Giving OURSELVES Permission


I was chatting with my dear friend, Bonnie, last night. Bonnie is such a special gal in my life. The kind of person that comes along in just the right season for many, many purposes. She entered our life as a babysitter and has become a family member and sometimes a bit of a sage.

Anyway, we were doing our standard post-babysitting chat session the other night and talking about motherhood and blogging and other random subjects. Bonnie shared something that totally resonated with me. She was talking about how she had popped in on a friend to return something (background info = this friend is a mom, and bonnie is in the pre-mom stage). This friend was lying on the couch when Bonnie arrived, and quickly said, "Don't think I am a bad mom. I am just tired."

Bonnie recanted the story and then said, "I don't understand why moms feel that way. Who would ever think that someone is a bad mom for resting?"

I was nodding my head in agreement. Yeah, who would think that? How silly. But, then I stopped to think about it.... I feel this same guilt all the time. That is totally me! I really struggle with giving myself time to rest, to be still, to unwind, to enjoy "me" time that is "unproductive". Most moms I know feel the same way. And, I am not sure why. Maybe because we don't want to seem lazy. Maybe because we know that our to do list is miles long and if we are taking time out to "rest" we are neglecting important things on our list.

This is the other thing I know... that there are many days where I am so empty and running on mere vapors as I scurry about that I am of very little use to my family. Sure, I am getting things done. Sure, I am putting healthy and nutritious food on the table. Sure, I am wiping bottoms and picking up toys so that no one breaks their neck while scurrying from hither to yon. Sure, I am negotiating drama and flare ups over toys and "personal space". But, am I full of joy? Am I at peace in my soul? Am I teaching my kids how to live life with fullness and thankfulness and appreciation for all that surrounds us?

Am I rested?

I am many things, but rested is not one of them. And, I don't just mean "rested" as in I had a really good night of sleep. I mean the kind of rested where I have an abundance to give because I am filling my tank. Like in the airplane crash when you need to first put on your own oxygen mask and then help others. What good am I to those around me if I am suffocating because I am not taking the time to put on my own oxygen mask?

I want to work towards this. I want to be more aware of those moments where my soul and mind are crying out for time with God or just some moments of inactivity. I want to lean into those moments and soak it up like a child would cherish an ice cream cone, lick by messy lick.

I want to taste those drips of rest and giggle with delight knowing that life is more than accomplishing much. I want to give MYSELF permission to do this, because I know I am the one holding me back.

Anyone else struggle with this? Can we give ourselves a homework assignment {The Resting Challenge}, and over the next week try to integrate 15 minutes (at least) of our very own quiet time into our day. I would encourage those of us that blog to walk away from the computer in that time. Just go somewhere quiet. Be still. Sit. Daydream. Pray. Just be. Let's check back in with each other. I want to hear how this goes for you (what you did for those precious minutes, how it felt, if you felt guilty, if you felt thankful, etc.)  I know it will be hard for me, so I am writing it here for accountability. I think that it would be pretty incredible if a generation of mamas chose to model peace and rest for their children.
(And, if someone asks you what you are doing ... Smile and say, "resting". No apologies needed.)

8 comments:

  1. This post really hit home with me. I suffer from the same thing. I wonder, though, if I would have such guilt if absolutely nobody was home. I'm not sure I'll ever get to test that part...

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  2. ..... ahhh..rest...sweet sweet rest......I hear her calling my name from the distance...her whisper is so soft and inviting...
    ahhh....rrrrrr...eeehh..sss.tt!
    Thank you for allowing me to hear her more clearly...i just found your blog through sweet Julie... and i am excited to check back in..
    here i go...my job is officially in full swing....breakfast should be more than plain white bread..huh?? but i will try to rest...later...!
    With gratitude..
    Joyfullness

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  3. Ali, you are too too sweet. Get some rest today! I am going to ask you about your 15 min on thursday

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  4. I am so thankful for this post! We are in a very busy season of our lives right now and I am constantly going, going, going. It is to the point that when I attempt to rest I cannot turn my mind off and ignore my to do list. However, I completely agree that this is important not only for me, but for my family...maybe if I tell myself it is for my family, I will do it???!!! Not the original intention, I know, but maybe it will jump start this wonderful concept of rest. I hope to get some of that peacefullness today!!!

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  5. I love what mamaneena said - I feel that way too. I think the guilt might fade away if I had the chance to try out that alone thing.

    But I suppose there's nothing wrong with asking for that to happen.
    hmmmmm...

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  6. I struggle with this off and on and the past 2-weeks have been especially drained and running on vapors. Thanks for the challenge.

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  7. Ali, you are absolutely right!
    I have been struggling with it every single day of the past year. I felt stressed, tired, exhausted, without energy to go on, overwhelmed by responsibilities... and above all UNHAPPY and SAD... and I don't mean that I am not blissfully happy with my husband and my little one... It was me, Marga, who was unhappy... and that fact was killing me because I constantly thought it was wrong of me to feel that way... it was like I was betraying my family with that awful feeling...
    A month ago I took an important decision: quit Egyptology and all the years of lonely study. That was a first big step and I started feeling kind of lighter... I also decided to sleep in the other room during the week so I get a good sleep (more or less) and my husband agreed with it... The most important one: every day I forced myself to take MY TIME when Margui is taking her nap. Those 2 hours are mine! I don’t look at the house, the mess, the do-list... I do what I feel like doing: taking a loooong shower (instead the 3 minutes one), read, sew, listen music, lay down... It's my time.
    Do you know what? Although I felt a bit bad at the beginning, like a was being lazy, I am doing the right thing because I started healing, feeling good, being super happy! Now I can say that I am there 100% for my family and I am not killing myself in the meantime... I feel GOOD, they feel BETTER, and we are all having THE BEST time...
    I am ready for any challenge… and to find my own niche!
    As I said once: we are managers of our little company, and we have to be in perfect shape, physically and mentally, to run our daily business with success!
    Take at least 15 minutes a day!!!
    You will feel great!!!
    JUST DO IT!!!

    JUST DO IT!!!

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