My absolute favorite line in the movie Mom’s Night Out is when Allyson (Sarah Drew) says “I am stressed paralyzed.” AMEN SISTA!
Haven’t we all been there. So overwhelmed with life that we literally can’t move because it is taking every ounce of effort we have just to think about doing something. I know I have. Before seeing this movie I have said to my sister many times “I have so much to do, I can’t do anything.” So when she said that line I felt a huge sigh of relief…my problem has a name..I suffer from “stress paralysis”…lol!
Here is what I have discovered about stress paralysis….IT’S OK! It is absolutely perfectly ok to take a minute (or an hour) and just breathe. In fact, I strongly believe that we as humans NEED rest. Our families need rest.
I am a “go getter”, I keep a pretty booked up life calendar. But I also schedule in times of rest and I am not afraid to tell you when I just need to chill. So HOW you ask, how between diaper changes, soccer games, dinner prep, church activities, birthday parties, holidays, laundry, homework, work-work, gardening or whatever else is thrown in there, do I find time to rest. And when I do take a minute, how do I not feel guilty about it?
My justification for rest is that this is who God created me to be, someone who needs a minute here and there. So because God says I need it, then it’s ok. Plus, I am a much friendlier friend, sweeter wife, joyful mommy, harder worker, and peppier person when I’ve taken the time to chillax.
What does rest look like? Here are a few ways how rest looks in my life, maybe you could try one and see if it works for you OR better yet, share in a comment how you find rest.
Schedule Date Night: We have a scheduled date night every Wednesday while the kids are at church. Yes we are those parents that drop our kids off and go sit in a restaurant and yes it’s OK. We know that this time is sacred and refreshing and needed. So get your sharpie out and schedule a date night, once a week, at the very least once a month and DO IT (I mean “do” the date…or whatever you want to “do”) hee hee.
Get a Sitter: What?!?! Allow someone else to parent my kids on my behalf?? YES!!! Your kids will be ok. In fact my kids ask for a sitter sometimes because they like a rest from mom and dad too! If you don’t have a good sitter you can trust…call me..I will hook you up or I will keep your kids for you…I believe in rest that much!
Pop in a Movie: Now way, you did not say to encourage my kids to sit in front of the TV for an hour or maybe more, their brains will dissolve, I know it! Well, let me tell you, my daughter learned to count to ten in Spanish thanks to Dora. If you have the ability to choose what your children are watching, it really will be ok to let them grab a pillow and blankie (maybe even some popcorn) and snuggle in for a good movie..even at 9:00 AM. Their brains will not dissolve, they may even learn something. The TV is not the devil, it is your friend (sometimes)!
Take a Nap: You’ve heard the saying “nap when the baby naps”, if you can definitely TAKE THAT NAP. I am a firm believer in Sunday naps. I often can’t sleep come Sunday night…but I nap anyway. Why, because it’s healthy and when I can’t sleep, I get to enjoy even more quite time after the kids are asleep, and I get an extra cup of coffee on Monday morning to wake up, it’s a triple win!
Relax: By relax I mean, don’t be so hard on yourself. Life is hard and busy, it always will be. If the laundry doesn’t get done, guess what…it will still be there tomorrow with more added to it. In fact, mostly everything we feel like we have to do right now or we will explode….will be there tomorrow and if it’s not….then you are probably in your eternal rest, which sounds pretty amazing to me. So don’t sweat it. You know you and you know what your limits are, don’t be afraid to take a minute to yourself even if it is just for you!
Rest is freeing! Be free my friend!