“Ugh. I’m So frustrated! I went to sign up the kids for a day camp through our church and Luke’s age group is full. I knew I waited too long! Now I will be scrambling to find activities for them to do for a week during the summer. Oh well, it’s not like they don’t have things to do. Grace has horseback riding one night a week. Luke will be doing golf. Noah wants to do a basketball camp. Plus I’ll be busy keeping up with everything around here…laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, play dates, working three days a week…Hey! Wait a minute! Where does my time fit into this schedule? I guess my time doesn’t matter as much. It’s fine. I can deal with that. I am sure I’ll get a night out with the girls here and there. Oh but wait, we have those two weddings, three baby showers, the neighborhood bar-b-que. Hmmm. I guess my summer weekends are all accounted for. Sigh. It’s ok. They are only little once. This is just a season of my life. I need to find joy in what I have, not looking to escape. I’m so ungrateful.”
Does anyone else’s internal dialogue sound similar? Guess what, it’s okay to want time for yourself. It doesn’t make you ungrateful. In fact, it’s important that you make time for yourself if you aren’t getting this time on a regular basis. This is time that you need for yourself. I mentioned that before, this concept of becoming a “human doing” instead of a human being. You are the hands that make the sandwiches. You are the ears constantly perked for a crying child. You are the eyes being peeled open to help a friend who lost her job and needs you to help her find one. And these are all beautiful examples of selflessness. We should be eager and willing to help others. But we also need to prioritize ourselves so that we don’t get burnt out.
So here is your assignment for this week:
Schedule a Date With Yourself:
If your spouse isn’t available to be with the kids, talk to a friend whom you trust and would feel comfortable with her/him watching your kids for a few hours, or if you can swing it, hire a sitter, or ask one of the kids’ grandparents to watch them. If you don’t have children, schedule a day off of work. I know this seems like crazy talk! But we all need a break.
Now this doesn’t have to be this week. It can be, but I just want you to get something on your calendar and STICK TO IT. Unless you have a kid home sick or something else unforeseen happens, reschedule the date immediately. But you are going to take yourself on a date.
- This is ideally a solitary adventure. We should get comfortable with being alone.
- This is a minimum of two hours from when you leave the house to when you step back through the door.
3. You are not allowed to feel guilty. This is part of your assignment.
4. This date must occur some time between now and June 30. No exceptions.
Ideas of things to do:
- Get a pedicure.
- Go to a movie.
- Grab a coffee and macaroon at the cute little coffee place you’ve been meaning to stop into (Proving Grounds in Milford is my favorite).
- Go to a resale shop and look for treasures.
- Go to a museum.
- Go on a hike or walk at a state or metro park.
- If it’s a rainy day, and you want to be around nature, go to an indoor botanical garden.
- Workout for an hour then treat yourself to lunch.
- Go shopping (try small business shopping in a local downtown).
- Take a cooking class.
These are just suggestions because I can tell you from experience, when I don’t have the kids for a few hours, I suddenly can’t decide what I could be doing so I end up pacing around the house and freaking out that I can’t think of anything to do and how pathetic am I that I don’t know what to do?!
It’s not only acceptable for you to make time for yourself, it’s necessary! It’s important! We need to recharge our batteries now and again. It’s not something to feel ashamed of. You’re not weak for needing a break. Actually, I hope you enjoy it so much you decide to make it a regular thing. Even if it’s once every other month, you deserve this!
If you need proof, check out these scripture verses:
“Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” – 1 Peter 3:4 I take this to mean, you are more effective in your efforts carrying out God’s work when you have peace and stillness in your spirit. This comes from self-care.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test what God’s will is: his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2 My interpretation: Don’t get so caught up in “busy-ness” that you forget to renew your mind and spirit. We can channel God better when our minds are rested and at peace.
“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” – Mark 6:31-32 Look, even Jesus needed rest and to regroup! He is God’s son and he needed a break. If Jesus can take a break so can you.
So please, friends, give yourself grace. Take your well-deserved breaks.
Oh and if you happen to take a picture of your date with yourself and would like to post to social media, feel free to use: #SummerBeautificationProgram –Shameless promotion, I know! But I want others to know, it’s ok to rest. Even strong, intelligent, beautiful women like yourself prioritize self-care.
*I had a typo when I first published this post and typed assignment 3 instead of 2! This is only the second assignment. You haven’t missed a week. Sorry for the confusion.