If you cringe when you hear the word “self-care,” I get it!
I know for my self, it conjures up thoughts that are counter to the word of God – thoughts such as “Love yourself,” “Be true to yourself,” “Follow your heart,” and “You do you,” – thoughts that are all at the expense of others.
But really, “Healthy self-care, at its core, is about restoring internal balance and equipping us to love well.” – Alison McLennan
So, if you’re looking for ways to restore balance and vitality to your life as a wife and mom, this post will help you to do just that!
Exhaustion & Sacrifice are Par for the Course
As a wife and mom, so much of my time is consumed with the proper care and feeding of my husband and children, and if you’re reading this blog, I’ll assume this is a priority for you, too.
Being faithful in my high calling as a wife and mom is not something I take lightly. As a result, I aim to serve my husband and children, and create a home life for them that is nurturing, spiritually edifying and brings honors to Christ.
But, oh! This can be so exhausting!
As wives and moms, because we’re always looking for ways to add value to our family’s life, exhaustion and sacrifice are par for the course. And while we’re not complaining about it and we would never keep score, sometimes we need to be reminded that it’s OK to add ourselves to the list of people we care for.
That’s what this post is all about. It’s my reminder for YOU to take some time for yourself. It’s about encouraging you to take time to fill YOUR cup so that you can continue to joyfully pour yourself into your family.
And while the phrase “self-care” has gotten a bad rap lately, I can assure you there is nothing selfish about these practices.
In fact, by employing these 5 practices you will add balance and vitality to your life as a wife and mom.
So without further ado, let’s get started!
1. Schedule Time to Do “Nothing”
It’s OK to relax, sleep, or even just sit and hear yourself breathe – deeply in, s-l-o-w-l-y out. We don’t always have to cook, clean, volunteer, or run a mental to-do list. (Mental rest is a thing, too!) Ironically, some of us have to schedule “nothing” time into our calendars just to make this happen. Like the NIKE slogan says, Whatever it takes, Just do it!
“… Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30)
*This post offers the ultimate life hack for busy moms who are struggling to find alone time: When a Trip to the Dentist is as Good as the Spa.*
2. Be Lighthearted & Laugh: Be Joyful!
Have fun and look for the silver lining in every day happenings. Laugh at yourself! It teaches your children that it’s okay to laugh at themselves. And don’t just chuckle; laugh out loud!
Ask yourself: “Is my child’s heart cheerful because of the expression on my face? Do they see that I’m sour towards their dad?” Your relationship with the Lord is not only an effective witnessing tool, but it greatly affects the mood in your home. If you struggle with joy in your own life, it will be difficult to pass joy on to your children.
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22)
*You can read this post to get a laugh at my expense: Gynecological Adventures Part 1.*
3. Take Care of Yourself: Watch What You Eat, & Exercise
I really hate this one, especially since I’m partial to ice cream and cake. The only exercise I excel at is the speed at which I shovel ice cream into my mouth. 🙂 But it’s true, we are what we eat: Garbage in =’s garbage out, and little energy go be the best wife and mom I can be.
A poor diet even influences our emotions, which in turn, influences our mood. Exercising regularly can do wonders for our physical AND mental health. Our bodies are a complete miracle and a gift from the Lord. Be sure to be a good steward of it!
“For bodily exercise profiteth little…” (1 Timothy 4:8a)
Hey, how’d that scripture get in there? 🙂 (Um, no post reccomendations for this one.)
4. Do Something You Enjoy Regularly
Tap into your creative side and take time to do something that makes you happy, like crafting, gardening, sewing, or writing. As wives and moms we spend a lot of time orchestrating play dates and fun events for others, so let’s not forget to include ourselves on that list. God is the ultimate creative being, and He created us to be creative. If our kids see that we’re passionate about something and loving life, it will encourage them to be passionate about life as well.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24)
*I unleash my inner creative by decorating my home seasonally. Read this post to take a look: The Beauty of Seasonal Decorating.”*
5. Forgive Yourself. Period. Then Move On
We’re sure to make lots of mistakes as wives and moms. Even with a manual for life – the Holy Bible – and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, we’re going to step on more than a few family-life land mines. However, when we sin or fall short with our husband and kid(s) we should ask for their forgiveness and ask the Lord for forgiveness as well. Once we’ve genuinely confessed our sin the Father lovingly forgives us and remembers our sin no more. Don’t walk in condemnation! Accept the forgiveness that God offers. There’s nothing left to do now but to learn from our mistakes and move on. This one practice is mental self-care.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
I certainly hope that you’ll take some time this very week to treat yourself to one (or all!) of the care practices. Take some time to do “nothing,” be joyful, eat and exercise well (ice cream doesn’t count), be creative, and forgive yourself. These practices cost little or nothing, yet they will create balance in your life and increase your mental and physical vitality.
This is self-care for the body and mind. Your family is counting on you to do it.
Holla Back, Ladies: Which of these self-care practices do you enjoy most? Which one do you often enjoy? Which one would you give you right arm for a chance to do? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!
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Have you downloaded my new eBook: The Art of Building a Godly Home?
Proverbs 14: 1 says there are two paths a woman can take as a wife and mom: the path of wisdom or the path of folly.
The Art of Building a Godly Home is a companion guide for the woman who chooses the path of wisdom.