I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. –Jeremiah 31:25 niv
Ah, the freshness of dewy autumn, blowing away the stickiness of summer days. Pumpkin spice everywhere…and the smell of freshly sharpened pencils.
Mama, it’s time for your little ones to go back to school.
It’s after a quick bittersweet kiss that you watch them set off to that yellow school bus. With their backpacks stuffed to the brim, you hope the banana you zippered into the top doesn’t get smashed into their new crayons.
In one breath, your eyes fill, and your heart explodes with love and pride. And then, sadness because your babies are growing up. So. Fast. But standing there on the doorstep or waving them off from your car, you feel something else. Relief and fatigue.
Because it’s hard being a parent. It’s hard to make sure you’ve done all the things, and it’s stressful to get them ready for a transition. And in all that energy you have forgotten to make sure that you were ready for the transition too.
Have you heard of the term burnout? It’s a state of fatigue on every level. The symptoms of burnout are emotional exhaustion, physical exhaustion, and loss of meaning. It comes as a result of one’s work, including work within the home or family.
And burnout is something that we mamas don’t often like to talk about. Because we love our children so very much, and our whole existence is poured into raising them—even to the point of our own depletion. It’s really hard to admit that perhaps we are burned out and we need a break.
So, I’d like to invite you to consider something, hopefully something just as refreshing as the dewy autumn. What if back-to-school could mean something new for you too?
What if back-to-school meant some time for you?
You have taken care of your children, and they are off to a new adventure. What’s your new adventure? Your children are now occupied and socially stimulated, and there are plenty of opportunities for play dates and extracurricular activities.
Working mamas, could you squeeze in some happy hour girlfriend time? Stay-at-home mamas, could you take a break from all things house related and perhaps schedule that yoga or pottery class you’ve been hankering to do for a while?
An even more radical idea—take a nap. As a working mama, I have a blanket, pillow, and yoga mat in my office at all times. Setting 20 minutes on my phone timer and allowing myself to stretch out each afternoon does wonders.
God didn’t create us to be superwomen. He created us to be mamas with our own needs, dreams, and desires. And…he created us with our own limitations. It’s okay—and so important—to take time for you.
Maybe back-to-school could mean a little time for you.
What’s something you are looking forward to doing for yourself after your kids are back in school? Feel free to comment below!
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