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Mommas are busy from sun up till sundown; that’s a fact!

Additionally, if you’ve been blessed with kiddos that don’t sleep, you might be pulling all-nighters most days.

Phew…I’m so glad to be passed that phase since none of my kids slept great until after three.

If you’re still in the trenches of no sleep, momma, sleep is coming for you, I promise!

As moms, we constantly are serving others. From keeping the house clean to washing clothes to making appointments and running carpools; we are putting others ahead of ourselves.

The fact of the matter is, most moms are weary from being and doing it all.

If you’re like me, you probably feel guilty if you contemplate or even seek some time for yourself. (We’ve been somehow led to believe it’s selfish to do something for us., especially as Christian moms!)

Here’s the fact: you can’t pour from an empty pitcher.

If we go down, a lot goes down. Right?!?

Yes, I know, God has blessed us with wonderful husbands who can pull the slack for a while, but they aren’t made like mothers. Do we agree or can we move ahead agreeing to disagree?

The Role of Motherhood’s Effects on Moms

Many moms today (and this has been highly exacerbated the last 3 years by Covid) are dealing with mental health issues:

  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Exhaustion
  • Anxiety
  • Can you add any others?

These health problems are plaguing moms today.

As a matter of fact, many of these mothers never seek treatment because they don’t have the time or energy.

Even though they are exhausted, every day they still show up to their role because they have to.

Additionally, moms deal with mom guilt when they aren’t fully present with their kids.

Here are a few root causes of the mental health problems targeting moms:

  • Sleep problems. How many moms are getting the recommended allowance of sleep a night?
  • Hormones are out of balance! (the products in the U.S. have a huge impact on that. Most U.S. women are estrogen dominant!)
  • Finding work/home balance.
  • Being single parents and all responsibilities fall on them alone. Trying to be everything for everyone!

Here’s the sad truth, the mental health of the child is connected to that of the parent.

If a mom is struggling with mental health, high chance her kids are too!

As you can see, there is a lot of demand on moms (I’m not downplaying the demands on dads, but I write to encourage women!)

Not Prioritizing Self-Care for Myself in the Past

A few years ago, I had a major health crisis that took me down for a few years. I wasn’t myself because I was pouring from an empty pitcher.

I had been so busy taking care of everyone else that I lost myself. I wasn’t filling myself up or dreaming anymore. Somehow I forgot that I was important too.

I had grasped hold of the idea that moms don’t need self-care. So I ran ragged, not exercising, or finding ways to fill myself up.

I didn’t leave my kids and didn’t experience time away from them for fear I’d miss out or someone couldn’t care for them as I did.

What I didn’t realize was that this was very unhealthy for me and ultimately them.

What Does Self-Care Really Mean?

If you do any kind of search online, you might find somewhere where it says self-care isn’t biblical. (And you might read about needing to sacrifice for your kids to the point you are injuring yourself!)

As moms, we sacrifice our needs and desires for our children, but I don’t think that means the same as running ourselves ragged and forgetting about our own physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual health.

We have as Christian moms, the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. We are to care for our bodies so making ourselves ill in the process of serving everyone else is not what God wants, I believe.

In order to be role models for our kids, we need to teach them how to get healthy.

This isn’t an invitation to put ourselves over our children’s basic needs and give up our role, I believe it is asking for wisdom to find the balance.

The balance to find: filling ourselves up as moms so we can shepherd and care for our children, while also being good moms by serving their basic needs to food, water, shelter, love, security, a place of belonging a feeling of purpose, worth, and guiding them to Christ!

You can’t be a good mom when you are deficient in any of the areas of physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual health.

What is this balance, you might be asking? I also think this is a subjective opinion.

What I need to keep my body healthy is different from what you might need.

We are so lucky to have a Creator who tells us to ask for wisdom. And, here’s the best part He tells us that He will strengthen us and help us. Why aren’t we calling on Him more to help us through our days?

James 1:5, ESV

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

A Few Biblical Examples of Self-Care

Elijah finds himself in 1 Kings 18, telling King Ahab that there would be rain after the area was in a severe famine.

He also deals with the evil prophets of Baal and is part of the miracle where God burns up the soaked bull of the Lord which angers Jezabel.

The prophet, Elijah, runs for his life into the wilderness by himself.

I try and put myself in the shoes of Elijah, (all of these encounters would have been stressful even though he was a prophet of God) he was still a human. The brain would still have worried and gone through the what-ifs that human brains do,

Back to Elijah, here in the wilderness, the Lord took care of Elijah by strengthening him with food and drink.

The Lord strengthen his physical body so he could continue his travels and appeared to him which bolstered his emotional/spiritual areas. The Lord filled Elijah so he could be used by Him.

Jesus during his earthly ministry could be found often after serving and caring for people, retreating to solitude. We can see this in the hours leading up to the Crucifixion where Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane for strength in all areas before he was to endure the suffering of the events to follow.

Jesus was filled so He could pour out his blood for us.

God the Father also exemplified this during Creation by resting on the seventh day.

If the Creator of the Universe rested after his hard work, we see that it is of great importance to humans.

Self-Care for the Mom Who has no Time

Many times when someone says self-care, I know people envision a getaway from the kids in order to fully rest, but for many of us, this isn’t an option. (If you have this option, more power to you!)

However, for many of us, we need to find something we can do while we are still in our daily roles as mommas.

Finances are another area that hinders moms from being able to indulge in a way they might like, but rest assured, many of these ideas don’t cost anything or very little.

Before I share some ideas, let’s not forget that God is the key to being filled up.

Connection with him trumps all of these other ideas!

Let’s make sure we are seeking daily connection with Him (and we can use some of the ideas too!)

Ideas for Self-Care

  • Reading a book.
  • Enjoying a coffee or other treat
  • Finding a hobby and making it a priority during the week (maybe after the kids are in bed!) This one can be tricky, depending on if there is a setup for your hobby. I started painting when my kids were little. It proved to be difficult because setting it up took too long so I had to find another hobby since I didn’t have the space to leave it already up.
  • Traveling near or far. Find somewhere local to enjoy.
  • Having a special show or a movie you save to watch by yourself.
  • Walking or exercising.
  • Bible Study (alone or with a group of women)
  • Meeting up with friends.
  • Go to bed early or take a nap when the kids are napping.
  • Spend some time outside in the sun

You Can’t Do This Alone, Momma

(Matthew 11:28-30, NLT).

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

(John 15:5, ESV)

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

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