I am a big supporter of mums taking a Mum Break – of taking time out from the normal everyday responsibilities in order to refresh.  And yet reality is we can’t just walk away from our responsibilities – it takes time and effort to make a Mum Break happen.

What does a Mum Break look like?

First of all we need to see that there are different types of Mum Breaks – some are short and sweet, some are extended.  Some are taken in your home, some you need to get away for.

Mum breaks I have taken over the years:

  • Going to the toilet alone – or talking on the phone without interruptions – or reading the Bible in peace type of breaks
  • Having a visit with your friend – even if the kids are with you
  • Leaving the kids at home while you go (or they go and you stay at home – my favourite!!)
  • Play while the kids sleep, rest or play by themselves
  • Just sitting when they sit (resting when they watch a DVD or have a bath)

The purpose of a mum-break is that mum finds time, in her day, to be refreshed, recharged, revived.  There are different seasons in our life and each season will bring different responsibilities, different limitations, and different opportunities.  We won’t be able to take a break the same way every day, every week, or every year.  We need to see that we have options, and then we need to make the most of the options available to us at this time in our life.

We need an Attitude Change

When I was a young mum I had to have an attitude adjustment when it came to taking time out.  I remember being really cranky with Peter because he was very intentional about resting on Sunday.  It was his time-out, he knew it was important for him to be refreshed for the coming week.  And yet, Sunday for me, a mum with a toddler and baby was anything but restful.  There is always nappies, bottles, baths, messes to clean up and prepare – let alone getting to church and making sure all that happens!  As I was grumping at God about how unfair it was I heard God say to my heart – What are you going to do about it?  You are the boss of your days, you can plan and prepare for what happens in your days – unlike Peter who has to answer to clients.  How can you make rest days happen?

A few lessons I learnt as I responded to that prod:

  • It is up to me to look after myself. Peter will support, encourage and help me when I need it – but ultimately I need to be responsible for the rest that my body needs.  I need to make it happen.
  • Even though my children are with me all day, I can train them to entertain themselves so I can have a break
  • Don’t compare how others take a break – find what works for you and your family within the circumstances you are in
  • See the opportunities in our day – just make them work for us

Make it happen:

The first thing I needed to do to make it possible for me to take a mum break – regardless of what Peter was doing, was to train my children.  My goal was to be able to take a break, every day, while Peter was at work.    When my children were little they had naps, then as they grew older, these naps transitioned into rest time, which then transitioned into room time (quiet play in their room, by themselves for a set period of time).  I determined to use these times for myself; I took 1-2 hours a day to read, do craft, or nap.

But training my children was more than just putting them in a room for a time and having uninterrupted time to myself (though that was wonderful!)  My children had to learn that I was one of the ‘others’ in their life.  We taught our children to consider the other person, to be kind, to be aware of the needs of others but we rarely consider ourselves (mother) as one of those ‘others’ – and yet we are.  When we are intentional about making opportunity for refreshment, then we create an opportunity to teach this aspect of loving one another.

Tips I’ve learnt along the way

  • Toilet breaks – we all know that as soon as you go to the bathroom your kids will need something. I had a lightbulb moment one day (and yes, I was in the bathroom and my kids were at the door).  The only reason they keep talking to us while we are in the bathroom is because we answer back!  I started saying to them, “Can it wait” and most often it could.  If they answered that it couldn’t wait, I let them talk to me, but I assessed if it could wait or not before I answered them.  If it could I simply reminded them – “That can wait”.  They soon learnt to think about this before they knocked.  Read more: The #1 Tip for Mothers to go to the Bathroom Uninterrupted!
  • Visiting with friends – remember feeling very ripped-off after a visit with my friend. My kids had taken center stage for the whole time and I felt neglected, I felt I hadn’t touched base with my friend.  The kids weren’t misbehaving they were just visiting with my friend – but it was my friend time.  So my kids and I talked about this so that they could see that I made time for them to have time with their friends, and when we visited with my friends that was my time with my friend.  I wanted them to be friendly, and enjoy the older woman’s attention too but it had a cut off time – 10minutes or so.  At the end of that time I said, Ok – time to go and play – and they knew it was now mummy’s friend time.
  • Telephone conversations – talking on the telephone was a big part of me connecting with friends (and my mum) and feeling refreshed after some adult conversation. But just like going to the bathroom, the kids tend to ‘need’ you as soon as you pick up the phone.  I taught the kids to interrupt me as if they were interrupting a face to face conversation.  I also made sure the kids needs were all met – they were settled into an activity – before I talked on the phone. This reduced their need – their real need – to interrupt me.
  • Take a full bag of activities. If I was going out either to a café or a friends place for a visit I would make sure my kids had plenty of activities to occupy themselves, and food.  If my children struggled with focus, I would also take a timer but I find that when kids are out and about, they will only do what they do at home.  So if I wanted them to sit and read when we were at a café, I needed to teach them and have them practice this at home – it needed to be a normal activity at home.  This was another benefit of ‘room time’ because it was a normal part of our day at home, the skills were easily transferred to another situation.
  • Your friends need a break too – so sometimes working together for an afternoon break works very well.

Don’t be a Martyr

Sacrificing for the benefit of others is at the heart of being a mum – but I’m not sure that it is necessarily a good trait.  We see it as noble, and yes, we do need to put other’s needs ahead of our own, but not to the point of exhaustion or bitterness.  We need to be responsible stewards of the resources God has given us – and that includes our emotions and our energy: in essence – our body.

