Ahhh.. pampering! It seems that Americans go to one extreme or the other when it comes to pampering. One group of people want lots of “me time.” These are the ladies who spend 3 hours at the gym each day followed by getting their nails done. They have lots of time for leisurely lunch dates or nights out with the girls. These are the ladies who view life as a series of events and how they will effect their “me time.”
Then we have the other group of ladies where everyone except them comes first. These are the heroic martyrs who don’t have time to go to the gym or even walk around the block. Their nails are never done, are lucky if eat the crust of their child’s lunch or grab an energy drink as they go about their busy day and the only adults they see are the people they work with. And they don’t comprehend “me time.”
But what is the right way? There is something to be said for “me time” but how much is too much? It is essential to our sense of self and sanity, not to mention our health to have a little “me time.” When God created the earth, he created a day of rest. He designed us to have a balanced time of work and play. Six days or 6/7 should be devoted to work and one day or 1/7 devoted to rest. This becomes difficult to achieve when we have small children or elderly parents to take care of. And this is especially difficult for the single mom.
When my children were small, I ran into this dilemma. And this is how I solved it. First of all, we had quiet time some afternoons depending on our schedule. When the kids were preschoolers they napped and when they were older they had to go in their rooms to “rest.” My daughter would read and my son would play but I would make them stay in their rooms. And I would rest also. Sometimes I would sleep. Other times I would read. This only lasted 15-30 min. but it was enough time for me to clear my head. My husband is a retail manager and works some nights but when he was home he took care of the kids for about an hour after dinner. He would bathe them or play with them and I was able to take a little time for myself. We called this “dad time” and he loved it. Sometimes I would go to the library or even the grocery store alone. Other times I would go in our bedroom and sit. We didn’t have family close by so I couldn’t drop them off at grandma’s house. Church was always a haven for me. I worked with children on Sunday mornings but had Wednesday nights where I could worship as an adult. Once I began homeschooling both children, I started working in children’s ministries on Wednesday night and went to church on Sundays. I simply felt that I needed a day each week not teaching. Also homeschool support groups helped. I always went to the park days and could find other like minded adults to talk to.
When my kids were young, money was tight. I didn’t have the money to get my nails done or join a gym. But I always wore make-up in public and always made time for basic hygiene. Sometimes the shower didn’t happen until my husband came home from work, but it happened. If you have a newborn and toddlers and are struggling with getting yourself together in the morning, simply brush your teeth and hair, throw on a clean shirt, dab on some lip gloss and BB cream and you are good to go. ( For those of you who don’t know, BB cream acts as a moisturizer, sunscreen, and it gives you a little color all in one).
Good moms do not have to be martyrs but they don’t have to be selfish either. Find a happy medium and enjoy life. Take a walk with the kids, grow a couple of flowers in your yard or in pots, burn a candle, watch a funny movie, eat a small piece of chocolate, listen to music and dance around the house, snuggle with your husband and kids, drink plenty of water, eat your fruits and vegetables and most importantly, SLEEP! You are no good to anyone if you are not well rested. Remember it’s the little things that bring us joy and that’s the way God intended it to be.
This blog post is written in response to the 7 Day Challenge proposed by Crystal Pain from Moneysaving Mom as part of the Say Goodbye to Survival Mode book launch.
Day 7 Challenge from Crystal
I’d like you to jot down some things you love to do. Instead of thinking of your to-do lists, goals, and routines, clear your mind for 10 or 15 minutes and focus on the activities you enjoy. It can be anything such as reading a good book, volunteering, getting a massage, spending time with close friends, cooking gourmet meals, writing poetry, running, dancing, painting, or scrapbooking. Think of things that excite you and make you feel alive, refreshed, and energized. Write them down. Then review your list and circle one item you can (and will!) do today to celebrate the completion of this challenge.
I’m delighted you have stayed the course with me on this journey. Keep going and continue to focus on the positive, like the progress you’ve already made. Treat yourself with grace and kindness. Be encouraged by what you have accomplished and excited about what new challenges, adventures and joys tomorrow will bring.
You can do it! I know you can–and I’m here cheering for you! You are well on your way to saying goodbye to survival mode for good and living a life of intention, purpose, and passion.
Go celebrate your success!
Pre-order a copy of Say Goodbye to Survival Mode today! Click here to reserve your copy now!