The hardest work of my life, hands down, is being a mom. It’s rugged and relentless. Clocking in at 24 hours a day, I’m never off the clock or off the hook. But (a really big but), being a mom is also exceedingly rich and rewarding – beyond all comprehension.
To keep the “rugged and relentless” from drowning out the “rich and rewarding,” moms must have breaks, and they must “take them and run!”
My husband, Tim, made this clear to me in 1997. With three in diapers and making regular treks to a children’s hospital 3 hours from our home, I was drowning in every way. Before children (B.C.), I was an avid personal retreater. It was a rhythm I lived and loved, but with the arrival of our crew, this rhythm became derailed.
Tim got home from work one day to find all four of us crying. I was slumped in a rocking chair with a baby wailing in my arms. One toddler was glued to my leg, sniffing and teary. The other was having a tantrum on the living room floor. I was sobbing harder than them all.
Tim knelt down beside me and I felt a hand on my knee. I opened my eyes.
“Brenda, you need a break. It’s OK. You’re just tired. It’s been such a hard year.” In his other hand, he held my Bible and car keys. “You’re going to go now, and you’re not to come back till everyone is in bed.”
Guilt threatened that gift, but God won out. God began to refill my empty bucket that evening, with the very best he had to offer. It was a wake-up call that opened my eyes and heart to the power of personal retreat.
Mother’s Day is 10 days away. Are you a mom? Consider asking your family for a personal retreat day this year. Do you love a woman (who’s a mom or not)? Give her a personal retreat day . . . whether your mom, your wife, your sister, cousin or friend.
Ask yourself (or them)
- What do I NEED? Do I need time with a supportive friend? Or time alone? Both?
- Do I need quiet? Fun? Time outside? A nap? Plan accordingly.
- Create a small bag of special treats for the day. For me, this would include dark chocolate and licorice spice tea. Would you like to include a 4-page retreat guide? Send me an email and I’ll send you a copy to print and share. firstname.lastname@example.org
Mothering has untold joys and challenges. Days and nights can be long and lonely. The weight is real. Sometimes crushing. The need for rest and restoration is legit, but guilt sabotages the remedy before it sees the light of day. Will you light the way for a woman you love?