My girls left last night for five days of GrandCamp. Every summer, my parents take the girls for a few days of grandparent/grandchild fun. This year, they're off to Mount Rushmore. They hit the road at four this morning.
While I love my kids and enjoy the summer with them, I won't lie and tell you that I don't look forward to the four or five days each summer that I get to myself. And I don't feel guilty about it. Because even moms need a break sometimes.
Motherhood is a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week job. My younger daughter has had a cold that has kept her up at night for the past week coughing. And the nights that she has slept through the night, my older daughter has been up with a bloody nose. (I have no idea why her nose only bleeds in the middle of the night.) Last night was the first night I've slept all night in more than a week.
So, I'm looking forward to a few days of rest, catching up on my sleep, getting some work done, doing some projects around the house and having conversations with my husband that last more than three sentences without someone interrupting us. And there's nothing wrong with that.
There's this supermom myth floating around out there that in order to be a good mom, we have to be super involved in our kids' lives all the time. It says As a mom, our entire focus should be on our kids. But that's not true, and it's not healthy -- for you or your kids.
I don't know about you, but I sometimes get so caught up in my role of mom that I forget to take time for myself. Between sports practices, church activities, school and homework, I forget that I'm supposed to be taking care of me, too. Motherhood is a selfless profession. It requires us to put the needs of the little people in our homes above our own most of the time. It requires compassion, love and energy in spades.
But motherhood shouldn't mean that our kids always take center stage. To be good moms, we must take some time for ourselves -- whether it's a 15 minute break behind a closed bedroom door or a few days when the grandparents take the kids. Without taking time to refresh ourselves, we'll run out of the endless compassion, love and energy that we need to be a mom.
Even Jesus didn't minister to others all the time. He took every opportunity he had to be alone and spend tiem with God. He refreshed His soul so He could minister to others. Mark 1:35 tells us: "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." Now, our time alone doesn't have to be in the morning while it's still dark, but we do need to find time to withdraw for a few minutes to refresh ourselves, to spend time with God and to have a few minutes of rest.
And we shouldn't feel guilty about it when we do.