By Steph Fink
I am a big fan of chocolate…all kinds, textures, varieties,
shapes and size. I don’t
discriminate. I do not eat
chocolate, all day, or even every day.
(Okay, I’ve thought about it!)
If I did, I would no longer enjoy it and it’d make me sick!
My sons are as sweet and delicious as chocolate. But,
if I live out of balance, and spend all day, every day with them, I find I
don’t enjoy them. I get grumpy and talk more sharply. Then, as a
“reward” for my verbal overindulgence, I feel guilty that I am not acting like
the Mom God designed me to be. God has repeatedly reminded me that
balance needs to occur in all areas of my life…not just with chocolate!
I need to put the “me”, back in Mom-me!
Matthew 22:39 says to, "Love others as much as you
love yourself." If we do
not love ourselves, in a balanced way, then we truly cannot love others.
This verse, which is also known as the second commandment, is clear. God
told us to love others as much as we love ourselves. If we love our children so
much that we do not make time for ourselves, then we are not following God’s
design. Figuring out what balance “looks like” is challenging.
Children require endless time and energy. When I originally wrote this, my then four-year-old son
visited me SIX TIMES as he went through the bedtime stall tactic phase. Then the phone rang (again).
Does this scenario “ring” a familiar bell?
Some things are in my control and some things are not. My son was going through a phase, which
I cannot control. I can help guide him through, but I cannot control it.
(And for the record, he did eventually grow out of it!) The phone, on the
other hand, is something that I can control. I decided that there is a
lot more of “me” when I let the answering machine take a message. I need to take care of myself to be a
more balanced and loving Mom. When I chose to change the pattern and take
some down time for me and live more balanced, I’m a nicer version of “me”.
If you love your kids (and I know you do!), make you a
priority! Don’t feel guilty about
putting “me” back in Mom-me!
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but
as wise…”. Paul is telling us in Ephesians 5:15 to live wisely and be
careful to make balanced choices. How do you get me back in Mom-me? Pray about
it. Here are a few ideas on how to
reintroduce “me” back into Mom-me
• Swap your kids with a trusted friend and do not do
something on your “To Do” list. Take yourself out to lunch, go for a run, or go buy that new tube
• Pay a babysitter and go for a walk, or take a book to
a park and enjoy reading while sitting in the sun!
• Swap kids one night a month with your husband or a friend,
tuck the kids in bed and go out to a movie! (Remove slippers and no sweatpants!)
• Check your local community center. Most offer a
variety of dance, craft, and exercise programs at a low cost and with a
short-term commitment. Once you get something paid for and on the
calendar, you are more likely to attend it!
• Check your local library. Many have book and
gardening clubs. Most have free events with special speakers on politics,
events and topics. This is a great way to refresh your mind without
hurting the family budget!
My husband and I have been very supportive of each other in
this area. Whenever possible, Saturday is my day to sleep in, and Sunday
is his day since we go to the late church service. We give each other one
night “off” a week. His is on Monday as he volunteer firefights (seriously,
no Monday night football for me…how awesome is that?!). My free night
varies each week around the family schedule, but it does happen! Just
this past month, I was able to do four different things: see a movie, meet a friend for dinner,
go for a walk/talk with a friend and go to a night exercise class at my
gym. Variety is just what I needed
to break up some of my daily monotony!
I just love in Proverbs 21:5 that it says to make a
plan. “Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts
you further behind.” Pray and
make a plan! Then be flexible!
Let us be Moms who are balanced, loving and wise day-by-day
and step-by-step, setting the example of true self-care
to our kids.
How do you put the “me” back in Mom-me?
writing has appeared in Proverbs 31 Ministry, P31 Woman magazine. In
her free time she can be found encouraging numerous MOPS group in the
northern Virginia area on the "Colorful Art of Friendship - Allowing
God to Paint the Masterpieces" and MOPS leaders on "Being a Bright
Steph can be found blogging at www.encouragedinheart.org
or on Facebook at Stephanie Fink or on her Facebook page Encouraged in Heart
- Stephanie Fink. She loves big hair, big cups of coffee and big bear hugs.