Friday, January 16, 2009

"Me Time" and Motherhood

"Does Facebook make you a bad mom?"

Amy's Humble Musings had a link to an article with that name in her sidebar yesterday, so of course I had to click on such a provocative title. Having already spent far too much time in front of the computer screen yesterday afternoon, I quickly found myself convicted by the words of a mother named Cindy.

Several people argued with Cindy in the comments, and it seems her post could be misunderstood, so let me be clear up front--she isn't saying Facebook is evil (she sees great benefit in it, actually); she's using it as one example of a larger topic: taking "me time" as a mom. And Cindy also isn't saying that time away from your children is evil--she quickly and repeatedly acknowledges that such time can be beneficial. I would agree with both of these statements, so please don't misread me as saying that "mom time" is wrong. Far from it.

Disclaimers aside, Cindy makes some very important points about our *heart attitudes* regarding time for ourselves as mothers. And it's here that I was greatly convicted.

Tomorrow I am anticipating spending some time away by myself. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to seek the Lord for an extended period of time and do some reflection at the start of a new year, and I'm so grateful for my husband's generosity and servanthood in encouraging me to do so. I trust that my time away will be a wonderful blessing--one that will translate into blessings for my husband and son.

Yet, even as I appreciate having a break from my responsibilities as a mother, I recognize that to my shame, I have already slipped into the mindset that I deserve or MUST have such breaks. It is foolish for me to think I am *entitled* to "me time," selfish for me to grab as much of it as I can. And this is my tendency. Forgive me, Lord, for neglecting Your calling to invest in my son and seeking so often to escape from what You've placed before me, even without leaving the house.

Cindy's thoughtful and honest post was a timely reminder that God's divine power--not some artificial way I create to "recharge" or escape--gives me everything I need for life and godliness. Time away from the normal routines, whether to meet with Him or to have fun with friends, is a cherished gift--but it is not something "owed" to me, and I cannot, must not depend on it to bring me joy or satisfaction or strength. These things come from my Savior--and I can receive from Him right here, in the midst of motherhood.


Todd and Micah said...

I read the post and a lot of the comments. It's definitely an eye-opener. But sometimes I find myself as the opposite, I want MORE time with my family. I wish I could spend all day with my daughter, but being a working mom, I just can't. I try to cherish the moments I do get with Grace, because I miss her so much. Do I get tired? Yes. Does she get cranky in the evenings when I'm with her? Yes. So, even though I'm a working mom, the post still applies to me. And the next time I think to myself, "I NEED a break!" I'll think twice, smile, and love on my baby girl.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the excellent post, a humble reminder for my own heart as well.

Unknown said...

Thank-you for linking and understanding:) About the post title, that wasn't my title really because I was jumping off from an interview online that had that title.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Amy. Maybe you should repost it a couple times a week...or every day... because that's about how often I need to be reminded of this. :)

Esther said...

Thank you for posting that so well. I love a break, but so often it is just a break from the outside world and all the relaxation I need, I find just hanging out with my family.

MInTheGap said...

There are definitely times where we must come apart so that we can reengage our focus on Him-- or else we'll go crazy!

Thanks for this post and for the thoughts behind it. May you and your family be blessed.