living with a toddler for 31 days buttonI am three days behind my 31 day series.  And on the one hand I’m okay with that.  In fact it highlights the very next issue I wanted to talk about – our finding time to rest.

Over the last few days I’ve needed a break, I’ve needed to look after myself physically and Toddler has, to be honest, been exhausting!  Any time I’ve had where I wasn’t interacting with her, or one of my other kids, I’ve been pretty much bombed-out on the couch!

This busyness, this constant demand is the life of a mother.  Problem being we don’t often give into the tiredness.  We keep pushing and we don’t quickly recognise our need for rest – or we may recognise it but for one reason or another we don’t do anything about it.

I was watching a snippet of a sitcom last night with my girls and one little scenario highlighted the idea that the wife/mother was being a martyr – she would deny herself a rest or deny doing something fun, and yet she would then later turn that on her husband and say, ‘well I never get to do anything fun!!’  Oh dear!!  These sitcoms often hit the nail on the head don’t they!!

Mums need to look after themselves – we need to recognise that we are a whole person: body, soul, spirit.  We have the same capacities to grow, develop and function with as do our kids: spiritual, emotional, physical, intellectual, social (and practical).   Are you looking after each aspect?

Life is full as a mum –whether you have only one toddler or whether toddler is at the end of a row of other kids – life is full.  There is always something needing our attention; which is why it is easy to be self-sacrificing and deny any fun, relaxation or pleasure in our life.  But we will burn out and not be a benefit to anyone.

In order to look after ourselves we need to consider the following

  1. Do you see yourself as a whole person, someone bigger than just a mum?  I am a woman, who loves God, is married, has four children, keeps home, homeschools, has friends, helps others, blogs, has hobbies, interests and opinions.
  2. Do you know what recharges your battery?  For some it may be physical rest, for some creativity, for some a social event, or whatever…. When we know ourselves well, we are one step closer to being able to look after ourselves well.
  3. Do you know your priorities for this season?  List them and then learn to say no to anything not consistent with that list, also know when you are full – know that you can’t keep saying yes, even to good things.
  4. Consider a time in your day where you can relax and not meet other people’s needs.  Make it happen.

When we take on too many activities, we will push our own needs further down the list (so far down they are never met!)  We need to put ourselves up in the priorities.  We need to give ourselves permission to have a rest, to not get it all done, to have a messy house, to have a ‘cheats’ meal from a can.  I’m not encouraging slackness, or taking the easy road, or even having a long time to yourself (you may only get 15-30minutes a day), but I do think we need to cut ourselves some slack, and on those hard days, or in that crazy season make sure that we are rested and ready to be the best mum we can be.

You can see the rest of my Living with a Toddler for 31 days series here.

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Think before you React

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