Life with children is full and busy. There are days when total chaos seems to rule in my home. It is never boring around here!
Arguments break out. Two-year-olds throw tantrums. Sometimes I barely can hear myself think.
At times, I would like to break away! I’m sure you mamas know how I feel!
It seems like it’s only the right thing to do. The culture around us even tells us that women should work out of their homes on a daily basis. Voices say that child-raising should be left to day cares, but this simply is not true. The Lord created you for this wonderful purpose!
New moms are often startled when they feel like they’ve “lost” themselves, and they must have time alone to rediscover what is missing. At least that’s what their friends and family tell them.
Mommas, this is a lie. God in His great mercy has provided us with all we need in this busy season of our lives. Time alone can rob our family of time that rightfully belongs to them. It can (not always, but can) bring us to a place where we rely on our “alone time” to fill a void that only the Lord can. There is nothing wrong with spending time away from our children. At times it is necessary! But we must take a look at our motives. If we want to spend time alone simply because we’ve been told that we “need” to by others, or because we are looking at our children as burdens instead of blessings, than may I gently suggest that we have some heart examination to do.
As moms, we are cup-fillers. As such, we need our cups filled first. My mind goes to Susanna Wesley (who was the 25th of 25 children), who had 15+ children, including the pioneers of the Methodist movement. Whenever she needed a moment alone with the Lord, she would throw her apron over her head and her children knew not to disturb her. As funny as this sounds, those short minutes with the Lord sustained Susanna, and strengthened her enough to continue her great task of raising her children.
While an hour-long Bible study might not work for the busy mom, little snippets of scripture reading and prayer will. He will sustain us and give us all that we need right where we are.
I used to be the mom who thought she needed time away from her kids. Through a series of events that only could have been orchastrated by the Lord, I realized that this simply wasn’t so. I was asked to die to myself, and look to the cross. Hard stuff! But by God’s grace, I now view time with my family as a privilege that I’m not willing to give up.
I was first convicted of my “me time” mentality while reading “The Me Time Myth” by Amy Roberts in a homeschooling magazine. Here is an excerpt:
“Me Time is a myth. It is an unattainable, always interruptible, never satisfying piece of junk psychology. Me Time, by its very name, suggests that who we are during the daily grind is not who we truly are. It begs us to search for fulfillment outside of the titles of “wife” and “mother.” It accuses precious little ones and God-given spouses for suppressing us. It reduces motherhood to a disease in which little dirty faces and endless monotonous tasks slowly suck the life out of us. It says we can never be refreshed by spending time in the presence of those we care for day in and day out. It points out a perceived hole in our world that needs to be filled, a tank that must be refueled, a monster that will swallow us if we neglect to feed it Me Time.”
Ouch. Through this article I learned that weekend getaways and girl’s nights are not a necessity. Young mother, don’t feel guilty if you’d rather be with your family than away. The Lord placed the need for you to nurture them within your very being. Listen to this pull to be with them.
While it doesn’t always feel like it, it really is an honor to be called to serve our families. The days are long, but the years are short. I’m so thankful that the Lord has equipped us to do every good work. Scripture does not say that time away with family and friends are necessary to refresh, but time with Him. He is everywhere and can meet us right where we are, even when we are with our families. If you are struggling with this, I hear you. I have been there! But praise God for His grace. The Lord is sufficient and will take care of all of our needs, even as tired mommas.
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea.