Moms deserve a break! …or do we??   5 comments

***This post includes my thoughts after reading another blog that asked the question, “Do moms deserve a break?”***

I am a wife, mom of three little ones (ages 5 yrs, 3.5 yrs, and 21 months old), a homeschooler, and homemaker.  I do not work a job at all (although I do occasionally–usually seasonally–make fudge and scarves to sell at Christmas time).  I also have experienced depression in my role as a SAHM and homemaker.  I once was the one who said “I deserve a break!”

But as I contemplate the word “deserved”, I can think back and say that I felt I was “entitled” to that break.  Why was I entitled to it?  Dunno.  Maybe because I saw everyone around me getting a break (like a lunch break from a job or grandma next door).  Maybe because I had well-meaning friends tell me I deserved one.  Maybe because I NEEDED one.  But to NEED and to DESERVE have two VERY different meanings.

Did I NEED some “me” time?  ABSOLUTELY.  When my kids were ages 3, almost 2, and newborn–my husband was working not one, but TWO, full-time jobs.  He was gone from home ALL.THE.TIME.  I was tired.  I was alone.  I was in NEED of that break.

I am a Christian, so several Scriptures come to mind to direct my thoughts.  Such as Titus 2:4-5, which gives me my list of priorities as a young woman (“love my husband, love my children, be discreet, chaste, a homemaker, good, obedient to my husband”), and Proverbs 31:27 (“She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness”).  And then there’s Phillipians 2:14, which reads, “Do all things without complaining and disputing”.  (Ya’ll remember how long the Israelites had to stay in the desert because of their complaining???)

Those passages tell me that I AM doing a job.  And even more–they tell me it isn’t a job I’ll get a paycheck for in this life, but that it will reap eternal rewards!  They tell me not to complain about what I’m doing in that job–including the amount of snot, vomit, and dirty diapers I may have to clean up (or wear on my own clothes).  And I take from those passages that I’m doing that job for the Lord–not for my husband…and not for myself.


My hubby is still working two jobs, although not nearly as many hours now as before.  I still have three kiddos, still have no family nearby, still have a home to keep, and still NEED a break sometimes.  But I would be the LAST person to say I “deserve” one.

You see, I chose to be a mother.  I chose to be a homemaker.  I chose to live at a distance from aunts/uncles/grandparents.  I chose to homeschool.  (Note:  all these choices have been made alongside my husband, of course.)

It truly breaks my heart to hear moms say that they do things like go to the gym with a nursery, send their kids to daycare/preschool/school, or hire a regular babysitter JUST for the purpose of getting away from their kids.  Now, don’t hear something here that I didn’t just say.  I’m not saying that I think gym nurseries, preschools, or babysitters are altogether bad or wrong.  I am ONLY saying that it breaks my heart to hear how much moms want to get away from their children.  Those things are just the tool used to do that.  And yes, I know that some of you reading this don’t use those things for those reasons…but some of you do.  And I was almost one of them.  We almost sent our kids to preschool so I would only have to care for one or two of my kids at once.  It was to lighten my load.  I deserved it, right??

Well, then I read the passage in my Bible that tells me that children are a gift…”an heritage from the Lord” in Psalm 127:3!  WHY would I want to get away from my gifts from the Lord?

If you know me well, you know that I carry no measuring stick or gavel.  If you don’t know me well, please trust that I do not have that in my intent here.  (And for goodness sakes, please don’t judge me as being judgmental.)  🙂

I just want to share what I have done to get that much NEEDED break, without having to “get away” from my children and without having to fight for it under the thought of “deserving” it.

FIRST thing–put the Lord first!  Reading His Word and praying and spending time with him before my kids get up in the morning helps me start my day right, gives the first of my day to Him, and sets my mind on the right path for the rest of the day.  I am, without a doubt, a happier mommy and homemaker when I’ve gotten that time with my Creator first thing in my day and without interruption.

SECOND–I get up before my kids almost every day.  Some days it is only 30 minutes earlier–on the days we have no where to go and I don’t need to shower.  I’ll get up and dress, wash my face, brush my teeth and spend time in the Word and in prayer.  Some days I’m up 2+ hours before my kids!  Those are the days I get in my Bible/prayer time, exercise, laundry or cleaning, a shower, and usually eat breakfast in peace before getting them up.  These days are probably my best days!

THIRD–Schedules and routines are my best friend!  I have, for as long as I can think back in my life, always thrived with a schedule/routine in place.  The days that my schedule was filled were my most productive days, and the days that I just woke up and did “whatever” were the days I accomplished NOTHING.  After having my first, Brother Bear, I learned from an amazing resource my friend Lisa loaned me, about how to get him on a routine right from the start–and it made ALL the difference in his days (and nights, I might add).  That book was Secrets of the Baby Whisperer and it is the ONLY book I recommend for that new baby phase.

Brother Bear has only ever known having a routine–and then when Sister Bear was born only 15 months after him, my routine got more detailed, but also got more important in the success of our days.  And you can probably guess that having Baby Bear just shy of 2 years after Sister Bear added more chaos to our days, and our schedule kept us going.

I have a schedule now, too.  I’ll post on that later in specifics, but I got most of my ideas for creating and implementing my schedule from and their book called “Managers of Their Homes”.  It is truly amazing and SO helpful in creating an organized day.

So, you are asking, what does scheduling have to do with getting a break???

