are going to dinner without your two favorite treasures?" -Son Jordan to Mommy when she was leaving for a dinner date with college friends.
My obvious two treasures: 1. My son Jordan 2. My daughter Madelynn.
My other two treasures: 1. Time with Jordan & Madelynn 2. Time alone by myself.
Last week my son played his last T-ball game. Watching my Kindergartner
bat and run and play with the grass in the outfield, I sunk in my chair
exhausted by the heat after lugging equipment and drinks and snacks for
the whole team. My daughter was pulling on one arm begging me to take
her to the park. By the time we got home, my children had smudges of
dust on their cheeks, noses and feet along with sweat droplets in their
hair–immediate need for showers!
After tucking them into bed, I looked
at the long list of things I should
be doing and opted to go to sleep instead. I've learned from experience that my "list of things
to do" will always be there in the morning. I have also learned that
the challenges of single
parenting goes beyond tiring and it is vital to find ways to revive.
For the summer, I have committed to three ideas in an effort to re-energize as a mom. (I don't underestimate the sacrifice and labor of parenting. These tips are for both single parents and co-parents).
1. Take a Break
I am a better mom when I have ten minutes a day to shower, make a cup of coffee or listen to fun music. Rest looks different to each of us. Here are a few ideas:
- Take a nap
- Go to bed early
- Read a book or magazine or newspaper or comics
- Put your feet up on the couch or just sprawl out on the floor
2. Take a Breath
In addition to resting, try something to rejuvenate. This takes a little action. I have found that doing something…doing anything (that isn't harmful or abusive) is revitalizing.
- Do something that stimulates your senses (take a bath, light a candle)
- Do something that interests you
- Refresh with a walk, massage or overdue phone call to a trusted friend
- Perk up with a five minute stress buster (jumping jacks, glass of iced-tea, watering plants)
3. Take a Step Back
One of the most common phrases used to offer comfort or motivation to people experiencing challenging struggles or loss is the notion to move forward or move on. These words often provide little inspiration. I connect better with the idea to just move. And sometimes that means to move back a little bit–take time and space to regroup.
- Go on a weekend retreat
- See a counselor or pastor
- Meditate/Pray/Read a devotional/Go to church
- Go on a mini-vacation alone or with friends
- Repair what's broken (take a day to do home-maintenance or self-reflection)
Take a break. Take a breath. Take a step back. Taking time to re-equip yourself will restore the time you spend with your favorite treasures. Who knows, they may even get invited out for dinner.