The Lie We Tell Ourselves As Moms

moms who care 2

“Summer is wearing me a little thin,” I confessed to my friends while the boys wrestled in the family room. “I’m running out of things to do to keep these kids occupied.”

They poured out grace with their words and my weary soul drank it in, but I still felt the singe of guilt. Why was this so hard? I perused pictures of smiling mothers on Facebook and Instagram and wondered about the story the pictures didn’t tell.

Was I crazy to need a break? I looked at my calendar and realized a writing conference I planned to attend was coming up in a couple of short weeks. It was as though God was sending a beacon of light to my tired, frazzled being and I held onto it like an anchor.

But the closer the date became, the more I questioned myself.

Were the boys going to be okay? My in-laws graciously offered to watch them, allowing some much needed time with their cousins. Still, my worrier brain continued to race in a state of overdrive.

I wondered about bedtime and dinner and my son’s food allergies and would they miss me?

Perhaps the trip wasn’t a good idea. I recalled a time a couple of years ago when my three-year-old, then one, had gotten sick while staying overnight with the grandparents.

We guilt-laden moms convince ourselves the world will fall apart if we take a day to recharge. But often, a day to refresh is exactly what we need.

Moms who take care of themselves are better equipped to care of those who love them.

So why do we so often convince ourselves otherwise? We neglect date-night with our spouse because of the kids’ sports schedules. We neglect seeing a doctor even though insomnia is affecting our home life, attitude and relationships.

Even though my worried mind continued to run through worst-case-scenarios, I went to the conference. I had a room to myself, took uninterrupted showers for two days, and swam laps in the hotel pool without panicking about the kids drowning.

I came away from the weekend recharged, both spiritually and emotionally. My cup was full, and I poured life into my family and friends instead of constantly asking for forgiveness.

Over those few days, I learned a valuable lesson: My family doesn’t fall apart when I’m away. Yes, they miss me. Yes, they are glad to see me when I return.

But they would much rather have a joy-filled, rested mom than one who is over-tired, edgy, and stressed. When I don’t take care of myself, it affects everyone else around me.

Today, if you’re running on empty but feeling guilty at the thought of taking some time for yourself can I encourage you to listen to that voice telling you to take a break?

Maybe it’s coffee with a friend. Maybe it’s a movie with your spouse, a pedicure, or a weekend away with your women’s ministry.

The options are as different as our personalities. But the need to recharge is the same.

Be refreshed, exhale, and love on those closest to you even more. You will not regret it.

 

*Linking up with Suzie Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday to encourage and be encouraged. Come join us.

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19 thoughts on “The Lie We Tell Ourselves As Moms

  1. Yes! I’m so thankful you shared this today. When my son was little, I refused to take time away for myself. And just as you described, it left a frazzled, stressed momma. Oh how I wish I would have understood this truth earlier! Now that he’s a teen, it’s much easier to find that time. Moms need to hear what you have to say here, Abby. Not just hear it, but embrace it. Blessings!

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    • Kristine, thank you for sharing. I used to feel this way and the guilt still creeps up on me sometimes, but I’m so thankful I have a supportive husband who tells me, “go!” 😉 Blessings to you, friend.

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  2. So true, my friend. So true! And I’ve felt all those feelings before heading away from the family a few times too. It’s so hard. But I’m thankful for people who remind me of the truth…especially my husband saying We’ll be okay…go and enjoy yourself! 🙂 Love this post here today!

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  3. I totally agree. I started when my son was 3 doing a yearly getaway. When he turned 5 my marriage ended and I realized that my recharging occurred every other week because we had shared custody. One week on and one week off. It was so hard for the first 3 months, but I got through it and realized that I could go to the gym, grocery store, sleep late or have dinner with friends without feeling like I was being a neglectful mother. On my weeks, I’m focused, energized and prepared to tackle the 7 year old’s busy life of sports, French school and parties.

    Finally, you’ve been chosen as one of today’s nine blogs in That’s So Jacob’s Ninth Month Blog Challenge (https://thatssojacob.wordpress.com/tag/blogging/). I challenge you to find nine blogs you find interesting and give them a comment to brighten their day…well, eight other blogs and mine 🙂 Copy this message in your comment and enjoy your new blog friends!

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    • Thanks for visiting today, Tikeetha! This sounds like a fun challenge. I’m going to visit some other blogs. I’m so glad to hear you are more energized. It takes time to adjust to not having those kids hanging off of you but it sounds like it was worth it to get that needed refresher!

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  4. Amen Abby!
    Pull this post out the next time you start fretting about taking time for yourself and read and re-read the part about how rejuvenated you felt after taking some time for yourself. One of the best gifts we can give our kids is modeling to them that Mommy and Daddy take time to build their relationship (I believe this gives kids a lot of security) and Mom and Dad also take time to refresh themselves. Isn’t that what we want our kids to do for themselves as adults? It all starts with the early modeling to them. Good for you girl!! Great post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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  5. Abby, This is such a needed reminder to Mamas everywhere! It is so hard to leave the sides of the little ones God has so lovingingly gifted us with. Guilt is there because we are so aware of the precious gift they are, and needing a break seems like a rejection of the gift! But it’s not! A break is because we are human. A break is because we love with ever fiber of our being until we are drained. A break is healthy and an investment into our children because it will give them a better Mom on the other side of it! You are a treasure. A beautiful Mommy of God who is shining the light of Jesus along the way! I’m thankful to have connected with you and can’t wait for the day we can actually talk in person!!!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

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    • I agree, Lori! I can’t wait to meet you in real life one day either. What a blessing you are and I’m so grateful we crossed paths in the blogging world. Praise God!

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  6. I so needed this today, Abby! It is so hard to convince myself that everybody is better off when I am refreshed! Thanks for your words!

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  7. Abby, I am so loving this. I had to read some sentences for my hubby😁
    I can so relate with this post friend. It is refreshing reading here. Life can be overwhelming!
    We need a break sometimes!
    Hugs dear friend, have an awesome weekend.
    Many blessings to you

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  8. True, true.

    3 weeks ago a friend and I began meeting twice a week for walks. IT’S WONDERFUL. My teen daughter watches over the house and her siblings while I get out for fresh air and relaxing conversation. My only regret is that we didn’t do this sooner.

    Blessings dear Abby.

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