This segment of “Bad Mom” brings us to Part Two of this three part series. (See Part One here.) Mother’s Day was yesterday, and if your guilt about not being Super Mom 24/7 kept you from enjoying your well-earned day, then please, read this post. Preferably with a coffee or piece of chocolate. You’ve earned a moment of peace, sans guilt.
You’re NOT a bad mom if you spend time with people who are not your baby.
1. You take time for yourself.
Taking time for yourself doesn’t mean you let your husband watch the baby so you can clean using both hands and all of your brain. Self-care looks nothing like a sink full of suds and a stack of dishes, but everything like: a walk, a shower, some Netflix, a book, a nap… you do remember what a nap is, right? Self-care should not be confused with selfishness. Self-care is recognizing that you – the Super Mom that you are – are still human and require rest, nutrition, exercise, etc. to keep thriving. When you choose to clean the house instead of taking care of yourself, you are declaring that the HOUSE (an object or thing) is more important and worthy of care than YOU (a person made in the image and likeness of God). In case you didn’t know, YOU are more important than things. You can neglect things, like chores. You can’t neglect people – and yes, you count as people. Take care of yourself, so you can better attend to the other temples of God you were given to care for, like your spouse and your kids.
16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If any one destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are. – 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
But what about that whole “denial of self” thing? Aren’t we supposed to deny ourselves for the sake of others? Well, yeah. But you must have a functioning self in order to deny it for the sake of someone else. Let me tell ya, you won’t have a functioning self to deny if you don’t practice healthy self-care. You can’t give what you don’t have. You must take care of yourself, so that you have a greater capacity to then serve others. In other words: RELEARN HOW TO TAKE A NAP.
- You have date night with your husband (without the baby).
While spending time with your husband and baby is wonderful and priceless, it should not replace time you spend with just your husband. You need that time to strengthen your marital bond, because it’s the glue that holds your family together. It’s kind of (extremely) important. And just as a reminder: marriages are not self-sustaining – they require constant, intentional attention and care. If you are not intentionally doing something for your marriage at least once a week, then you need to re-prioritize some things. Yes,it will take effort. Yes, it may mean you neglect those dishes again. And yes, it means unplugging from your various smart devices and looking at each other face-to-face. It’s gonna be okay. When you intentionally choose to spend time with your spouse, you are telling them that they (a person) are far more important than things (dishes, iPad’s, etc.) and that they are a priority. And aren’t they? To help yourself out, try making these questions part of your routine. Put them as a reminder on your phone, send yourself an email with them, or write them in your planner:
- What have I done (in words or actions) today to show my spouse that I love them?
- What will I do this week to intentionally focus on my marriage?
You are worth caring for. Your spouse is worth caring for. Make time for both, and your family will be better for it.
Happy Mother’s Day!