Monday, April 02, 2012

The myth of "me" time...

I've heard it several different ways, but the gist is always the same...

I could never homeschool my kids. I need some "me" time.

This statement has always made me bristle. I can't really explain why, but I kind of hate the presumption that:
#1: because I homeschool I am somehow above selfishness (soooooo not true!)
#2: we deserve "me" time

Let me take off my superhero cape for a moment as dispel myth #1. Homeschooling your children does not confer superhuman abilities to overcome frustration and selfishness in any mother. In fact, it gives you innumerable opportunities to experience frustration and selfishness.  *wink* The difference is, most homeschooling moms I know choose not to give in to their flesh and prayerfully submit to their calling. Does this mean it is easy? um, no!

Case in point: Last week was a nightmare. Truly! No one seemed to be in the right frame of mind to do school (including the momma) and each day was a monumental struggle. By Monday evening, an entire week's worth of weariness had settled in. My amazing husband saved the day by arranging a coffee date with a dear friend (and fellow homeschooling mom) so I could recharge my attitude.
image courtesy Stuart Miles

I suppose it could be said that this was "me" time...But that isn't how I see it. You see, the focus -for both my friend and I - was NOT on "woe is me, this is soooo hard" but rather encouraging each other and building each other up to face the rest of the week with a better heart attitude.

Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17 ESV

Don't get me wrong, I love a mom's night out as much as the next homeschooling mom...but "me" time? Really?!?

I think that is the wrong focus. With our time away, shouldn't our focus be on refreshing ourselves so we can be a better wife and mom?

That's just what happened with our coffee date. We commiserated with each other. Listened to each other. Encouraged each other (or, at least I hope she was encouraged!). We left the coffee shop ready to face another few days of homeschooling.

So please grab a girlfriend and take some precious time to refresh your heart. It will make you a better mom, a better wife, a better friend. When you are running on empty it is hard to give. Time with the Lord will refill us with renewed energy and vision. Time with a dear friend can give you the strength to move forward.

Just please remember, "Me" time is a myth.

Raising children is hard. Being a wife is a difficult job even if you are married to a wonderful man. If all I focus on is "me" then my kids and husband will suffer. My attitude will bottom out and everything in our home will be yucky. (sorry, I really couldn't think of a better word.) "Me" time assumes that how I feel is more important than anything or anyone else.

What if, instead of "me" time, we focused on "Jesus time"? That is the only thing that promises to make us both better wives and mothers.

Sprinkle in a few times of refreshment and encouragement with other Godly women and that sounds like a recipe for success.

Linking Up:
The Straightened Path
These Five of Mine Plus Two
The Better Mom

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