FAITH

Moms need a break too: Why Taking Time for Yourself Matters

To my fellow young mom,

You are invaluable, not invisible. Being a mom is a 24/7 job, that is both physically and emotionally draining. I remember someone said that moms determine the temperament of the home. If mom is happy, everyone is happy. If mom is hurried, everyone is hurried. If mom is sad, somehow everyone feels it too.

I read somewhere that when Mom feels bad, she nags. When she nags, Dad feels inadequate and the children feel like a burden. We don’t want that. We want a happy home with a happy family.

Mom, you determine the mood of your home. Needless to say, your heart matters.

I feel you. Moms always prioritize the kids. When my girls were born, my husband and I only had occasional help. Most of the time it’s just me and my husband caring for our girls. When he is out for work, it is just me. So yes, I feel you. Whether you’re always at home with the kids like me, or you’re a working mom, I hope this blog helps.

In every job, everyone needs a break. Moms, too, need a break. Here are self-proven ways to take a Mommy break:

 

  1. Prepare for a day’s work.

New moms will always joke that it’s been a struggle to take a decent bath since giving birth. It’s true and it’s hard. Children have constant demands and it’s hard to have a decent bath time when you hear your baby wailing from another room. What worked for me now that I have a preschooler and a newborn is waking up before one of them does. I take a bath, have my quiet time with God and drink coffee if I need to. I make sure I put on clothes that are comfortable yet decent for a day’s work.

Think about this: If homemaking is my work at this season, why not look and dress my best?

My home is not less than an office. Sure I don’t get to wear dresses and blazers but I make sure that I don’t look like Cinderella before the Fairy Godmother makeover. If you’re a working mom, you may want to try getting ready before everyone else does, the bath queue is short so you can take your time before everyone else. Not hurried nor harried.

My girls constantly observe me, how I communicate, react and dress. I want them to take care of themselves and how else can I teach them so but with how I take care of myself. I want my husband to come home to the woman he fell in love with. To stay-at-home and work-at-home moms, don’t let your products expire in your kit simply because you don’t get to go out a lot. Put a little perfume on your neck and tint on your lips. The people you love most deserve the best of you.

 

  1. Carve Me Time in your busy week

Carve at least an hour a week away from the kids. Once a week, when my husband has his day off, he lets me have an hour or two alone. He has always pushed me to have me-time. I’m not sure if it’s because of mommy guilt that I have always said no but I found out that an hour away refreshes the soul. I go to a mall or a coffee shop near our house so I can run back in case there are emergencies. I make sure I time Lily’s feed so I can be back when she’s up. Every time I have this time alone, I recalibrate and refresh my soul.

Mom, I encourage you to breathe and just enjoy time alone. Some moms don’t even need to go out. They just need to close the door as they read a good book or work on their hobby. Whatever you need to do, do it. It doesn’t make you an irresponsible mom. It helps you rest and see the beauty of your season.

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  1. Allot a Me Fund budget

Families have designated budget for different things – rent, food, tuition fees, electricity and so forth. Just like most families, my husband and I have limited budget. We live in one income and we do our best to make wise decisions in handling it. We tithe and save and limit our purchases.

In my perspective, my daughter’s growing body always needs new pajamas and dresses. In my husband’s perspective, I’m the one who needs new clothes. Another joke with new moms is that we always buy clothes for our kids but we forget that our underwear has holes.

Your Me Fund doesn’t need to be big to purchase a designer bag. My me fund is small, less than a thousand but it’s more than enough to make me happy for the whole month. The past month I bought makeup. This month I bought a book. One time that Nono and I had a tight budget, we just bought milk tea.

They don’t need to be expensive. Be creative. Don’t deny yourself the simple joys that make your heart glad.

 

  1. Surround yourself with Mommy friends

When I was young, I wondered why moms in our neighborhood go out in the afternoon to have chikahan with their fellow moms. Now I understand. You need a group of friends you can trust and will not judge you for silly feelings and random questions. I have mommy friends I constantly chat with online. I share my joys and frustrations. I ask questions and answer theirs. They are people I pray with and pray for. Thank God for technology.

However, you need authentic people, not just people you met virtually. People who you get to spend time with and have playdates with. People whom you can share lives with. It helps to see you’re riding the same boat with people you can trust.

I am grateful to be in a church community that supports growing families like ours. Our church conducts Parenting Seminars, Marriage Retreats and more. Look for a church where you can grow. In our church, we have Victory groups with young couples. They share the beautiful journey with us in light of God’s love.

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Date with Nica and Odz before I gave birth to Lily
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Cams, myself and Hazel attending last year’s Homeschool Conference
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With my mommy friends, just having a great time, enjoying videoke, food and each other’s company 🙂
  1. Have your Quiet Time

This is the last but the most important one for me – my daily time with the Lord. I read about Susanna Wesley. She was the mother of 10. Yes, 10 kids… in a time when there were no washing machines nor microwave ovens. Added to this, she homeschooled all her children. I read an article about her. It said that when she had little to no time for herself, she extended her time with the Lord. Her faith was her strength. All of her children grew up to be world changers. And it was not because she was super, but because she had Jesus. Regardless of the season you are in, every mom needs Jesus.

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At the end of the day, your children are God’s children first. He knows their needs before you ask. And one of those needs is a strong and happy mom.

Mom, go ahead and plan your Mom-me time. It’s not just for you but for the people you love the most. I’ll say it again: You are invaluable, not invisible. Take a break!

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