The subject of moms finding “me time” is a slippery slope. While the discussion has its merits, it can lead to some dangerous conclusions.
Almost everyone agrees that a woman that runs from dawn until midnight from one task to another without taking time for a shower or a few quiet moments is not a healthy example of motherhood. Unfortunately, sometimes we take the valid encouragement to find time for ourselves as a license to coddle the flesh and neglect the most important things in our lives.
I have encouraged you in past posts to rest, to take time away and to make your health and your marriage a priority. However, there are few things to consider before booking your spa appointment:
1. You will only be “fulfilled” in doing God’s will.
The feminist movement encourages us to “find ourselves” and to become truly “fulfilled” in a career or a pursuit outside of our homes and families. Yet, God has a plan and purpose for each of us. If we try to go outside the scope of His Will, all our efforts to be “fulfilled” will be empty and unsatisfying. Joy comes from reveling in the plan He has for us.
2. Be careful that the sacrifice on the altar of “me time” is not your family.
Children are very perceptive. They can tell when you are taking a few moments to rest and become a better mother. They can also tell when you are wanting to “get away from these kids who are driving me crazy”.
I like what Rachel Jankovic, author of Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches, calls her family. They are her “people”. She encourages mothers to be fulfilled in their people and realize that they are what makes us who we are: wives and mothers.
3. True rest nourishes the soul.
Slipping away to pray and read my Bible. Sipping coffee at a coffee shop with a friend who encourages me in my walk with the Lord. Retreating to hear a speaker who challenges me to a deeper relationship with God. Finding like-minded women to recreate with that will not discourage me from my role in the lives of my husband and children. These are things that truly nourish my soul.
A night of husband bashing and complaining about my lot in life will do nothing to nourish me. Being pampered at a spa will not equip me for the busy days ahead. Leaving my children to nights alone while I have a grownup sleepover is an ironic role reversal. These are things that appeal to my flesh but will not make me better equipped to love my family when I return.
I encouraged you in my last Sabbath post to take a weekly or monthly night off and a yearly day off. The purpose of these retreats is not just to “get a break”. Your work as a wife, mother and keeper of your home is meaningful and fulfilling.
While it is nice to take a break from some of the duties of cleaning and cooking once in awhile, we should not feel as though our families are a plague which we must escape. When you take some time away to refresh your soul, you will find that you long to get back to your family and bless and serve them in even better ways.