Thursday, July 21, 2011

Coffee Talk: Break Time for Mom

"Most moms of young children report that it is not a single major crisis that brings them to the edge of breakdown. Rather, it is the constant accumulation of everyday hassles. With no breaks."
--Elisa Morgan & Carol Kuykendall, What Every Mom Needs

As moms, we are all in need of mercy...every single day, and several times every day. We love our children, we enjoy them, but when we're breaking up a squabble for the tenth time, or trying to keep one from biting another for the third time, or putting ice on the eye that just got a block thrown at it from a brother, or helping the one who's having a high-drama day, we grow weary. It's taxing. We crave a break. This quote sums it up perfectly: 
"Moms of preschoolers are said to be the most exhausted, fatigued, and worn-out strata of our society. Functioning on little sleep, unbalanced nutrition, little exercise, and frazzled nerves, we're expected to constantly juggle a jumble of balls without ever dropping one or losing our footing." --What Every Mom Needs
Elisa Morgan writes that "moms of preschoolers have a basic, undeniable need to take a break before they break." It doesn't have to be a long break. It can even be a mini-break--a few minutes in the midst of what otherwise feels like chaos to gain perspective. Here are some ideas:
  • Feed your spirit with prayer, reading a Psalm or another portion of Scripture. Read it aloud to the kids too. Talk about redeeming the day.
  • Laugh and lighten up.
  • Pace yourself with chores.
  • Sit down and play with the kids for a few minutes.
  • Get some fresh air and exercise. Take a hike! Take the kids to the park.
Another idea, which cracked me up when I read about it because it's so true is "Wal-Marting":
"Wal-Marting goes something like this: My day has gotten progressively worse. Any slight deviation from routine sets off my temper. My children seem particularly fussy. We run out of juice midday. The kitten keeps using the couch as a scratching post. Two unexpected bills come in the mail, and I get four phone calls during naptime. I can hardly wait for my husband to get home from work. As he walks through the door and asks me how my day has been, I explain that I am in need of some alone time. He says he'll see me later. I hop in the car and head to Wal-Mart."--What Every Mom Needs

Many times, I have felt the same way. It isn't a manicure or a pedicure or a massage that I crave in those moments; my idea of a splurge is hopping over to Sam's Club or Target or Wal-Mart for a few minutes without the kids just to walk around and browse. I don't even have to buy anything. Just being somewhere alone for a few minutes, where I can look at things without also keeping on eye on the kids and answering the "Mommy, can we get this?" questions that come every few seconds, restores sanity.

All this being said, I was convicted once about the philosophy of "me-time." I wrote about it here. We must remember that Jesus said we would find our lives in laying down our lives for others. So we don't always need to escape from the house and the realities of life as mom; we just need to find a way to refresh our spirits in the midst of it all.

But still...we're not perfect as He is perfect. Sometimes we need a few minutes to get it together. (I think this is why the Internet is so popular...quick break in the midst of a hectic day). What are your favorite ways to take a break?

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