No matter how many children you have, whether its two or ten, the demands of motherhood are epic, if not always in magnitude, definitely in scope. Our job description includes not only the physical welfare of our family, but their eternal souls. As all moms know, the work and worry are endless. There are so many details, and so much big-picture to keep in mind while we work out the details. It's a 24/7/365 job. It can drain the life force from us. But it's the most important work out there, bar none.
We're in charge of the future of the world.
Geeminny! And, how exactly, are we supposed to accomplish this 24/7/365-to infinity epic task without losing our minds?
Good question! And I'm here to tell you, that after working on it for twenty years with ten children, I have a couple suggestions that can help. This is what works for me:
* First ~ Know, love, and serve God. Understanding the higher purpose of all the little mundane, endless chores is the best boat to float on. Making time for prayer is the best investment you can make for yourself and your family.
* Second ~ Make a space for yourself somewhere. Anywhere. Actually or figuratively. Keep track of your own identity, your own interests, and loves outside of your homemaking and child-raising and husband-nurturing duties.
It's so important to find some "outlet" to plug ourselves into for your own good and for the good of our family. You are the one in charge of preventing your own burn out! Don't underestimate how important this is! And don't leave it to someone else to do it for you.
For some women, sports or physical activity of some kind fulfill that need. And, if that's you, for heaven's sake, join a softball league, have a bowling night, join Curves, whatever fills that need in you and gives you time to recharge your battery. This is the kind of space you may need!
Some just need time with girlfriends to unwind and renew. (This is in addition to a regular date night with your husband, mind you!)If that's you, set up a regular time to meet up with your friends, for a book club, tea or coffee night, movie night, whatever. Don't just think about it, and say you really should ~ Actually do it! Your husband will be glad to have a relaxed and peaceful wife in exchange for babysitting the kids once a week, or twice a month.
You might re-energize by reading a book, or by sewing, or knitting, or photography. And if this is true, make an organized space for yourself to do these things, by joining a club, or taking a class ~ or crafting a special space to do these things in.
My way to recharge is by creating ~ drawing, writing, crafting, blogging... It always amazes me how time flies when I'm immersed in any one of these activities. And, I'm always the better for the mental vacation I've had in that time. But, around here, with the teeming throngs, it's been a challenge (to say the least) to "play" in this way, without being interrupted by children who want to play along. =sigh= It's just not the relaxing "space away" when you're mediating squabbles over glue sticks and crayons amongst the children.
So, here's what worked for me: I did create my own space. A real, physical space. I took an unused room, like little Mary took a bit of unused earth in "The Secret Garden." I stole our seldom-used, eyesore of a mudroom and turned it into a secret garden of my own. In all my favorite colors. With all the storage I could ever need for my art and craft supplies. And a new craft table. And, most importantly, a door that I can shut!
And so now I have a quiet place to recharge. By myself. Alone. (Well, sorta. I do get the knocking on the door and all that...) But it was just a matter of deciding to do it. In point of fact, I asked my husband to give it to me for Mother's Day. It's only a little 8'x8' room, but it means the whole world to have it.
Here's the Before:
I'm just pleased as punch with it, I gotta say! Thanks to my wonderful husband, (He's that guy pictured above ~ and me, too ~ teehee!) for such a wonderful Mother's Day gift! We'll all be the better for it.
Make sure and run over to Rocks in My Drier to see the scads and scads of great tips posted over there!