Ain't No One Got Time For That: True Self-Care For Mamas

Thursday, January 14, 2016

I'm really good at chatting about self-care. I have my Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy, after all. I have three children and put on deodorant today, for heaven's sake. I have a marriage that still makes me smile and remembered to schedule my six-month dentist check-up only 10 months after the last one! I mean, I'm seriously good at this self-care business, right?

If you're like me, you are great at telling others how to take better care of themselves, but slipping slowly down the sub-par slope yourself. Cringing yet?

As mothers, we deal daily in the chores of sympathy, compassion, care, and inevitably spread ourselves too thin across the needs of our family, all in the name of love. This is wonderful. This is often necessary. But, this is not sustainable. 

Yesterday, I joined a Bible Study that "I don't have time for", "It's just far enough away to be too far", "I don't even know if anyone I know will be there", "I'm not even sure what they are studying", and "I'm not sure I want to commit or feel obligated to keep going".

Sound familiar?

I can easily think of a million reasons not to go. I have plenty of dishes/laundry/cooking that I could fill that time-slot with. I didn't even want to tell anyone I was considering going in case I backed out at the last minute.

Then I remembered that in the last two years, God brought me through the absolute busiest time of my life. With two children, I got through grad school, held a part-time job, and had a book published, and somehow managed to not completely have my brain melt.

God was faithful, and while I have no desire to relive that kind of manic schedule, I know that He provides what I need when I need it - including time (and especially time to worship Him)!

I often forget that true self-care starts from the inside out. Soul care doesn't just happen on its own. 

I don't just feel joyful because of the "stuff" I have or the blessings around me. I don't just automatically desire to read the Bible every day because it's the "right thing to do". I don't constantly thank Jesus for saving me simply because I should. AND I SHOULD...but, reality holds obligations, deadlines, crying babies, phone calls, and dentist appointments that I allow to get in the way.

It's easy to think that something so basic as taking care of ourselves should come naturally. But, I'm here to tell you that it's OKAY to schedule it in. Do it!

You don't have to join a Bible Study. That's not necessarily the answer for you in the season you are in. But, how are you taking care of yourself? Wine nights with girlfriends and the occasional mani/pedi might be what most mommy blogs are urging you to do - but I'm here to ask, What are you doing to pamper your soul?

I'm learning how to do this right alongside you, mamas. I am thick in the struggle of balancing all the spinning plates while riding a unicycle, just like you are. I pray every day that I will appreciate this season, even through the groggy fog of sleep deprivation and the sounds of whiney children and the reheated cups of coffee.  It's hard.

But, let's remember who is truly spinning all those plates. It's not us. It's certainly not by my strength that my children get hugged and disciplined all in the same day. It's not by my faithfulness that food is on the table or the unfolded laundry keeps us warm day to day.

Give yourself the time-out that a mama sincerely deserves, and let us encourage one another to focus on the One from whom all blessings flow. We all got time for that.
If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. - Jeremiah 29:13 NLT 

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