By Katie Gibson
I’ve never met a mom who hasn’t used this word to describe herself at some point or another.
I realize I’m suffering from this ailment when I arrive at my son’s school and don’t remember the getting there part. Or when I see that it’s 11:30am and I realize I forgot to drink my coffee…
Forgot to drink my coffee?!
If that isn’t a red flag, I don’t know what is. I’ve been running myself ragged, again.
As moms, we have the ability to push ourselves. Hard. God knew we would need that drive within us to manage our households, and get us out of bed at all hours of the night. But I think we often take advantage of it, and push the pedal to the metal too far, too long.
That is where I find myself.
It’s in times like these that I need to go back to the basics, and revisit the guidelines I’ve set in place, in the past, to keep me in good, running condition. I have three:
1- Set a bedtime
The most important AND most neglected! I don’t have to tell you that studies show 7-8 hours of sleep is key to physical and mental health. The demands of motherhood begin from the moment our feet hit the floor at way-too-early o’ clock. Set a bedtime and stick to it. Even if it’s 7-8 hours of interrupted sleep, it’s still better than 5… am I right?
2- Schedule an hour for yourself
This is when I set the phone aside, pull out my Bible and journal and begin to process with the Lord. I set mine for the “lagging” part of the day. I include a power nap to recharge my batteries so that I can be refreshed and ready to be friendly to my kids when they return home from school. Your hour will probably look different. You might include a walk or some other form of exercise, or maybe even a hobby— whatever energizes you.
The key here is to schedule the hour, and set a “fence” around it. Boundaries— they’re important. It’s so much easier to say, “Yes” to everyone else, but ourselves, isn’t it?
3- Get out
No, really, get out.
Every week make sure you are getting out to do something enjoyable. A date night with hubby, girls night with your friends, a trip to Target by yourself (Dream. Come. True.), a hobby or social club… you get the point.
Anything work related doesn’t count.
Anything that drains energy instead of instilling it doesn’t count.
Chances are you have a wonderful husband or some great friends who would be willing to keep the kiddos so that you can tend to yourself. So, make it a habit: sit down at the beginning of each week and schedule in a night for you.
Dear friend, we need to stop running ourselves like a 24-hour Wal-Mart (we all know how those look!). Don’t fall into the trap of taking care of everyone else to the detriment of you.
God never intended for us to live that way. His Word says, “Love your neighbor as yourself”(Mark 12:31), which begs the question: How can we love and care for others if we are not loving and caring for ourselves?
Our husbands, children, friends, co-workers— they all need the best us.
Let’s not jip them by offering up the little bit of leftover energy we can scrounge up. If we are to last for the long haul, so that we may serve our families well, it starts with us.
What steps will you take, or what boundary must you set, so that you can back away from the edge of exhaustion and into a more abundant life, today?
Word of the Day
“…Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:31 (NIV)
Father, Your Word says that I am your creation, so I know that you desire for me to care for myself. It’s hard, Lord. But I know that with you I can learn to live a life of abundance, instead of exhaustion. Help me to listen to my body. Thank you that when I take time to rest, I can trust that you will take care of the rest. In Jesus’ Name, amen.