Health, faith, rest, friendship, chocolate. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what we moms need to thrive. Make no mistake. This is an ongoing battle. You have to fight for what you need because who you are, your very soul, depends on it.
The battle is fierce internally and externally. On the inside, we feel selfish for taking time for ourselves. However false this belief of selfishness is, I can’t help but feel tremendous guilt indulging in hours of freedom. I feel sorry for whoever is left at home with my 2.5 year-old exhausting bundles of crazy energy! That’s MY job. I’m responsible for their care. The negative gremlin voices grow louder and do not relent: How dare I be off joyriding or sleeping! There’s so much to do, I can’t be lazy and stop moving. I must do it all right now or I’ll be an ugly failure. Sounds silly but in my mind it’s the stark truth.
And then there’s the battle with the world. Engaging in our needs and desires costs time and money. You’ve got to stretch schedules, impose on others, and coordinate as many details as a military invasion just to carve out a space to enjoy yourself or nurture a healthy body and soul. Damn. Many times it’s just easier to run head first into the wall and say forget it. But at what price?
When your fire to fight for what you need cools to the dim glow of a dying ember, you are no longer the beautiful source of joy, love, and strength God designed you to be. You dangle dangerously close to the precipice of depression and anger. The empty void where you no longer feel confident in knowing your passion or loving who you are. When you shut down from the struggle, you distance yourself from God. The road to sin widens and your soul is at risk.
Our children absorb this. What messages are you sending them? You’re too tired, unhealthy, overwhelmed, or quick to anger. Or maybe you’re just not present in your own mind and heart even though you’re standing right next to them.
The battle of self-nurturing vs. motherly responsibility is fierce. But you do have a choice. Get to know yourself again. Make a list of your interests and activities that would help rejuvenate you. Find a way to integrate what you need most into your life each week. It may not be a lot and it might strain your wallet, but please, dear friend, fight for what you need.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20: Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
You are like a rose bush. If you don’t prune the bush and fertilize it, it will wilt and merely exist with diminished blooms that have been gnawed by disease and strangled by weeds. If you believe in caring for a rose bush in your yard, if you care for your friends and family, care for yourself.
Fight valiantly to thrive and bloom beautifully dear friend. Give the gift of your best self to your family. Feel enough joy in the blessings of your life to give daily gratitude to God and to open your heart to all He dreams for you to be.