The following is an excerpt from my podcast, You’ve Got This.
How many times have you met another woman and all she talks about is her kids? Unfortunately, many American mothers today involve themselves so much in their kids’ lives that they have little interests outside of their children. We miss out on a host of things when we limit ourselves in that way.
It’s important that a mother develops outside interests for several reasons. First, by having a life outside of your children, you move from the peripheral of your children’s lives to the center. Second, by becoming a person who’s interesting—i.e., does things by herself without the kids or husband that doesn’t involve running errands, etc.—you give your children a glimpse of the mysteries of being an adult.
If all we do as women is to be a mother 24/7, catering always to our families without ever doing anything for ourselves, we aren’t painting a very attractive picture of adulthood for our children. Please don’t misunderstand me—mothering is an integral part of our calling. But we must take care that mothering doesn’t become the only part of our calling or of our day-to-day lives.
Here are a few simple ways to start your journey to recapturing your self-identity separate from your children.
Re-evaluate your priorities. What you spend most of your time on is what you value most, or so the saying goes. Think about how you’re spending your day. Is it 90 percent kid-focused and 10 percent house focused? What percentage do you spend being a wife versus being a mother?
Re-evaluate your schedule. If you’ve done a time journal, you should be able to easily see what is filling your schedule. Are you trying to do too much with and for your kids?
Re-evaluate your home. Sometimes, we can get a bit obsessed with the cleanliness and décor of our homes. But sometimes, we take that to the extreme and start to expect perfection in how our homes look. By thinking through your house expectations, you can begin to see where you might need to readjust your desires.
Re-evaluate your relationship with your husband. Don’t neglect your husband. Set aside time for him much like you do for your kids. Kids need to see their parents do things as a couple, as it gives them tangible evidence that your marriage is strong. Many studies have found that a strong marriage makes kids feel secure.
Re-evaluate yourself. With all the balls that you juggle each day as a work-from-home mom, it’s easy to overlook taking time for yourself. Carving out me-time can be the best way to keep yourself motivated to do all the things that you need to do.
If we don’t stop and take scheduled—and spontaneous—breaks, we’ll soon run out of steam to do all the many tasks that fill up our days. Here are some tips on how to squeeze some me-time into your routine, along with some ideas as to what to do during your time alone.
- Rejuvenate with God.
- Rejuvenate with others.
- Rejuvenate your body.
- Rejuvenate your mind.
- Rejuvenate at home.
To hear more, listen to “Being a Woman of Mystery” on the “You’ve Got This” podcast.