All day, it’s been, “Mom, can you do this?” “Mom, can you do that?” “Mom, I can’t find my Jedi costume!” (translation: please help me find it) “Mom, can I have more soap in my bath water?” “Arf!” (translation: the dog needs to go out) “Ahhh!” and “Ahhh!” and “Ahhh!” all said by the boys to each other. (translation: mom needs to break up a fight) “Meem!” (translation: I want to go see Mimi) “Hurt!” (translation: kiss my boo-boo, mommy!)
It’s neverending. Constant noise. Constant asking. Constant needs to be filled. When will there be time for me?
I don’t mind what I do. It doesn’t usually frustrate me. It actually motivates me to keep moving! However, I do know that time for me will help me keep that sane attitude about living in a house with 4 kids, 3 with special needs, which includes two 3-year olds!
When we don’t take time off, our focus shifts. We no longer look at the best in things, but the worst. We no longer see the good and blessing in helping others, but rather the pulling and tugging that it’s placing on you, personally. You get beaten down. You can even slip into depression, thinking no one else knows what you feel or has ever lived in your footsteps. You feel the guilt and shame that tries to jump on you being the parent of a special needs kid, because after all, it is YOUR genes they have and could have gotten their condition from.
However, we are called to a higher life than that with higher thoughts. We are called to think on things that are noble, pure, and lovely. Dwelling on the bad stuff doesn’t help it get any better. It only lets those negative emotions seep deeper and deeper into the soil of your heart until they take root. I don’t want those feelings of shame and guilt taking root. I don’t want to live a life of depression.
I want to live a life that helps people. A life that calls me to come up higher so I can help others come up higher, too.
One critical way I make sure that happens is by finding time for me, no matter what. For some, that time can be spent reading, listening to music, sitting in the quiet, or hanging out with friends. For others, yoga, hiking, walking at a park, or visiting the spa can be a great way to spend that time. No matter what you do during your “me” time, make sure it’s something that feeds your soul… otherwise, it’s wasted time, and you really aren’t bettering yourself. Some of my favorite things are listening to classical music, going out to dinner with friends, and knitting while watching a great show, like Downton Abbey.
Being a martyr and never taking time off is just plain crazy. It doesn’t help people because you run out of steam and have no more to give. We can only offer ourselves to others when we feed ourselves. If we aren’t pouring in, we have nothing to pour out. There is a reason the bible refers to us as vessels. Vessels are used to hold things, then release them. Once they are emptied, they must be refilled before anything can be taken from them again.
Feed your soul. Take time off. For some, it means finding a nice, quiet, peaceful place to rest and relax. For others, it’s getting out of the house with grown-ups, for adult conversation, feeding off the interaction with others. You know what fuels you. You know what motivates you. Do what lifts your spirit, and do it often. Your family will be thankful you did.
They would gladly give up a few hours of your time to have a focused, relaxed, less-stressed mom & dad!
What can you do this weekend to get a break, even if it’s just for an hour or two? What fuels your soul?
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Jessica Stone is a wife, mom to 4, and owner of her own businesses in the fitness and essential oils industries. She has 3 special needs children, one which has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her children’s health with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE eBooklet Five Steps to Losing Those Last 10 Pounds today for simple steps to help you trim up and fit into those fashionable clothes you’ve always wanted to wear! Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!