As Moms we take on our people’s needs first; they are our priority and we do what we must to meet them as we can. This is our vocation in life and one that I think most Moms enjoy and delight in. We receive happiness and fulfillment from it, but we might find there is something missing…a piece of the puzzle that we can’t quite grasp or even fully comprehend until it hits us and we realize we need it in order to continue in our Mommy role of serving others.
This summer I have been writing a 4 part series on Sinking into a Sun-sational Summer. This is the final installment of the series. In case you missed any of the other parts I will give you a quick recap, leading up to the final (and probably most important) step yet! Part 1 was all about setting summer goals for yourself and your family, but the key was to think less and not more. This totally helped me to enjoy more and keep my expectations less to avoid frustration and overwhelm. Read about it here! Part 2 showcased one of my favorite summer traditions and that is the summer bucket list! I love the family involvement and direction it gives to our summer season. This intentional activity (and fun FREE printable!) helps guide us and give us purpose during the summer time. Read about it here! Part 3 was about setting up a summer routine; creating a framework for us to be flexible in but maintain a sense of structure to our days. I really need this during the laidback days of summer. Read about it here!
All of these things are good, so why was I feeling that something was missing? I continued to carry out my days following through on working toward our goals but keeping it to a minimum, participating and carrying out our summer fun bucket list and falling back on our summer routine framework, but I still felt weary. And then it hit me…I am missing the ‘me’ piece to this puzzle. I am missing the part where I do some things that help me to thrive; things that fill my cup and help me to rejuvenate my soul. I needed rest and I needed to help myself, so in turn I could keep helping my people.
Moms need rest too. Period. So I have a list of some ways that we, as Moms, can get the much needed (and deserved!) time that we need in order to enjoy and thrive this season….
- Wake up before the kids. I know this sounds counter productive…I thought you said we needed rest?! One of my most favorite times of the day is getting some alone time first thing in the morning. I try to at least have one cup of coffee while I pray and read in the morning before anyone else is up. This helps me start the day off on a good foot. I am naturally more of an introvert and this alone time is something I need to balance out my day.
- Set aside some time for something you love each day. In our days of constant doing, needing and serving of others, it is a soul saver to have something to look forward to that is just for you. Even if it is just 10 minutes of sitting, reading or coloring; it is better than nothing for sure! Find any amount of time in your day to devote to YOU and I promise it will be well worth it and is very much deserved! (and don’t feel guilty about it! If you need summer reading suggestions, check out this post- 3 books to add to your summer reading and if you need some coloring book ideas here are some of my favorites- Coloring book 1 and Coloring book 2 ) What would you do with a block of time for just you?
- Keep your to-do list at a minimum. I know I am a ‘doer’; I want to check things off my list and move on to the next. But sometimes I find that I lose out on quite a bit even if I have all the to-do’s checked off. I also tend to get overwhelmed by a large list of items. So, I have committed to only putting 3 (maybe 4) items on my “must do” list for the day. This way I have more ‘wiggle room’ for the regular moments of the everyday and taking in this time with my kids…it also allows me that time for #2 in this list (see above). And sometimes the ‘me time’ from #2 is on my ‘must do’ list, especially if I have been forgoing it for a few days! It has to be a priority!
- Keep in touch with your Mom friends. As a Mom it is easy to feel isolated and alone, even though you may be surrounded by children all, or at least most, of the day. Texting fellow Moms every once in awhile, meeting for play dates and having separate mom dates are totally essential and completely necessary. (Read more about my re discovery of the mom date in this post…)
- Breathe. Sometimes we forget, so here is your reminder….just saying the word Breathe, helps me and also saying ‘Jesus’…both have the same effect…have you ‘breathed’ today?
- Give yourself grace. Everyday does not go as planned and we can’t blame ourselves for everything. The simple act of grace for ourselves can be one of the hardest things to do, but one of the best things we can do also. You may be asking, yes but how? Grace is defined as an extension of mercy; a kind or forgiving treatment of someone who could be treated harshly. Have you ever treated yourself harshly during a day of mothering? Gotten after yourself and felt the unbearable weight of mommy guilt? I have been there too and while it is not ok to stop trying, it is ok to give yourself the grace to forgive yourself and move on without the weight on your shoulders. You can do this a few different ways depending on what transpired- here are some suggestions for different scenarios: 1. Removing yourself from the situation and saying a prayer to help calm and repent. 2. Acknowledge your wrong and apologize to whomever it was that you wronged and move on. 3. Remember tomorrow is a new day (sometimes, and most of the time, it isn’t really anything we did but just the way the day went, don’t dwell on it, but move on, refer to plan B if needed and get past the frustration of it all).
- At the end of the day- Change your focus to what you did do (not what you didn’t) and who you were (not who you weren’t). Our focus can determine much of who we are and how we feel each day; make sure yours is on the positive; what you did do and who you were. Maybe make a list so the visual can remind you of the impact you most likely are making on a daily basis. See below for an example…try it for yourself and watch your whole demeanor change almost instantly…
You can’t always control everything; the goals, the lists, the routine are all good, but don’t always go as planned. While it is great to have these things in place, we all need something we can do for ourselves to redirect and fill our cups. We need to relax, we need to rest and we need to revive ourselves. This may look a little different for all of us, but the same common theme remains- you are not good for anyone, if you are burned out. Take the time, make the effort and remember yourself. It will be worth it and your family will be grateful; you will have a thriving summer instead of having just survived, and memories will abound as you lead the way into a sun-sational summer.
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How do you make time for you? Is it different in the summer?
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this! Comment below to share and join in the conversation!
This was Part 4 in a 4 Part Series…check out more in the ‘Sink Into a Sun-sational Summer Series!!
*Part 4- Taking Time for You- Enjoying Summer as a Mom: Thrive not just Survive