In this week’s post, Katie shares that our highest calling in motherhood is to love. A big part of love is sacrifice. We sacrifice our time, our energy, our sleep, and our agenda to put our children first.
But do you know what I don’t think we should sacrifice? Our mental health. I know I have done it too many times. Motherhood can require so much and we need to invest in regular self care, like a girl’s night out. (I know, I know. It’s hard to do. A “GNO” sounds like fun on a Monday but not so fun on a dark Thursday evening when you’re almost in your PJs!) Sometimes it’s just hard to squeeze it in when there is so much to do. But we need to take care of ourselves so that we can return to our families refreshed. I know we hear this from well-meaning people but it really is true! We fill up so we can then pour out.
But do you guys feel the same way as me when you take some time out? Isn’t it crazy all of the thoughts that go through our minds: What if my husband doesn’t remember all the details only I seem to know about? What might go wrong while I’m gone? What am I forgetting?
Check out this video called “Mom Goggles” by The Skit Guys’. I love a funny spoof and don’t we all wish our husbands and kids would say these sweet things to us about our role in motherhood?!
I’ll be honest, I used to go to Target and fantasize about my kids misbehaving while I was away. Certainly, then my husband would finally see how hard parenting really is! (You too? Glad to hear it’s not just me!) I know that’s not the most gracious response to some time away, but I admit it’s what I was thinking. Unfortunately, there are no magic spectacles to help us understand our spouse and his perspective.
After reading dozens of marriage books and taking time to really try to see the situation from God’s perspective, I have learned a few things. What if we pondered these three ideas before spending time away from your family?
First, your husband isn’t like you. That does not mean he’s any less equipped to take care of your children. You have been given these children as a gift; so has your husband. You parent in a unique way; so does your husband. Unless he is not keeping them safe, disagreement about parenting methods does not equal your superiority. He may not do the things with the same flair or method or standard. And that is okay. (Ugh, I know. This is a hard one. I have to continually remind myself of this truth!)
Second, I’ll say it again: your husband isn’t like you. He will never understand what it is like to be a mom. He most likely does understand that parenting is difficult and he appreciates you being a part of that team, even if he doesn’t verbalize it. (Oh for those mom goggles, right? But until those are invented, let’s try to remember to be a little more gracious and a little less critical. #preachingtothechoir)
Third, and maybe the most life-changing truth: God does understand everything we go through. He gives us our portion each day. God sees every washed dish, every battle chosen, every struggle and every small victory. When you don’t feel understood, remember God understands.
Motherhood requires a lot of sacrifice as we know. But what if we flip this issue on its head a bit and take a moment to give our husbands credit for trying to be good fathers and not criticize them if they don’t do it our way? Besides, when you get that moment to get out of the house, see it for what it is and don’t worry if the everything wasn’t done the way you would have done it. And maybe they even had more fun! Go and enjoy that time away. Soak in the refreshment so you have more to give.