Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mommy Time

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 1:35 PM
I have found that one of the most challening things as a mom is to find Mommy Time (okay, I'll admit that my list of challenging things as a mom is fairly long, but this is definitely on it.) Especially having four children under eight. Especially homeschooling. My children, all four of the precious darlings, are home with me all day every day. I've been home full time on and off during my motherhood years, but when I worked it was only one or two days a week, and no, I did NOT see it as a break. For me, for my introverted 50%, I need complete down, uninterrupted time for me to count it as Mommy Time. For the 50% extroverted part of me, I need times where I can be with other adults and talk about, well adult things.

First, let me be clear on one point: I love being a mother. I would not trade it for anything else in the world. That doesn't mean that I don't plan on doing anything else in the world, even while they're little (after all, here I am blogging), but that doesn't mean I don't love being a mother. Even given it's far more demanding than I ever dreamed. Even though it's far more work than I ever imagined. Even though I have more negative emotions than I ever thought possible. I love being around my children, laughing with them, playing with them, teaching them, and guiding them. But, I also love my Mommy Time. It's what recharges me to be a better mom to my children.

I have found, in my years of being a mom, part-time employee, wife, housekeeper, writer, speaker, and women's ministry leader, that Mommy Time doesn't just happen, it has to be created. And, there are almost innumerable ways to create it.

We all have different challenges in creating Mommy Time that affect us: some moms don't have family around, some moms are married to military men who are gone months at a time and/or move frequently, some moms have families they don't trust to watch their children, some moms feel guilty about leaving their children, some moms work part-time or full-time and don't feel they need other time without their children, some moms don't have money to pay a babysitter, some moms live in isolated places, some moms live in dangerous places. Regardless of what your challenges are, there is a way to overcome them. As with anything else, once you recognize a need (and Mommy Time, in one form or another, is a need - it helps us to be better mothers. I can't overstate it's importance) and the challenges to meeting that need, you come to a crossroad: you can either walk away from the hurdle in front of you, or you can choose to back up, examine the hurdle, and figure out the best way to sail over it. It may be more work initially, but the rewards will be well worth it.

Second, I want be clear on something else. Some moms take Mommy Time to extremes. Everything is about them, getting their needs met, being pampered, and not letting their children inconvenience their lives. That is not the kind of time I'm talking about. My children are a huge inconvenience to my life (if by inconvenience you mean interrupting my ideas of doing what I want when I want how I want,) but they are the most blessed inconveniences I've ever been graced with. From the moment I became pregnant with my first child, my main focus for her and the others to come behind her, was to do the job of mothering to my utmost ability. Mommy Time works in that scheme by helping me stay balanced and healthy, not to stroke my ego, make life easy, or reduce my responsibilities as a mom. It is the emotional equivelant to sleep. When we sleep (whether a full night's sleep or a nap to make up for months of interrupted sleep), it recharges our bodies. That is the goal of Mommy Time: to recharge you so you can not just be a good mother, but to be the best mother you can be.

0 comments on "Mommy Time"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mommy Time

I have found that one of the most challening things as a mom is to find Mommy Time (okay, I'll admit that my list of challenging things as a mom is fairly long, but this is definitely on it.) Especially having four children under eight. Especially homeschooling. My children, all four of the precious darlings, are home with me all day every day. I've been home full time on and off during my motherhood years, but when I worked it was only one or two days a week, and no, I did NOT see it as a break. For me, for my introverted 50%, I need complete down, uninterrupted time for me to count it as Mommy Time. For the 50% extroverted part of me, I need times where I can be with other adults and talk about, well adult things.

First, let me be clear on one point: I love being a mother. I would not trade it for anything else in the world. That doesn't mean that I don't plan on doing anything else in the world, even while they're little (after all, here I am blogging), but that doesn't mean I don't love being a mother. Even given it's far more demanding than I ever dreamed. Even though it's far more work than I ever imagined. Even though I have more negative emotions than I ever thought possible. I love being around my children, laughing with them, playing with them, teaching them, and guiding them. But, I also love my Mommy Time. It's what recharges me to be a better mom to my children.

I have found, in my years of being a mom, part-time employee, wife, housekeeper, writer, speaker, and women's ministry leader, that Mommy Time doesn't just happen, it has to be created. And, there are almost innumerable ways to create it.

We all have different challenges in creating Mommy Time that affect us: some moms don't have family around, some moms are married to military men who are gone months at a time and/or move frequently, some moms have families they don't trust to watch their children, some moms feel guilty about leaving their children, some moms work part-time or full-time and don't feel they need other time without their children, some moms don't have money to pay a babysitter, some moms live in isolated places, some moms live in dangerous places. Regardless of what your challenges are, there is a way to overcome them. As with anything else, once you recognize a need (and Mommy Time, in one form or another, is a need - it helps us to be better mothers. I can't overstate it's importance) and the challenges to meeting that need, you come to a crossroad: you can either walk away from the hurdle in front of you, or you can choose to back up, examine the hurdle, and figure out the best way to sail over it. It may be more work initially, but the rewards will be well worth it.

Second, I want be clear on something else. Some moms take Mommy Time to extremes. Everything is about them, getting their needs met, being pampered, and not letting their children inconvenience their lives. That is not the kind of time I'm talking about. My children are a huge inconvenience to my life (if by inconvenience you mean interrupting my ideas of doing what I want when I want how I want,) but they are the most blessed inconveniences I've ever been graced with. From the moment I became pregnant with my first child, my main focus for her and the others to come behind her, was to do the job of mothering to my utmost ability. Mommy Time works in that scheme by helping me stay balanced and healthy, not to stroke my ego, make life easy, or reduce my responsibilities as a mom. It is the emotional equivelant to sleep. When we sleep (whether a full night's sleep or a nap to make up for months of interrupted sleep), it recharges our bodies. That is the goal of Mommy Time: to recharge you so you can not just be a good mother, but to be the best mother you can be.

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