When you are a mom of little ones, finding rest as a mom can seem like a far-off dream. There is the physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that can cause moms to feel as though they are worn down with little left to give. Someone always needs something and many times the last thing moms get is a little time of peace and quiet.
Different seasons of motherhood can bring about different feelings of exhaustion. When my children are sick and I am up most of the night tending to them, I am physically exhausted.
There are also times, I realize I am needing mental rest. From the constant training, teaching, and chattering, our minds do need time to rest and replenish. Over time, I have come to realize that finding rest is vital to my well-being as a mama and it is possible to achieve.
As you think about creating space for rest, I encourage you to consider these three things:
Having a plan for rest helps it actually happen. My goal for most days, is to have two hours of rest when my youngest naps and the older two are at school. During this time, I may rest, write, shower, etc. Whatever I do, I make sure it is something that will refresh me. This is not the time of the day when I fold laundry or clean up; those things can wait. Depending on the day, I may need something different so I play this by ear. I also have time in the evenings to watch TV, relax with my husband, make time for friendships, and write.
Your children need to see you taking care of yourself. As we all know, our children are quick learners. They are constantly picking up on our behaviors and mannerisms. I want my children to see me having joy in life. I want them to see me taking the time to rest. When our children observe us taking care of ourselves, it implants that into their lives as an important value.
Rest looks different for different people. By nature, I am not someone who craves a good nap. I will lie down for twenty minutes, and then feel ready to move on. Instead of napping, I would much rather read or watch a quick show. My husband, on the other hand, loves a good nap, and I know it is beneficial for him to have these on occasion. One of my good friends goes to the gym when she needs a pick-me-up. While it is a physical activity, it is providing rest for her mental and emotional state of mind. (While I dread running, I do find it to be mind-freeing, to just focus on the music and nothing else.) Figure out what kind of rest you will most benefit from, and then do it. Today. Tomorrow. Just do it.
Do you have a regular plan for rest? What does rest look like for you? As we enter into a new year, I encourage you to start finding rest. I promise you will not regret doing this and neither will your family.