“The enemy doesn’t want you to rest.”
My pastor recently said that to me and another woman from my church, thinking out loud about a potential future sermon. But my mind was blown by what he probably considered to be just a passing thought. Because I’m not just a woman with a Type-A personality. I’m a mom. And when you combine those two features together, the concept of ‘rest’ takes mommy guilt to an entirely new level.
(Seriously, mommy guilt doesn’t need any help as it is, am I right? When you add the Type-A personality to the mix? It’s just cruel and unusual punishment).
In my head, I’m convinced that I always must be doing. If I’m not doing something productive, then I’m obviously being lazy. Or a procrastinator. Or just a bad person in general.
Just the other day, I admitted to my friend Liz that I felt bad Nate was putting Brady to bed for me (since my arms were too exhausted to walk around the room holding my 30 pound toddler). There I was, sitting on the couch, talking on the phone for a few minutes; while my husband was soothing my little guy to sleep.
She replied with, “But you spent all day with Brady, and most of the night too. It’s okay for Nate and Brady to bond tonight before bed.”
Again… mind blown!
I always feel as though I need to be working if any work is being done. I need to be parenting if any parenting is being done. I should be the one cooking, cleaning, organizing, and scheduling.
But the thing is, I forget one very important thing: rest. I need rest. I was actually created by a Creator who designated one day a week for slowing down and recharging. And when I try to convince myself that I’m the energizer bunny in mom form, I’m only doing myself – and those around me – a disservice.
I can’t give 100% on an empty tank anymore than I can start my day without coffee. (Really, it just can’t happen).
I don’t want my smiles to be forced… My snuggles and hugs to be rushed, because I feel so exhausted and worn out… Or my time for those who need it to be half-hearted, because I no longer have an ounce of patience left in me.
That makes me less effective. Less victorious. Less joyful and less purpose driven.
For me to be the best version of myself, I do need rest. And fun. And recharging. And I need to realize that having some down-time should be embraced… not faced with guilt.
So I’ve been scheduling it. And it’s working! 🙂
Most of the time, it’s an hour here or there. Yesterday, I ran to the store and leisurely shopped at Marshall’s, while Nate watched a cartoon with Brady. Sometimes, I’ll go out with a friend after Brady is in bed for the night. Once in awhile, I’ll put on a great worship CD, light a candle, and paint my nails. Other times, I’ll choose to ignore the dirty dishes, laundry, meal prep, and cleaning so that I can sit down, drink a coffee, and read a book or watch TV during Brady’s naptime.
Anything goes, as long as I can do it once or twice a week. The only thing that’s not allowed is guilt. No guilt allowed! It took a few tries before I really was able to enjoy it and not focus on all the things I ‘should’ be doing instead. But now, I embrace those just-for-me moments.
I feel like a human being afterward. 🙂 And maybe that’s because I’m doing what God had planned for me all along: Resting!
Guys, I’m doing it!!! I’m actually making mommy-time a priority! Aren’t you proud of me?!? 🙂