I can’t begin to count the times someone has asked how I ever get time to myself as a homeschool mother who has 7 children. There are many responses I would love to give to this question, including the fact that ‘me time’ is overrated. However, many of the women who ask this want a bit more practical help. So here is my two part answer, which includes spiritual and practical help.
Part 1: Give it up.
We live in a culture that places so much emphasis on self. Sure, it would be nice to have time all to myself on a regular basis, and sometimes I am able to have that. But I learned several children ago that God asks me to give up my so-called rights and accept His plans for me, which often involve sacrifice of those very selfish desires. It may be the desire for sleep, or a clean house, or time to my self. It may be something else all together.
God calls us to lay down our self
and follow the example of Christ.
Yes, Jesus sought out time away from the masses, but that was time to be with God. Jesus knew the way to find refreshment for our souls is not time to do what we want, it is time to seek God and feel of His spirit. I have learned that I get more energy and refreshment when I spend time in my scriptures or pondering the things of eternity than I do just from time spent by myself.
Part 2: Institute Daily Quiet Time
Here’s the practical half of my advice. We all need slower moments in the day, quiet moments where we and our children can hear the Spirit and rest. We can read our scriptures, listen to uplifting music, or just be completely quiet. We can even use some of that time to read a fun book, read an uplifting blog, or do a project. In our home quiet time happens almost every day at 1:00pm. Those young enough to nap, do so. The children go to their bed or another spot and begin this time with books to look at. Mommy begins this time in her scriptures. After that I may nap, hop on the computer, or do any number of things, but I always try to begin my time with God.
Sometimes a little one doesn’t nap. God dictates the priority of pouring in extra love to a child and sacrificing my self. It is a process that I used to resent. I was still hung up on my time, my rights. God has been diligent to give me practice at releasing my will and accepting his plans. The children who don’t nap anymore eventually gravitate to spending one on one time with a sibling after they’ve had their initial quiet time in bed. All the pictures in this post are from today. The sleeping little ones. The chess playing girls. The sons reading a book together about Lego creations. About and hour and a half after it begins my children come downstairs again and we start back in on our day. The napping little ones may sleep longer. But we’re all refreshed and ready for our afternoon together.
Do you ever struggle with the sacrifice of time that is inherent in motherhood? Do you have quiet time in your family?