The other aspect where we tend to become a bit martyr-ish is in how we communicate to our husband.  For some reason we expect him to read our minds – to know when we need rest, and to know how we best recharge.  I remember early on Peter would be available to have the kids while I caught up with friends, or did my chores around town by myself.  It was nice, but what my heart dearly yearned for was time at home, by myself.  He wasn’t to know unless I told him.  We need to communicate our needs to our husband, not so he can fix it all, not so he can arrange it all, though he may be a part of the solution; we communicate with our partner because knowing where each other is up to is a part of being married.

Take Action

So if its been a while since you feel you’ve found any time to yourself – big or small – go make a cuppa, set the kids up with an activity that will occupy them for 15-20minutes (yes a DVD could be a good thing!!) and think through:

  • What type of activity recharges me?
  • How can I make that happen?

[Tweet “Mums need to take responsibility for their own health including taking a break”]

Further Reading:

 

 

Taking a Mummy-break is stewardship of your body – you need rest and time to refresh. It is our personal responsibility to make it happen.

Throughout the week I share with other blogs – check out my Link ups and Party page

Individual Education Planning Worksheets - brainstorming every area of your child's life.

Get your Planning Worksheets

I will email you the download link so you can start looking at all the different spheres of your child's life before you make any curriculum choices. 

The download link is on it's way.

An Alternative to Chocolate

An Alternative to Chocolate

Not that I have anything against chocolate - but these jelly beans can help your kids share the message of Jesus, his love, death and resurrection at Easter time.  

The download link is on it's way.

Parent Guide: How to make your Family Bible Study Really Work

Family Bible Study is Tricky with all the Different Ages

 

But there is a way to make this a rich learning and bonding family time.  This Guide includes tips, planning worksheet, and discussion prompts.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download yourCharacter Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your Character Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

The download link is on it's way.

Download your Cheat Sheet

 

A quick reference to help you discern between a heart attitude and a lack of skill for when your child loses it!

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on its way.

Be Intentional

 

To be an intentional parent means you need to know what you want for your family, and think about how you are going to get there. 

Sign up for weekly emails that help you reach your goals for your family.

You have now subscribed and will begin to receive weekly emails.

Three things for parents to pray for in the Moment.

Make God your First Response

Print out this parenting reminder to call out to God in the middle of the moment.

I'm excited to share this download with you. Watch your inbox.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

 

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Our children hear different words when we react to when we respond. Do your children hear blah blah blah when you correct them? Includes a parenting poster.

Download Parenting Poster

 

When we Respond instead of React we find a way to deal with the heart not just behaviour.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Character Lesson Guide

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

When family relationships get tense - look for the niggles.

Heart Focused Parenting Resource for the Intentional Parent

 

Your download will arrive in your inbox shortly. 

Print it out and use to teach the hearts of your kids.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Hearts: Heart focus homeschool

Email Course

Daily emails  (6 days) to help you walk towards being a heart focused homeschool family!

You have joined the email course. Watch your email inbox!

Find ways to Re-engage your Student

Download this checklist and stir your child's curiosity

Watch your Inbox - the Checklist is on it's way!

Stay Heart Focused

 

When you parent the heart, the tone of your family will change. 


Weekly Heart Boost emails with practical and encouraging ideas to be heart focused in all areas of family life.

Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your family journey. I'll be in touch.

FREE Parenting Worksheet

This worksheet will help you move from addressing behaviour to really parenting the heart, one issue at a time.

 

 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Parenting Support Library

Join now for extra and regular heart focus family living support.
Weekly emails and bonus content straight to your email inbox.

 

 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Become a Better Parent

Personal growth starts with an honest assessment

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Give Effective Consequences

Think before you React

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

 

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

One Another Verses

Be Intentional in the Teen Years

Use this Cheat Sheet to remind you of how you can love your teen.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Devotion Response Kit cover

Download your Devotion Response Kit

5 prompts to encourage the heart of your child as they learn to respond to God's Word

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Prepare a Heart focused Christmas

 

Free email course

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your copy

Download your copy

Blending Life and Lessons - and start your journey of changing your thinking about education.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Download: One Another Verses pdf

Download: One Another Verses pdf

Download this list of One Another verses and teach your children how to love others.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Raising Kids with Character

ATTEND LIVE : FREE PARENTING WORKSHOP

A bonus for Heart Booster readers:  Learn how to teach character to your kids so that they can live their lives making values-based choices.

 

Live Session:  5th May 2021, 6.30pm AWST

Replay available until 16th May 2021

 

I'm so excited about this workshop - thanks for joining me!

Raising Kids with Character

REPLAY OPTION : FREE PARENTING WORKSHOP

A bonus for Heart Booster readers:  Learn how to teach character to your kids so that they can live their lives making values-based choices.

 

Replay available from 6th May until 16th May 2021

 

I'm so excited about this workshop - thanks for joining me!

Raising Kids with Character

WAITLIST

 

The Raising Kids with Character parenting workshop will be offered again this year - details yet to be confirmed.  Join the waitlist so you don't miss out. 

I will keep in you in the loop as soon as decisions have been made!

Join Heart Boost and gain access to de•vot•ed free for 1 month

 

Connecting everyday living with the Word of God

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Bonus Reading list

 

Sharing my Homeschool Belief File

Knowing what you believe and why about education and homeschooling helps you make good decisions.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

%d bloggers like this: