As a wife and mom, it’s easy to get into the routine of taking care of others, and not really thinking too much about it. Take out the trash, clean up the diapers, make the meals, clean the bathrooms, manage the finances, go to work, and on and on.
Rest often takes a backseat.
But, this becomes a problem when taking care of me gets taken out of the picture.
Time to myself can easily become non-existent. Time with my friends and family can seem to disappear with an additional errand that needs to be done, a meal that needs to be prepared, a mess that needs to be cleaned, or the lack of sleep I’ve gotten.
Until finally, I don’t even realize how busy I’ve become by taking care of others, how much of myself I’ve given, and I can’t give anymore.
I feel isolated, and I’m soon running on empty.
The thought of taking a break, having someone else watch my child, doing something I want to do, somehow doesn’t seem like a viable option in the middle of the madness. With the busyness of motherhood, I get swept away with the idea that all has to be done and accomplished by Mom.
Mom has to save the day. Mom has to always be “on the job”.
It’s sad to admit that I’ve hit rock bottom several times while trying to take care of others while running on empty.
It’s not a pretty picture when mom fails to take some time for herself.
I become short with my husband. I grow frustrated more easily with day-to-day obligations, and my emotions run amuck. The overwhelming feelings of tiredness and frustration creep in, and I’m not the wife or mom I want to be.
I’m not the person I want to be.
It hurts to realize that beyond the constant drive in my heart to help others and care for my family, is the sinful notion of pride. I begin thinking that I don’t need help because I have to handle it all. My fear of what others think if I can’t handle something begins to creep in.
It’s not that I set out to think this way. But when I’m stretched too thin, my heart for helping and doing can turn into a chore and an obligation, rather than a joy. My mindset changes, and I begin placing my value as a person in who I’m helping and what I’m doing, rather than who I truly am in Christ.
I’m putting myself in a place that’s above being human. I’m trying to become a person who doesn’t need rest, who can be everywhere, and do everything, and I don’t even realize I’m doing it until I crash from exhaustion.
I’m not designed to work that way.
By trying to take on too much without rest, I’m putting myself in the place of God. I’m trying to be the God of my family, of my life, of my world. I’m trying to constantly be in control by disconnecting from the idea that I actually have needs too.
Mom needs rest just like everyone else.
Pride thinks it doesn’t need help, that’s it’s always in control, always right, always doing the right thing at the right time, and making the best decisions. Pride never stops, doesn’t make apologies, and never takes a break because “it” doesn’t need one. It’s superior to the idea of a break.
It’s scary to think that way. It’s embarrassing to think that way.
“By yourself, you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. A three-strand rope is not easily snapped.” –Ecclesiastes 4:12 (MSG)
What kind of woman, wife, and mom can I be if I don’t take care of myself, if I isolate myself? And who will I become if I solely continue to depend on “me” to save the day? And even more importantly, what am I prioritizing in my life?
Because, if I’m constantly putting everyone else’s desires above my own needs, it hurts not only me, but others in my life.
Satan loves when he can sneakily replace my joy in helping others with the idea that that’s all I need to be doing. And my identity gets caught up in being the helper, and never the help-ee.
He tells me I’m not worthy, I’m not good enough, and that I’m not a good wife or mom, unless I’m constantly there, constantly doing, constantly going.
I’m fooled to believe that this will make me feel renewed, happy, and full.
But it’s a lie.
It’s Christ who makes me full.
It’s Christ who reminds me that I’m human. I’m not God. I don’t have it all together, I’m sure not perfect, and I need breaks and help just like everyone else.
He reminds me that I’m loved by a God who knows my weaknesses, knows my faults, and loves me more than I can comprehend.
He loves me for me, and not because of what I do.
And I have people in my life who love me for me, and not because of what I can do for them.
God wants me to see that the best way to live is to surrender to Him, and He will give me rest.
I need rest.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” –Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
Because sometimes I need to just be.
No dishes, no errands, no laundry, no meals, no scattered searches on the internet, no planning, no working.
When I rest in Him, I’m reminded that my true identity is not in what I do, but it’s always in who I am because of Jesus.
Thankfully, God has brought me through the rough days of self-reliance, and into days where I’m more aware of the importance of asking for help, in taking a break, and being okay with it.
My busy-self hasn’t entirely departed, and it will probably never completely disappear. But, I’m glad that certain difficult circumstances have come about. They’ve helped me realize the importance of rest.
I’m scheduling more time for me, time with friends, and time with my husband.
I’m enjoying being instead of feeling pressure to be the one doing.
And I’m taking the quiet time I have each day, to read God’s Word, pray, and spend time with the One who created me, loves me, and desires for me to rest in Him.
Thank you, Jesus.
Can you relate to feeling pressure from the outside world to live up to certain expectations? How do you take time to rest? Thanks for stopping by, and comment below.