When I had little children at home, I often said that my dream holiday would be a trip to outerspace because I would then have complete silence. Being a quiet person by nature, it can get very overwhelming for me to constantly have sound and noise, which is what you get when you have little kids at home.
Self care for moms is a very popular topic for mom blogs these days, advocating time out from children doing things like beauty treatment, dinner with friends and even short getaway.
However, depending on the season of your mom life and family situation, sometimes, such self care options are just not possible. When my kids were younger and I always had one at home at any one time, going for something like a spa treatment or body massage was out of the question. On the rare occasions that I might possibly have booked myself a spa treatment, the cost of a spa treatment was (and still is) something I was unwilling to pay for. When my nails just chipped with all the cooking and cleaning I have to do, it makes no sense at all to spend the money on beautifying them. When your friends are also moms who have little ones at home, girlfriends night outs may be far and few between.
Over the years, I have done these typical self care routine very occasionally. Now that my kids are older and not at home most of the time, I am able to do more things for myself, such as taking up new hobbies. So I have gone through the different seasons and had some typical ‘self care experiences’. Recently, I was thinking about this issue of mom self care and thinking back on the early days of motherhood, I came to the conclusion that the best thing I can do to take care of myself is not all these spa treatments and holidays and night outs. To me, the best thing I can do to take care of myself is to spend time daily with the Lord, praying, and reading His Word.
The way I see it, when I do not take care of my SELF, who I am inside, all the external stuff, as enjoyable as they are, do not contribute to lasting well-being. Time away from kids may give me a much needed breather and make me feeling well momentarily, but it will not stop me from breaking down inside from the daily stress and anxieties. I find that the times I neglect this aspect is the times I feel dry and circumstances easily overwhelm me.
Spending time with the Lord can take different forms and different shapes to fit the season of my life and it all works. There is no prescribed formula. No minimum time needed like a beauty treatment or a dinner with friends would need. When I had little ones who constantly needed my attention and care, spending time with the Lord was just reading a devotion when I was putting the baby down for a nap. When I was on a constant nursing cycle, getting into the Word was listening to audio sermons while the baby nursed. Prayer can be done throughout the day without literally being on my knees. The Israelites gathered different measures of manna individually but regardless of the amount, all had enough. What may seemed paltry compared to the ideals we have in our minds about a proper quiet time in the “War Room” is enough because He is enough and He makes our manna enough.
When feeling out of strength, unloved, lost, or stressed, and needing a little time out for self care, the Lord is the best source of strength, love, wisdom and peace. I still enjoy the creature comforts of kids-free time and pampering. I still think it is necessary to take a literal breather for self-care. I still do all that. But above all, I think spending time with the Lord and in His Word is the best self care we can do for ourselves.