Friends, I’m not going to lie – I am ready for a break. This mom needs a break. With the school year being done, summer activities have hit us head-on. I love being busy, I really do, but there comes a point where mom needs a break and the end of the school year seems to be that point. I’m sure you’ve been here too; it’s a place that looks a little like exhaustion and a lot like self-care.
I saw a picture on a friend’s Facebook post the other day that said something about not being able to fill someone else’s needs when your own aren’t filled. It struck a chord with me and made me think about some of the signs that pop up when I’m truly in need of a break. If I’m more aware of my own needs ahead of time, I’ll be able to circumvent the exhaustion that comes with neglecting myself for too long. Do you see yourself in any of the signs below too?
3 Signs That Mom Needs a Break
You see sleep as a luxury.
I remember one particular week when I was so tired, but had so many things to do, that I stayed up almost all night – two nights in a row. I was exhausted, but I had somehow convinced myself that short 15-minute naps during the day would suffice. Needless to say, they didn’t and by the third day I was useless. When sleep starts to feel like a luxury and is sacrificed for tasks that are not a matter of life or death, it’s time to step back and take a break. Our bodies were not designed to go without rest and when we deny ourselves sleep, we open ourselves to a greater risk of illness, unclear thinking, and irrational decisions. Sleep should never be considered a luxury.
Your patience is at an all-time low.
When you start snapping at the people around you, it’s time to take a break. With exhaustion comes an acute lack of patience. Small things that were easy to brush off last week now become huge issues that demand arguing and tension. Your patience is non-existent and no matter how hard you try, you can’t keep things from getting under your skin. When you start to feel like this, it’s time to step back, take a deep breath, and declare a time-out for yourself. Trust me, I’ve been there and if you don’t take that break, you’ll end up saying things you don’t mean to the people you love the most.
Shower? What shower?
You know how people joke that showering goes to the wayside when you have a newborn? Well, when you’re overworked, overstressed, and just need a break, the same thing happens. If you can’t remember the last time you had a long enough shower that you could wash your hair and shave your legs, it’s time to make that happen. When I’m at my breaking point, sometimes all it takes to reset it a long, hot shower followed by cozy pajamas and a good book.
I used to feel guilty about needing a break, about not being able to just keep going with a cheerful heart and patience galore. Thankfully, that changed after my husband kindly, but pointedly asked if I would want our daughter to mimic my constant, no-rest for mom lifestyle. Children model what they see and I am now more determined than ever to show them that it is absolutely okay for mom to take a break as often as she needs to. There should never be any guilt about taking care of your own basic needs. So, when you start to see the signs in yourself that a break is needed, take it guilt-free with grace and acceptance. You are worth it.
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