I am a mom, wife, teacher and sister in Christ first and foremost. Sometimes I feel like I am losing myself. Years ago, as a new mom, I did feel lost. I felt like I was no one but a mom and wife. Then I found that if I take a few moments for myself, I can be a better person, a better mom and wife. So here is what I have found in my almost 18 years of being a mom (stay at home mom) [Now I haven’t worked full-time since becoming a mom so I can only speak from my SAHM perspective, but I would think that this still applies]:
Know your joy, take it and run…. what I mean with this is that if you like to read than find time to read. Eat while you read. Tell the family that for 30-45 minutes you need some read time. Put time aside or find the time at some time during the day. My oldest is almost 18 and my youngest is 7, so right now my time is the small bit of time between dinner and bedtime. When my children were younger, a stole nap time/read time. Now hold on, I know some of you are saying that you do this and that and the other thing, or you sleep while the baby sleeps and that is fine, in fact that is perfect. But what I did to feed MY soul was put the baby down, start a load of laundry, maybe soak some dishes or put cleaner in the toilet or stove top and sit for 10-15 minutes and read. So what I am saying is that you know your schedule, you know when and where you can fit in a moment for yourself so take advantage of that.
Right now I am reading In the Company of Others by Jan Karon, see http://www.mitfordbooks.com.
There is a place in the book where Tim is describing his love for his adopted son, Dooley, a boy who entered his life when he was 11 years old living in an abusive home and searching desperately for some love and permanence in his life. So with the help of this amazing writer I would like to share a bit of her book from page 239:
“…I stopped praying for God to change Dooley, I asked God to change me- to give me his eyes to see into the spirit of this exceptional broken boy.” “I started talking to Dooley as if he were bright and industrious and savvy and trustworthy. I believed it was already real, that he was already whole and able to love. And all I can say is – it began to work…. for both of us.”
I find help with life from reading, from music, and from my family, I guess you could say that I find help with life from life. This particular passage slapped me in the face. I am having some attitude issues with my 15 year old. She locks herself in her room when she gets home from school, she won’t come down to dinner, she won’t do her chores, she won’t clean her room (you can’t even walk across the room at this point, and I can’t even remember the last time she changed her sheets). So I yell. I am not proud of it, I am angry at myself for doing it…. but have I told her? NO. I need to be the adult and tell her what is wrong and what will happen if she doesn’t fix the problem.
I guess, to wrap it up, if you don’t take a moment for yourself, you will find that you are losing you. And you won’t be able to see the issues in front of your face. Like what I have done with my daughter. Only when I took time to entertain my soul did the message that God was sending actually get through. Sometimes those messages have been buried and come to me from my own head while I was listening to music or enoying the scenery or sitting in the car waiting to pick up a child from an activity…. What I am trying to say is that if you open yourwelf to change, to fulfillment God will be there.
Taking a moment to be thankful for my 5 blessings.
Mary Anne ~