Sometimes when my girls were toddlers the best thing that I could dream of doing in an hour off was sleeping. Okay, it was more often than not… and these days I’m still not averse to a nana nap. But is that really something to be ashamed of?
Many of us we have studied; travelled; worked jobs; and created all sorts of things before we hit the adventure that is motherhood. Our personal identity takes a huge shift when we stop work or slow down our careers. Sometimes the shift is so great the thinking of taking care of ourselves is hard to get a handle on simply because we feel like we don’t even know who we are any more.
For most of us these feelings come and go with triggers. But add hormones and a few nights’ with interrupted sleep, and most brains have trouble functioning.
At these times there’s a few approaches worth considering. Top of my list is sleep. The dishes will wait. The floor will wait. But if you can manage to get the little ones in your care off to sleep or a safe state of rest (TV’s not all bad), then you’ve found the perfect time to put your “oxygen mask” on and have a sleep yourself.
Next on my list is getting outside. When kids are fussing inside it’s fantastic to watch how being outside distracts them and winds them down. And honestly, we are all just big kids. An expanse of sky is a wonderful reminder of how small we are and how big is the God who made us.
My last simple tip is to phone a friend. You know that if your own friend was at the end of her tether then you’d most certainly want her to call you. Simple logic as that she feels the same way. Sometimes I don’t even have to pick up the phone… it’s enough for me to just make a mental list of the the people who I know I COULD call if I needed to. Just like a play a game with my kids called “tell me who loves you” where we list all the people who love them. Again, at times we feel little on the inside and there’s no harm in reminding ourselves of the people who love us.
So in the pinch of a moment remember that you are not alone. MOPS exists because mothering is a hard job. It’s an important job. But it’s a job that can feel lonely. We don’t always see our peers as they mother in their houses down the street, across the country, all over the world. But remember they are with you, and so is the God who saw fit to make you a mum.
Wishing you a good night sleep tonight!