Rants, Musings, and Mental Meanderings of a former Conservative Christian Mother. Standing Strong against ignorance, preconceptions, labels and excessive housework. Celebrating original thought, religious freedom, parenthood, free enterprise and chocolate.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Taking Time for MOMMY

There is some good advice in this article!! Any other good "sanity saver" tips you'd like to share?

Mom Care
Keep up your daily mom maintenance so you don't run out of gas.
By Barb Vogelgesang

"Is everyone buckled up? I just need to get gas, and we're good to go." I looked in the rearview mirror at the four young faces depending on me to get them to their various practices, doctors' appointments and friends' houses. I checked for my grocery list and pulled out of our driveway grateful that our minivan enables me to meet these needs. A few months ago, though, I ran out of gas! The five of us sat by the side of the road waiting for help. Our lives stopped because I hadn't kept up the daily maintenance of our vehicle.

Moms can run out of gas, too. If we don't care for ourselves in the midst of mothering, we'll break down and fail to meet the needs of our family. So how do we keep up the daily maintenance on Mom? Following is my personal care and feeding plan so I don't run out of gas.

Downtime is crucial. If I'm cranky and tired, the atmosphere of our house suffers. I've given myself permission to go to sleep early. The laundry can wait until morning to be put away.

Sharing the joy of raising our children with my hubby is important. Instead of hoping my husband will know when I need help, I specifically ask for his help. When it's his turn to make dinner, I agree that macaroni and cheese with hot dogs is delicious.

Great girlfriends are a must. Real friends don't tempt us down the path of gossip or self-pity. They inspire us, love us, pray with us, keep us accountable and give us tangible help that we can give back. I use e-mail and the telephone to keep in touch and plan mom playdates to keep me in top condition.

Training my children to be a family team is essential. My four kids help with chores and the everyday stuff of running a house. Their participation has allowed me to avoid the stress of disorder and disharmony. The team mentality spreads out the responsibility so it doesn't all fall on my shoulders.

Asking for help when I need it is vital. I am omni-nothing. But God is omni-everything. I continually ask him to place the people and resources in my life to help me accomplish all that's before me. I also work on accepting others' help and beat back the issues of pride that say I can and must do it all myself.

Having a creative outlet is FUNdamental. God, the ultimate Creator, made us in his image, and I need to satisfy the creative part of me. Writing and teaching theatre enable me to pursue goals beyond the household chore list.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is critical. Good eating habits, regular exercise and the continued renewing of our minds is essential to mom health. Taking a walk with some moms while our children have dance class, trading the mocha latte for water and reading a book instead of watching TV are great alternatives.

Learning to enjoy my children is significant. I didn't always enjoy my kids. I had to surrender to motherhood. But changing my perspective from seeing my children as my "work" to acknowledging that my children are my "recreation reminders" has been an incredible blessing to me.

My best refueling comes when I remember to connect with God. I have to be flexible to his plans instead of my own. Ongoing growth and intentional care for my body, mind and spirit fill my mom tank. Then I'm ready for whatever life has in store.

Barb Vogelgesang is a busy mom of four active children. She sees mothering as an exciting adventure because she's never sure what's going to happen next. A popular retreat speaker and MOPS Area Coordinator, Barb loves encouraging and inspiring moms. Copyright © 2007 by the author or Christianity Today International/MOMSense magazine. May/June 2007, Vol. 10, No. 3, Page 14


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that. People need to realize you are not a bad mom if you take time for yourself, as long as you don't overdo it. Balance is the key which can be tough at times, especially for the single mom. Keeping God number one really helps.


Angela said...

There is a lot of pressure on moms to be "Superwoman." Competition between moms over "who works the hardest" can be just as fierce as any corporate boardroom! I for one find I am a better mom when I recognize my limitations and take some down time when I need it. There are always those lazy, self-centered moms that cater to themselves first and fit their kids into their lives wherever they can squeeze them in... but I don't think any truly loving mom is in danger of that as long as she keeps her priorities right. Take time out for yourself, with the understanding that it is so you can better take care of those you love. I'm not doing anyone any favors by stretching myself thin to impress and/or please everyone... and acting like the wicked witch of the west in the process!!

Melanie said...

One thing this article does NOT mention is taking time to be with hubby (if there is one). I find that to be very important in my mental health and mothering.