Monday, November 28, 2011

Moms Need Vacations Too!

God's Words:

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.  Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”  So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.
~Mark 6:30-32 

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." 
~Matthew 11:28-30 

As I write this morning I am thoroughly, completely, TOTALLY enjoying the peace of a quiet home.  How on earth did I manage to get my home to be so silent and peaceful on a Monday morning, of all mornings?  When it is typically rather loud around here at most hours of the day with giggling, rough-housing, questions, interruptions, mess-making, fighting, whining, tattletaling, yelling (ok, that's where I come in), and MORE NOISE AND COMMOTION THAN I CAN SOMETIMES HANDLE!  Well, the answer is simple.  I am on vacation from being a mom.  Albeit a less-than-24-hour-long-mini-vacation, but I'll take it and so far I have savored every - single - second!  Since we homeschool, we have the luxury to be able to take days off whenever we really need them.  And this teacher mom needs a break, thank you very much!

Now please don't get me wrong;  I LOVE my children more than life itself.  I always wanted to get married and be a mother more than any other dream I've ever had and I'm so thankful to the Lord for giving me these desires of my heart.  I LOVE being a stay-at-home mom.  I have learned (yes, learned - I didn't really enjoy it much at first!) to also LOVE being a homeschool mom, which means being with my kids almost 24/7.  I LOVE each of my children's personalities and that I have the privilege of daily watching them grow and develop into the people God wants them to be.  I LOVE the funny, sweet things they say and do.  But I also happen to LOVE quiet alone time. And quite frankly, once in a while, my dear, sweet, precious little gifts from God DRIVE ME ABSOLUTELY BONKERS, BATTY, AND UP THE WALL!  I'm ashamed to admit (even though it's kind of funny and we all laugh about it afterwards) I have often told my little lambs when I've reached my mothering limit, that they are "driving me to the point of insanity!!!"  At times like this, when I have just simply had it with their boisterous shenanigans, I may also be guilty of quoting Scripture completely out of context in my distress, such as "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest." (Psalm 55:6)  Or "I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” (Job 3:26)  Or even, and this is my most often used favorite, "O Lord, be my help." (Psalm 30:10b)

I have found that some people mistakenly assume that homeschooling mothers, or mothers with many children (I personally classify this as any number greater than what I have, which is three!), have an extra measure of patience to be able to handle the mothering responsibilities they've been given/taken on.  Nope.  I've talked to many a homeschool mom and "mom of many", and the large majority of us struggle to develop and maintain patience, just like everyone else in all of humanity.  For me, personally, to be able to get through each day having the patience and gentleness to be the nurturing, wise mother God wants me to be, I daily need to look to Him to provide the grace and strength to do so.  He is always faithful and gives me what I stand in need of when I ask!

Yet, every once in a while I get to the point when I just really need a vacation from my 24/7 (yeah, that's right, that's much more than "full-time"!) job as a mom.  In most other jobs that pay actual money, employees get regular breaks throughout the work day or shift.  They also get vacation time each year, as well as holidays off.  Well, I need a break, ok?  I want a vacation, too!!  Do you as a mother ever get to that point of longing for a time of quiet, peace and rest from your demanding, never-ending job as a mom?

I have all kinds of "mom friends".  ALL of my mom friends juggle much more than just their mothering duties.  A lot of my mom friends work full or part-time.  A lot of my mom friends "stay at home", which in my opinion is just as much of a sacrifice as working outside the home.  I am getting to know more and more homeschool moms, among which are quite a few that also hold down regular jobs on top of homeschooling, which is at least a part-time job in itself!  I have a number of mom friends with infants, toddlers and preschoolers (now THAT is an exhausting phase in life!!!).  Some of my mom friends (and these are my personal heroes) are single parents and have to do all the parenting by themselves!  I also have quite a few "grandmother friends" who give up much of their time each week to help watch and care for their grandchildren.  My own mother and mother-in-law are two of these amazingly wonderful grandmas!  I seriously do not know how I would survive my time of mothering young children if I did not have these two selfless, loving women in my life who drop pretty much anything else they have going on to baby-sit my kids whenever I need it.  Actually, that is where my children are at this very time - at my mother's house.  Yesterday I was desperately needing a break and my mom and dad willingly (and always very excitedly) took my kids overnight on very short notice.  THANK YOU, MOM!!! (She reads my blog)

Maybe you don't have any nearby relatives who can take your kids off your hands for a while so you can enjoy a quiet time of rest.  But I advise you to do what you can, in your situation, whatever it may be, to give yourself "time off" from parenting once in a while when you're getting run down and weary.  It's such an exhausting job!  Do you have any close friends with whom you could "swap children" on a regular basis to give each other a break?  Or maybe find it in your budget to hire a baby-sitter to come and take over for a few hours every so often so you can get away.  Away!  Oh, to get away!!  That sounds horrible, doesn't it?  But really, don't we all need a break sometimes?  If none of these ways work out for you, then just turn on a long, age-appropriate of course, movie for the kids and escape to another room for some quiet time working on a hobby you love or even a hot bubble bath!

God doesn't want you to get weary and exhausted from your labors of love as a mother.  He knows we are only human and need rest and our burdens lifted.  So don't forget the next time you've had it and need some peace and quiet - listen to Jesus saying to you, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." and "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."   Call on Him for rest and peace and He will be faithful to provide a respite for your weary soul, even if it means locking yourself in the - you know - bathroom!

Most of the time, all it takes for me to be totally revived and refreshed in my calling and duties as a mother is to have a few hours to myself of quiet, peace and rest.  Then I'm ready to once again take on the noise, the commotion and the boisterous activity of my very high-spirited, sometimes mischievous youngsters!  I hope and pray that you will find a time for rest and rejuvenation when you're needing it most this week!

In Christ,


No comments:

Post a Comment