seek. Hide in a really good place. Seriously.

Have Bigs watch Littles and give yourself a time-out. Retreat to your bedroom and read Scripture or pray for peace. If you return to the fray more calm and joyful, the children will be glad you disappeared for a moment.

Susanna Wesley, mother of 17 children, including John and Charles Wesley, would pull her apron over her head as she sat at the kitchen table to pray. Perhaps a signal such as this would indicate to your children that you need a few minutes alone.

The bottom line? When you do have a moment, make the most of it. Breathe deeply. Pray. Savor the silence. Even in a few stolen minutes each day, your even keel can be maintained.








Do you find it difficult to have a breather some days? How do you manage it?

Other posts in this series ~


If you're enjoying this series, let's stay in touch!



~~~~~
Receive new posts from this blog by e-mail.
Let’s connect on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Or follow this blog with Google Friend Connect on the sidebar.
~~~~~



This post may be linked up, with much gratitude, to these blog hops.

Photobucket Growing Home parents as teachers Wise-Woman-Builds Our Simple Country Life Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Womanhoodwithpurpose http://christianmommyblogger.com


Pin It!

30 comments:

  1. Wow! The beginning of your post sounded just like my life!!!!! I feel I am not alone:) God bless you for your encouragement! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know it's easy to believe, but you are definitely not alone, Tonya! So glad it was encouraging, and many blessings to you.

      Delete
  2. Some good ideas here. I do the waking up early suggestion along with the afternoon nap/silent reading time. It makes such a huge difference to have those unwind moments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Unwind" is a great way to put it. Thanks for visiting!

      Delete
  3. Love this post! I find my quiet adult time after the kids are in bed since hubby & I are more night owls than morning people. The Hide and Seek idea made me laugh :-) "The more you stay focused on how short your time really is with them, the less you will feel the need for time off." Love that, too. Even with only 2 littles (so far!) I need a few moments to breathe every once in awhile...even if it's just a trip to Walmart...alone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great suggestion that I forgot to put in -- run to the grocery store. So glad to have you here, Jenna!

      Delete
  4. I have my 'alone time' in the morning before the children get up, when I can read my Bible and pray. I have five children under 8, so getting out of the house alone isn't something I can do very often. And when I do get the chance, I always feel guilty, like I should take at least one of my children with me. :) Plus I like to spend time with my husband - we hardly ever go out anywhere without each other. The children always have a quiet time during the day from about 1-3 in the afternoon, which is definitely a sanity saver! I think Susanna Wesley had a good idea, I might have to try the apron trick! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Kayla, I know that guilt! And what a treat it always is for the child who gets to go somewhere with just mommy. Even that can provide a bit of a breather, though, especially with all your children so young. Thanks for commenting, and I'd love to see your picture of the apron trick! :)

      Delete
  5. As soon as I saw your picture, I immediately thought of Susanna Wesley. I am challenging myself to find some time morning, noon, and night to focus on God. Unfortunately my children would think it was hilarious to see Momma with an apron over her head, so I am not sure if I could get them to take me serious when I said I was having a quiet moment with God. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does seem to be both good and bad when nearly everything mom does has the potential to be a joke. :) Stay with it, Amanda, and many blessings to you!

      Delete
  6. Sometimes I've sat in my closet in the dark. I can still hear the kids and have an idea what is going on, but since I am in the dark they don't usually realize that I am in the closet, even when they come in to see if I am there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I've done that, too! I completely forgot about it when making my list, but it's like hide and seek. It takes them a while to realize that you're not coming right back. Then, when they find you, you can jump out and say "Boo!" and your breather has become a game. Thanks for commenting, Suanna!

      Delete
  7. I think I've done all of these. I really have to pray for God to soften my heart to my kids because being an introvert in particular, I really crave quiet and alone time, and there are times I almost resent my kids because they are small and just don't allow for much of that. At least not yet.

    Thanks for your encouragement. I appreciate your heart for your family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you're praying about it, Keri, and I'll pray for you as well. As they get older, it should get better. Not only will they become a bit more independent, but they will also want their own alone time. And if you have more, the Bigs can be a tremendous help. I'm glad this was encouraging to you, and I appreciate your heart for God.

      Delete
  8. I hide in the bathroom.....

    Great post. :)

    Gretch

    ReplyDelete
  9. This was a wonderful post!! I have really enjoyed this series. I did not get much 'me' time but then in a way, I did. Your suggestions are priceless and will help a young mother. My children had a nap time, the Bigs rested and red and loved it into their teens or we would do read together without the Littles. Bedtime was enforced until they were older. When they started staying up late it was an adjustment loosing that time when the house was quiet and the sink stayed clean (LOL). I have gotten up earlier than them for years to spend time with the Lord. One thing I did not work out was having time out alone about once a week. I hardly ever was out alone until sometimes recently. This didn't bother me but looking back, I think this would have helped me so much to renew my spirit.

    Thanks so much for blessing WholeHearted Home with this post this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judith, you always leave such encouraging and informative comments. Thank you! I have wondered what bedtime will be like as they age. My oldest is 13 and she is still a good sleeper, so she doesn't want to stay up late too often. So glad you shared your experience!

      Delete
  10. Very good tips, thanks for sharing
    Blessing
    Renee

    ReplyDelete
  11. I loved this post! Thanks Meghan for your wonderful list. I do remember playing hide-n-seek when my children were young, and hiding in a "really" good spot! ;) The time truly flies by and I am learning to appreciate every moment - even on days when I desire "me" time. Thanks again and God bless!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad it was encouraging, Ronda. Thanks so much for visiting, and many blessings to you!

      Delete
  12. Thank you. It's good to know we're not alone feeling like this. I only have one toddler so far but another one due soon and I wish I wasn't dreading it so much. My toddler doesn't nap, and is very clingy so don't get any time alone. When the baby comes I'm not sure how I'll cope with 2 of them crying at once, but at least it's just a phase that won't last forever!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right - it won't last forever. Blink too much and they're grown up. Two can be a lot of fun, and you'll find that the older can entertain and amuse the younger, with your supervision of course. Thanks for visiting, and God bless!

      Delete
  13. Meghan...I enjoyed your post. Great suggestions for moms to find down times throughout their day. When our children were younger, we stayed true to nap times/quiet times. It blessed me and our children. They are older now and still have quiet time in their day and without me telling them too. We moms by example can teach our children that breathers are important. Thank you for the encouragement and for sharing at WJIM. Blessings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What an excellent point, Naomi. We're teaching our children that moments of quiet are necessary refreshers in a day. I always enjoy your comments. Thanks!

      Delete
  14. Meghan,
    Someone asked me to write about how I home-schooled and made it through. In the post I started are many of the same ideas, just shared differently. We NEED to take time alone with God and also get alone by ourselves. My favorite is definitely Suzanna's way with the apron over head!
    Thank you for your excellent encouragement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An apron over the head sounds a little funny - feels a little funny at first - but do whatever works! :) So glad you were encouraged, Jacqueline.

      Delete

I so much appreciate your time and effort in leaving a comment, and I try to respond to as many as time permits. :-)