It was 5:00 p.m. and the house was a complete mess. Toys, books and dishes covered pretty much every surface. My two seriously adorable but seriously energetic little boys needed someone to play with them and it showed. I was still in my pajamas with no intention of changing anytime soon … until I realized that I had to go pick up something for dinner because we had nothing to eat in the house after not going to the store in days.
Eight months pregnant is hard enough, but eight months pregnant with your husband out of town, no energy and two little boys is a completely different story!
We should have gone outside to play. To the park. To the library. To the store. But that day, it simply wasn’t happening. ALL I wanted to do in the entire world was turn on cartoons for the boys, lay on the couch, and hang out on Facebook. So that’s exactly what we did.
We all have days like these, right? When, as much as we adore our children, we simply don’t feel like being a good mom. When we’d rather send them to their rooms or plop them down in front of the TV so we can please just have a little time to ourselves.
Or is that just me?
If it’s you too – and I’m guessing that it is – here are four tips that will help.
1. Realize That It’s Normal
Wanting a break from your children doesn’t make you a bad mom. It makes you human. It is okay to need some time to yourself, or at least a break from the kids, for a while. Seriously.
2. Take a Break
Need a break? Take one! Yes, really. It can be as quick and simple as walking outside to get the mail, taking a hot shower, or sneaking into the kitchen for a piece of chocolate when no one is looking. Or it could be leaving your kids with grandma and grandpa for a much-needed date night or leaving them with your husband so you can have a weekend away with the girls.
Now, please understand, I’m not saying your children are horrible and that you need to escape them–not at all! I adore my children and I know you do too. But that doesn’t mean you have to be tied to them 24/7. A little alone time can really rejuvenate your soul and help you appreciate them even more when you return.
3. Determine the Real Problem
Is the problem that you don’t get enough time to yourself or is it something else? Maybe your children have been acting out lately and you don’t know what is causing it or how to fix it. Maybe you haven’t been taking good enough care of yourself physically and it’s taking a toll. Maybe you’ve been neglecting to make God your #1 priority and your whole life has been thrown off-balance.
Once you figure out what is really going on, you’ll be in a much better position to do something about it.
4. Find Something Everyone Enjoys
Sometimes, the problem isn’t that you need time away, it’s that you need to switch activities. There are plenty of ways you can spend meaningful time with your children other than coloring or playing blocks if you don’t enjoy those sorts of activities. What are some things you and your children can love to do together?
In our family, we love baking, snuggling up to read stories and going on bike rides. We rarely play board games, go swimming or have dance parties. There’s no reason to limit yourself to just kids’ activities. What things do you and your family love to do?
It’s normal to have days where you don’t feel like being a good mom, and it’s okay to give in every once in a while. If you find yourself checking out more often than you’d like, however, these four tips will help!
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Equipping Godly Women. It has been republished here with permission.