Christianity Today articleMOMSense, July/August 2008
Time-outs for Mom
Creating time for you in the margin of your life.
If you talk to any mom, she'd agree that taking breaks is important. Yet "getting away" is the hard part. Sometimes a packed schedule creates a challenge. Other times, finding a babysitter, making plans and justifying spending money for "fun" are too much work. It doesn't help matters when you attempt to go out in the evening and your child doesn't want you to go. It's hard to walk away from those tears.
A doctor's appointment must be kept. A trip for diapers is a no-brainer. Yet time planned for fun isn't crucial … or is it?
Having fun makes for fun. As moms we think that devoting all our time to family responsibilities is part of the job description. Yet how does it make you feel when you follow the same old routine without a break? Listless, tired, bored. A mom who takes time to have fun is a fun mommy to be around.
Leisure renews us. Leisure is another way of saying time off. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, leisure is "freedom from time-consuming duties, responsibilities or activities." Leisure renews us by giving us relief from stress. It also gives us time to think about what's important to us. "Leisure should be a time to think new thoughts," says author C. Neil Strait.
Balance is better. The ancient Greeks had a saying: "Nothing overmuch." This phrase speaks of the necessity of balance. Balance is important in work, play, exercise and even in quietness. It's good to work hard but be sure to balance work with things that bring you joy.
Interests make all areas of life interesting. "The effects of having other interests beyond those domestic work well," said Amelia Earhart, pioneering pilot from the 1930s. "The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one's appreciation of fundamental things like home and love and understanding companionship."
The dictionary definitions for the following words may not have changed since you had your child, but perhaps your definitions have:
Time-out n. Once thought of as punishment. Now considered a much-desired, much-deserved break.
Quiet n. Once avoided at all cost. (After all, what kind of fun can you have without noise?) Now treasured, sought after and longed for.
What do you like to do for fun? Shopping, coffee or a movie, Bunco, scrapbooking, knitting, book clubs …? Choose your favorite way to have fun and put yourself in a time-out!
Tricia Goyer is the author of 14 books, including Generation NeXt Marriage, and hundreds of magazine articles. She lives in northwestern Montana with her husband and three kids and enjoys volunteering in children's church, mentoring teen moms and playing board games with whoever is willing to be beat!
Excerpted from Life Interrupted by Tricia Goyer (2004, Zondervan). Used with permission.
Copyright © 2008 by the author or Christianity Today International/MOMSense magazine.
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July/August 2008, Vol. 11, No. 4, Page 27
Click here for reprint information on MOMSense.July/August 2008, Vol. 11, No. 4, Page 27
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