Thursday, May 7, 2015

When Do Mothers Get a Break?

Women have asked me when mothers of small children get a break since I teach them that they are to be home full-time, not allow sleep-overs, and homeschool them. They feel overwhelmed and exhausted. They know they are doing what they are supposed to be doing but it's just so difficult. They battle depression and being able to think clearly. What should they do?

You need quiet time. You need peace. Every single day, my children were in their rooms from 1:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon. If they were too old to take a nap, they could read or play quietly. It is good for children to learn to be quiet and rest also. When I was pregnant, I would put on Christian music and fall asleep! I would use that time to rest, read or watch some television. Every night they were in bed by 7:30 or 8:00.

Later in the afternoon, I would gather with other women in the neighborhood, sit out in front of our homes, and watch the children all play together or take them to a park. If you live where it is cold, it would be much harder to do, but it is so good if children can be outside as much as possible to get exercise, fresh air and sunshine.

You must also make sure you are eating healthy and getting plenty of sleep. {This is why I encourage young mothers to train their babies to sleep through the night as soon as possible.} Everything is much more difficult when you don't feel good. Then you must remember that we are not on this earth to find self-fulfillment and pleasure. We are here for a MUCH greater purpose; to glorify the Lord in all that we do and to love and serve others by giving ourselves away. However, we must be careful not to spread ourselves so thin that we make ourselves ill. This is why I encourage mothers to not have many activities outside of the home since keeping a clean and tidy home, fixing nourishing food, training your children and having time for your husband take a lot of time and energy from of you.

If you have family nearby, especially grandparents, ask them if they'd watch your children for several hours every weekend so you and your husband can have some alone time, even if it is in your own home. We watch our grandbabies every Saturday night and love it. Most grandparents or even aunts and uncles would love to spend time with your children. Alyssa and Jon love to watch Ryan's children, also. They even watched them for several days while Ryan and Erin celebrated their anniversary. If you don't have family around, see if there's a godly homeschool family around with a teenager that can help you in the afternoons. See how she is with the children and her integrity, then use her for babysitting during the weekends so you and your husband can be alone. If you don't have the finances for a babysitter, use the time at night after the children go to bed to enjoy each other.

There will still be times when you feel overwhelmed and exhausted {when you or the children are ill especially}, so do what Elizabeth Elliott said to do during these times, "Do the next thing!" Remind yourself that you are raising a mighty army for the Lord and that you can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you. He will be with you every step of the way and continue to trust His provision for you.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me,
 for I am gentle and lowly in heart, 
and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:29