One of the hardest things moms struggle with is taking time for ourselves. Our days are filled with caring for everybody else’s needs and then, if we have time, maybe our own. Society tells us we have to do more and be more to be the best mother for our kids. It’s no wonder we struggle with mom guilt when it comes to doing anything for ourselves.
At the beginning of this past year, I found myself feeling burnt out, more so than typical after coming off a busy season full of deadlines and holiday commitments. While everyone else was filling out their goals for the new year, I felt empty, like I had been worn so thin I wasn’t even sure what direction to head in. As I reflected on why I was feeling so depleted, I realized that my busy season schedule had become my everyday schedule.
While I can maintain a full schedule for a short period of time, it is not something that can be maintained indefinitely. I like to stay busy and can easily wear more than one hat, but running at breakneck speed for too long ultimately leaves me physically and emotionally empty. It leaves me with no time allow God to refresh and replenish my body and spirit.
I decided I needed to get intentional with my schedule and set up effective boundaries that included healthy rhythms and a better balance between work, mom life, and personal time.
I reinstated my morning routine which had been pushed aside because my busy season required more hours for work. I got back to spending my quiet time in the morning praying, journaling, and reflecting on my personal and family goals, time I desperately needed to realign my thoughts and prayers with God’s plan for my life.
I had always tried to stay somewhat active, but even my workout schedule got consumed by work. I intentionally carved out time in my day to exercise again, including a 20-minute walk with the dog. This forced me to get outside (even in the winter months), clear my mind, and hold myself accountable to being consistent with my new, healthy rhythm, not to mention I had a much happier puppy.
I needed to realign my schedule to include these healthy rhythms, not just for my own mental health, but for my family’s well-being too. I realized that if I didn’t take the time to do this for me, then I wasn’t able to offer them my best. A mom working to be at her best beats any amount of striving that our culture tells us we ought to be doing.
The best part is that now we take walks as a family. What started out as my new routine has now become a healthy rhythm for our entire family, something that we can all do together, to refresh our minds, bodies and spirits.
And that is something we could all use a little more of right now.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” Psalm 23:2,3