The Break a Mom Needs Won’t Happen By Accident

 

One thing my husband has taught me is that I need to carve out time for myself. It’s not going to happen all by itself.

After a long day, it’s really easy to start feeling sorry for ourselves.

I haven’t been alone yet today.

There are too many words.

Too many wants.

Too many needs.

Too little of me.

I need a breather, but I don’t always know how to make that happen when it doesn’t seem possible.

Ever so often, my overwhelm spills over into a full-blown adult style tantrum. The other day, for the first time in all of my adult life, I stomped my feet in frustration just like my preschoolers have done. Stomp-stomp-stomp-stomp. The wide-eyes watching were wondering what alternate reality they had just stepped into.

It wasn’t over anything big. Just some globs of smoothie dropped in a trail across the kitchen by a kiddo who didn’t understand how to fix the smoothie vs. dropped straw dilemma they found themselves in.

A sure-fire sign the mama needs a break is when the smallest thing lights a great big fire in her.

Too often though, I have every excuse as to why I simply can’t take the time I need for myself. And I’m not even talking about shopping, or girls’ nights, or date nights, or coffee dates, or an outing by myself. I’m just talking everyday care. Of myself.

Showers.

Food.

Prayer.

Getting ready for the day.

God’s Word.

Talking with my spouse or a friend.

Books.

Quiet.

A show that brings joy.

A favorite drink.

Skincare.

Just normal old taking care of me. But the problem is that sometimes moms feel guilty for simply taking the time to work the basics. But don’t we feel so much better when we do?

What’s standing in the way of the break you need? or the time you need to feel like yourself again?

The baby. I thought you might say that.

The fingers under the door. Yep.

The lack of time. Sure.

My kids need me. True story.

But even more so, your family and this world needs you to be you again. I don’t know of any kid or family who suffered when a mother took care of herself in a healthy way. Not in a selfish, over-the-top “me time” way. But in an everyday love and care of what God has created in her way. A way that shows her family she is important and worth taking care of.

You can trust that if a mom of eight kids (special needs included) is urging you to take care of yourself, you can know she gets it. I get how hard it is. How buried we sometimes feel. I also understand that the newborn and infant phase is grueling in a way other seasons of motherhood aren’t. For this, you may need to call in some reinforcements. A friend you can trade with. A spouse who gets your need. A family member who’ll step in and relieve you for a bit.

The same could also be said for single motherhood, mothers working full-time outside the home, special needs parenting, and illness (and more.) We all know what it feels like to be in a season where thinking of ourselves feels like the last thing we could possibly do.

 

But to the rest of us, hear me say this:

Sometimes we have to go to bed earlier to take care of ourselves.

Sometimes we need to step away from our phones and computers.

Sometimes we have to choose what’s helpful in the long-run rather than what’s easy in the moment.

Sometimes we have to get up early to get a shower and get fully ready before the house wakes.

Sometimes we need to acknowledge our need and find realistic ways to fill them.

Sometimes we need to deny ourselves to truly help ourselves.

 

Our families won’t break if we take a break, but we might if we don’t. 

Amanda Bacon
Follow

Amanda Bacon

Amanda is the mother of eight kids through birth and adoption and has been married for eighteen years to the most helpful man on the planet. She is an encouraging voice for moms everywhere through the written and spoken word. In addition to The Masterpiece Mom blog and podcast, she also writes at AmandaBacon.com and is over the top in love with Instagram (@amanda_baconbits). Come over and say hi!
Amanda Bacon
Follow

About Amanda Bacon

Amanda is the mother of eight kids through birth and adoption and has been married for eighteen years to the most helpful man on the planet. She is an encouraging voice for moms everywhere through the written and spoken word. In addition to The Masterpiece Mom blog and podcast, she also writes at AmandaBacon.com and is over the top in love with Instagram (@amanda_baconbits). Come over and say hi!

Comments

  1. HI Amanda!

    You were talking about needing a break, and the importance of calling for reinforcements. I have not ever had a baby yet, and I’m not even married, let alone having kids. I am speaking on the side of being a reinforcement person. I get to watch my nephews and niece a lot, at least the ones who live nearby. Sometimes my folks and I will take my nephews and niece who are home schooled, and we will help the kids with their schoolwork. We watch my other nephew who goes to Christian school, and we just let my brother and SIL have a day to get things done around the house, or so that my SIL have a day to herself. When my now 6 year old nephew was born, he had some tummy issues and wasn’t sleeping. I practically lived with my third oldest brother and SIL for the first 8 months of my nephew’s life. They tried to go it alone for the first few weeks, but then they were so tired, they could barely think. My brother came over and asked me if I could help them out with the baby. I slept in their recliner in the nursery and held the baby. He couldn’t sleep laying flat, but did better if sitting up a bit. I absolutely loved that time in my life! I would say ask family for help because they will love it!

    In Christ,
    Bethany

      • Awww, thank you, Amanda! I think most of the time the extended family likes to know they are helping out the new little growing family in some way or another. While the new Mom/Mom with older kiddos is getting a good break, the extended family is getting good quality one on one time with the new baby/older child or kids. I remember being almost as tired as my third oldest brother and SIL, but it was so worth it. My third oldest brother and his little family live just across the street, so it’s nothing to just walk over and watch my nephew. I didn’t have to have either of my folks take me over in the car. I must be honest that I do have “selfish” days where I just want to sit on the couch and watch movies all day:-)

        Have a good weekend!
        In Christ,
        Bethany

  2. P.S. I hope you can get a good quality break soon. My three older brothers used to take care of me if Mom needed some time “off”, or if Mom and Dad went away for a night or two. I’m glad you have older kids who can watch your younger kiddos if need be.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *