The other day I overheard a couple walking by at a park. The husband was carrying a toddler on his back and saying something like, “When you are tired, you lash out at me. I wish you would just go lay down and take a rest.”
I was proud of this husband for being so direct with his wife about what it’s like for him when she is tired. And, I was imagining myself being that woman, which isn’t too hard to do after having had two toddlers personally. It is exhausting. Most moms do struggle with taking time for themselves, even if it is for a basic need such as to sleep.
“By caring for their own souls, moms are better
able to overflow in love to those they love.”
Self-care matters at a deep, soul level. Yet, many women experience self-care as selfish. I can’t help but wonder why we confuse something so life-giving as time to experience joy and the richness of life as being selfish. I think many women think anything not directly done with or for the children is greedy, instead of understanding that by caring for their own souls, moms are better able to overflow in love to those they love.
All of us serve in some capacity. It may be as moms, wives, friends, aunts, daughters, professionals, volunteers, or all of these. Men can serve in equally multiple roles. Giving, when done well, comes from a sincere heart. As moms, this may look like smiling when we lovingly wake our kids in the morning, as opposed to snapping, “Get out of bed!”
Or, as full-hearted employees, we might go the extra mile to serve a customer instead of doing the bare minimum to get by. A heart running on empty, on the other hand, might cut corners, lead to more mistakes, and result in a feeling of frustration.
Over-tired, overworked women are the norm these days, and the results are impacting those we love most, like that couple I saw in the park. Women are typically natural caregivers. But, what do we do when the needs of those we serve conflict with our own needs? There is truly no easy answer here, but there are some guidelines that can help. Check back here soon for some practical tips.
For women, how you overcome the obstacles to self-care?
Or, for the husbands, how can you support your wife in her taking the time she needs for herself?