Encouragement for Moms

Do Moms Need Time to Themselves?

timetothemselves

I’m a member of a large homeschooling group on Facebook, which has many differing opinions, to say the least!

I have remained in the group because I value the input I receive there.  At the same time, sometimes it’s really difficult to keep my mouth shut when a question is thrown out there.

Not too long ago, the question, “Is it selfish for me to take a vacation without my husband and children?” was asked.

Many women responded with a resounding “no.”  I couldn’t help myself, and so I quickly typed the word “yes,” and hit send. (I was the only one out of around 100 women who said “yes,” and so I was a little scared about the possible reaction, ha!)

Only a few weeks ago, a different member’s husband went on a “vacation” by himself, and the consensus was that he was most definitely a cheater.  I was really left scratching my head as to why if a women vacationed by herself it was okay, but if a man did, he was a cheater.

Why the double standard?

I also wondered what the children would think.  How would they feel once they realized that they were something their momma needed a vacation from?  I was a super sensitive child growing up, and I know I would have been heartbroken once I realized my mother wanted to take a vacation by herself.

I would like to say that I believe to a large extent, our culture has bought into the lie that “me time” is necessary.  I truly believe that it isn’t.

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 Let me explain.

Our job as mothers is to fill our children’s cups, and sometimes we need a recharge.  I totally get that!  But the problem begins when we attempt to recharge ourselves with the things of this world, which will just leave us empty handed.  We have bought into the lie that “me time” is necessary.  However, I truly believe that it will somehow leave us empty, always longing for more.  Being alone will not somehow magically cause us to recharge.

When we fill our cups with God’s Word we will be recharged.  Spending time away from our family on “girls night out” will not.

Spending time in God’s Word or in Christian fellowship with other like-minded ladies fulfills recharges me.  Spending time with my husband working on our marriage does the same thing.  Spending time with my children can actually be a recharge. 

I really must say, that at this point in my life, I much prefer being with someone else rather than being alone.  God has placed these little people in our lives for our benefit!  When the room grows quiet, and I’m alone to think about the day, I miss the wonderful feeling of being surrounded by my sweet family.  I didn’t always feel this way, and I’m so grateful for the huge perspective change the Lord accomplished in my life over a decade ago.  I pray that my mothering is gospel-centered, and involves a sacrificial love which does not think of myself.  I wouldn’t trade this loud and crazy life for anything in this world!

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12 thoughts on “Do Moms Need Time to Themselves?

  1. Hi Nicole, It’s so nice visiting your blog home. I stopped over from the Wholehearted Home party. I almost fainted when I read that you said moms don’t need time alone, because everyone needs time alone – moms and dads. But when I read that some people interpret that to mean a full blown vacation, I almost fell off of my chair! What ever happened to an afternoon at Starbucks sipping coffee and collecting your thoughts or running an errand by yourself to get some R & R? But I do agree with you when you say that the Lord is our refresher – and we must let His word and time in His presence refresh us – especially as there will be many times when we can not get alone at all. I Know that you prefer not to be alone, but some people are wired that way and recharge when they have solitude – which may be as simple as asking grandma to watch the kids for one afternoon a week. I personally wouldn’t go as far as saying that a mom’s need for “me time” means that she’s being selfish. We all have different temperaments and are at different stages in the Lord. Any way, thanks for writing this post. I hear your heart and appreciate your encouragement for us all to be better moms – which means that I like you already!

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  2. Great post Nicole. I appreciate your heart to encourage moms to better themselves by spending time with the Lord and with other like-minded ladies. Looking back I don’t remember ever going anywhere by myself until my kids where much older. And it wasn’t a full blown vacation. It was one night away at women’s ministry retreat. So I guess I wasn’t completely alone! But as an introvert, I find I am more refreshed when I do get to spend time alone. Not that I don’t enjoy spending time with people, I absolutely do. I just personally need to get away for a couple of hours in order to recharge.

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  3. I agree with what you are saying. I remember that as a mom with young children, I often thought I needed “me” time and would schedule some morning that my husband was home that I could go by myself to a coffee shop and just “read”. I would come back, often not refreshed, but less so. I think what I learned is that what I really need is the Lord in the middle of the challenges. He is my rest, not time away. When I put my hope for refreshment in “time away”, I am often disappointed. I, too, kind of cringe when people say they need time for themselves. I do think, of course, that it’s ok to do that sometimes, but if my motive is “me” then I will be disappointed. “The Son of Man came, not to be served, but to serve.” I am more refreshed when I am serving others with joy. (I get nervous about saying that, too:) )

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  4. I was so encouraged to read your article! I think the notion of “me ” time is birthed from the “me ‘ generation. There was a time that I thought that way, but now I think it is one of the ways we can be deceived. I have found that when we pour ourselves into others that we are rewarded with peace and rest that only comes thru doing what is right and good, even if it is hard. God always gives me a better time than I ever get trying to fulfill my own needs. The reason is ,He alone is our real rest . Besides that,the notion that we even need to get away from our families is a mindset birthed from the time we are living in . Our children are a blessing from The Lord . Do we want to get away from Jesus? Why do we want to get away from them? Rest is in and of itself rest not to be confused with getting away from the family. God opens many ways for me to rest while living with my family. What is the message we are giving to our children when we say we need time away from them? I know this may not be popular but it is what I believe The Lord has shown me.

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  5. I have had some of those same thoughts before when my kids are driving me crazy and I’m dying for a break – but what I really need is an attitude adjustment and quite probably, a nap.

    I’d be hesitant to say it’s wrong to do this or that without your family because I don’t know everyone’s situation, and I’ve actually left my husband and kids before and gone on a trip with my mom to see my brother in Switzerland, but the point is that recharging isn’t synonymous with getting away from your kids.

    #MMBH

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  6. In part of your post you mention that the children will feel bad that you want a vacation away from them. However, I think it’s important to note that spending time with your husband away from the children is important. So, I believe that whether this means date nights/vacations or whatever else, children need to learn to understand this.
    I also agree with someone above who said that me time is part of this me generation, that is so true. Generations ago you wouldn’t have heard of such a thing. When the children grow up, you’ll have lots and lots of me time anyways.
    God bless!

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    1. I think perspective and intentions make all of the difference. Spending some time away with your husband to reconnect while missing your children is very different than vacationing to specifically escape your children. Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂

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