Monday, September 9, 2013

Walking the Line {Mindful Mothering Mondays}

 On Sunday morning, I awoke - sick.  I dressed the kids for Sunday school, fed people breakfast, nursed babies and changed diapers, trying to brush my illness away with a cough drop and a cup of coffee.  It didn't work, and I finally realized that I had to stop.  To slow down.  To take care of myself.

I suffer from a typical "stay at home Mom" mentality that devalues my job and my time.  When I'm asked to help with some outside event, I feel guilty if I say "no."  Isn't life about serving others?  If I can help - shouldn't I? Where is that line, and how do I know when to cross it?

I've never really bought into the idea of caring for yourself so you can continue to care for others.  I always pictured something ridiculously decadent or bloated in self importance.  I was suspicious of claims that people needed time away from their responsibilities, that nothing could cure it but a facial and a lunch date with friends.  It felt - false, to me.  I claimed God as my joy, work as my worship and left it at that.  I don't think I understood until this weekend, after a week spent starting school, dealing with stress, helping my husband navigate going back to school and caring for a very clingy baby (on top of my normal work) - it is possible to run yourself right down.  Sometimes it's easy to gloss over what I do because I am home all the time.  But home for a stay at home Mom isn't a place of rest unless she prioritizes it.  Nursing two babies, schooling 3, cooking and caring for 6 plus a husband and anything else that comes along - well, I was gearing up for a burn out.

I curled up in a ball on the couch and told my husband - "I'm not going to church. I just can't." What I needed was rest.  So the baby (finally) napped.  My husband took the kids to church.  I sat on the couch with a cup of tea, a sermon podcast and a ball of yarn and claimed rest for the first time in I'm not sure how long.  I left the breakfast dishes in the sink.  I left the toys scattered through the house.  I left the clean laundry in the basket on the dining room table.  In the silence of my cluttered little home, I embraced the Sabbath.  And, little by little, I felt strength return.

Ex 31:14
You shall keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy for you.

God intended rest as a gift.  Something to embrace and to find comfort in.  Ignoring our need for this does not make us stronger - it burdens us beyond what we can reasonably bear.

There is a line.  And it's not selfish to recognize it.  When you are mentally, physically and spiritually run down, it's time to pause.  And, maybe next time, pause before it gets that far.  Moms are especially prone to this, in my experience.  Our work follows us, night and day and everywhere we go.  God, in all His wisdom, knows this.  And He himself tells us to let it go, just for now.  Take a moment, a day - lay it down and rest.

{It's Mindful Mothering Mondays, a day to take a deep breath and write out your mothering journey, whatever form it takes. A day to link up for encouragement from others who are in this same phase of life. A day of writing out the trials and triumphs and what you're learning right where you are, right now. You might post recent struggles or thoughts. Maybe just a picture or a quote. Or maybe you'll just come here and read the links that others post. Whatever form your participation takes, this is a day for you. We are all in this, together. Together, we can encourage and build one another up, be honest with our shortcomings and strengthened by community to keep fighting the good fight.
I chose Mondays because what Mama doesn't need a little encouragement on a Monday? As such, I'll have the link up ready to go on Sunday night for you to begin submitting your links.

I hope you'll meet with me each Monday! Here's what to do ~

Link up your post below. Remember to put the link to the exact post you want to link, and not just your blog url. Include in your post a link back here so others who want to join in can find us! And visit some other Mamas who have linked up.

Post the community graphic within your post, so people who are reading your Mindful Mothering post can come back here and find the rest of us!

Invite the writers of your favorite blogs to join in!

Share this meme with others on facebook and twitter. This community is for all moms, and the more that participate, the more we will be able to enjoy!!}

Grab the graphic here:

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  1. I always try to remind myself of how many times in the Gospels Jesus is going off by himself to pray or escaping from the crowds with (or without) his friends. Clearly he understood the need for self-care, for silence, for Sabbath - and who are we to need any less?? Good for you for listening to your body and heart to slow down - it does the soul good. Hope you will be feeling better soon.

  2. Good point! I think I can get overly caught up in the service, the sacrificial living - that I forget about the grace God showers over us.

  3. So happy to hear you took some time to care for yourself and really glad it helped.


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