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I know what you’re thinking. Or rather, I know what you’re laughing. Mom? A break? Those words don’t usually end up in a sentence unless it’s me yelling them after I’ve gone far past the point where a break was actually needed.
When I wait too long for a break or ignore the signs that I better take one soon I end up saying or doing things that I regret. I turn into dino-mom. Big and scary.
Why am I putting off this necessary break?
Maybe guilt. Maybe I feel guilty saying that I need a break from my kids, a break from my responsibilities as a homemaker.
Maybe I’m just not paying attention. I don’t realize that things are slowly unraveling. I don’t notice my patience slowly dwindling.
Maybe there’s just too much to do. If I take a break now it only means more work later. If I take a break now my kids might get into mischief.
Maybe I’m just being lazy. Yes, you read that right. Maybe I am being too lazy to put the kids down for a nap or set them up with something they can do quietly. Maybe I am being too lazy to deal with the sighs and complaints of quiet time.
Maybe you know what keeps you from taking a break even though you know you need it. Maybe you are all too familiar with the signs of waiting too long for that break.
And what are the signs?
Getting frustrated over simple requests. If “can I have a drink?” makes you lose your top you know you’ve waited too long to take a break. I’ve been there. Sometimes I think to myself, “Did I really just get upset because my 3 year old asked for a drink?” Or maybe you don’t necessarily lose your top. But even if on the inside you’re feeling annoyed by simple requests you better take that break and soon.
Getting frustrated over simple mistakes. There have been times when my kids have made mistakes- spilling things, dropping things, etc that are completely normal for a kid their age to make. And I would react like they are adults making those mistakes. Kids spill their drinks. Usually when Pepper eats spaghetti at least half of it will end up on the floor- or anywhere between her bowl and her mouth. If these little things are frustrating you you better take a minute to stop and unwind.
Not wanting touched or needing a bigger personal bubble. I feel like when you become a parent you pretty much lose your entire personal bubble. It no longer exists. And that’s usually a welcomed thing. You want the cuddles and being near your little one. Feeling their skin against your skin is wonderful. So when you feel the urge to push away the hugs or kisses it’s time you better take a break. Giving yourself a little space right now will keep you from hurting any feelings by turning down cuddles and hugs later.
Feeling angry about everyday chores. As a wife and mother my jobs are endless. By the time we are caught up on dishes the laundry has piled up. By the time I’ve finished cleaning all the chocolate off the 3 year old my 5 year old has spilled her juice- again. By the time our homeschooling is done for the day it is time to make supper. Once supper is cleaned up it’s time bath the kids. I think you get my point. There’s never “nothing to do” when you are a wife or mother. And I enjoy that. I like planning out my days and deciding what needs done. I like seeing my home tidy and in order. I like being a homemaker. So when I look at the dishes and get angry that I have to clean them again or see the sticky spots on the floor (that I just cleaned) and feel like I am going to cry- let me tell you- I need a break.
So what happens when I experience these signs but don’t take my break?
Well, you probably noticed the reoccurring use of words and phrases like: “get angry”, “blow my top”, “cry”, “feeling annoyed”, “frustrated”, etc. That’s exactly what happens. You become some one else. You lose patience for people you love. You act out in ways you wouldn’t normally act. You get emotional over things that wouldn’t normally make you emotional. Worse yet, you say things you normally wouldn’t say.
I wish it stopped there. But it doesn’t. It grows. I talked a lot about that in my post, “When the Keeper of the Home is Tired of Being at Home” . Soon you will no longer be happy doing the tasks the Lord has for you- the ones that once made you very happy. You will notice discontentment growing and growing.
So, Momma, you need a break. Please don’t feel guilty taking one.
All those chores you can’t stop thinking about? Stop thinking about them for 20 minutes.
Those kids that have been needy all day? Put on a movie for them and enjoy the quiet for a bit.
Not only do you deserve it, you need it. Your family needs you to take a break every now and then.
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