Well–I have scheduled nap times and now rest times (for my two who no longer nap) during each day at the same time every day.  Baby Bear naps for about 3 hours every day, and during that same block of time, Sister Bear has a rest time on her bed with books, her Leapster game, and maybe a doll and her doctor set–all for quiet play on her bed.  And Brother Bear has his rest time in our basement play room (since he and Sister Bear share a room).  He is allowed to watch a DVD and rest on the couch, or to play with some of the quiet toys down there.  Both Brother Bear and Sister Bear have close to a 2 hour rest time!

Another thing on our daily schedule is scheduled playtimes for the kids–some of the blocks of time are Brother Bear with Sister Bear, or Sister Bear with Baby Bear, or Brother Bear with Baby Bear.  And some of the blocks of time are what I call “alone play time”.  This is where they get a break from each other–and from me–for a SHORT amount of time.  By short, I mean 15-30 minutes, depending on the child’s age and training to spend that time well–and of course, they are in a safe place in their own room when they are alone playing. (Also–I feel I should note here–that scheduled alone time is something we have implemented with our children since they were babies as a means to help foster a bit of independence.  If you have older babies/children, this will take time and patience to implement since they aren’t used to it, but it can be done!)

During both the nap/rest time and the scheduled play times–I have “breaks” worked into my schedule.  During the shorter spurts, I will give myself 15-30 minutes to sit and read, knit, crochet, check email, post a blog post (like this one, which I’m writing during naptime), make a phone call to a friend, or eat lunch–in peace.  🙂  During the longer naptime, I also have scheduled for myself a 1-hour block of time to nap or rest!  Some days I don’t feel I need a nap–but I’ll make myself rest for 30 minutes.  I am getting the breaks that I NEED with this schedule.

Just doing those three things–giving God the first of my day, getting up before my kids, and scheduling the rest of the day ahead of time–allows me to prioritize my day, to get the much needed rest and breaks that I need, and to never feel I am neglecting my priorities.

Some have said before that they feel guilty for wanting some “me” time as a mommy.  I don’t want you to feel guilty!  I’ll say it again–I do believe you may NEED it to be able to give to the Lord, your husband, and your children what they do deserve!  I only want to encourage you to line up what you think your needs are with the Word of God, and don’t let the world encourage you to neglect your God-given purpose in exchange for a fleshly desire.  God will give you the desires of your heart!  Psalm 37:4 reads, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”  I don’t believe, however, that they will contradict what He created you for.  Proverbs 13:4 says “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is made fat.”  Be diligent to fulfill the purpose He made you for–and you’ll be blessed, as I have been, with the rest of what you need and desire!


***P.S.  I am absolutely available to help you create or implement a schedule or routine if you need one!  All you have to do is comment here and I can share with you some of the things that I have in my own schedule every day, or to help you see how a schedule could help you with everything from a general daily routine, a housekeeping schedule, a homeschooling schedule (if you homeschool), and anything else!  I look forward to helping you!***


Posted January 14, 2012 by whohearsahorton in Uncategorized

5 responses to “Moms deserve a break! …or do we??

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  1. I hear ya. You are a mom. What about your husband? You don’t think he DESERVES any time ALONE with you? There has to be a balance between kids, husband, and YOU time. It makes you a better mother if you do take time out for yourself. High and mighty, yes you are. Well balanced? Not so much.

    • I don’t write to sound high and mighty, and do not hold myself in such esteem above others. And regarding the balance of my time, it is actually quite balanced. HOWEVER, my goal is not to balance it (i.e. to give equal time to every priority) but to “order” my life according to the priorities the Lord has given me. This post did not mention my husband because he is not home during the days about which I was writing. He is working, providing, for our family while I am a homemaker as Titus 2:4-5 instructs me to be. I’ll be sure to post soon about the time that my husband both deserves and gets from me. It will not contradict anything I’ve posted here, but will once again show how ordering my days provides for MORE time with my husband–time alone together.

    • It always shocks me when someone responds so harshly to a Christian sister who has found a way that helps her acheive unselfishness and joy in her very difficult role as a homemaker and mother of three, and who possesses the utmost desire to share, without judgement, what is working for HER so that others who may be struggling might also find joy in their execution of God’s plan for spiritual women. Bless the Titus2 woman who is led to mentor in obedience with the Word of God.
      God examines the heart … He’d ask us to check the motivations of our hearts when suggesting supplementary, or even contradictory ideas, so that it can be well received and uplifting to all.
      Be encouraged Mother Bear, your loving, enduring, heart is promised Reward. Luke 6:23

  2. Well… Opinions are like butts… We all have one.

    The bible basically says we all deserve death but the gift God gives is eternal life. Thank God, literally, He gives us way more than we deserve.

    I think “I deserve a break” is often used as a figure of speech but not always. I think sometimes I DO deserve a break. I am grateful to friends and family who help me take those. I deserve it because I am WORTH IT and I am a much better ME when I take time out for me.

    My son deserves mommy to have a break… Sometimes a mommy time out is the best thing for him too.

    In the early months, one of the MOST appealing things about church for me was the nursery. I could care less what the sermon was about, if I saw anybody I knew or not I just wanted, as you said, “peace.”

    And child care at the Y is great! I love putting him in nursery while I swim or layout during the summer. Then when I pick him up our TOGETHER swim time is much more fun & able to be much more present for him. And he has a blast in the day care too. So it’s win win… He gets a break from my nagging and I get a break from his.
    Those are the days I get in my Bible/prayer time, exercise, laundry or cleaning, a shower, and usually eat breakfast in peace before getting them up.  These days are probably my best days!
    Anyway – I love him to pieces and cannot imagine my life without him but my breaks enable life with him to be much more pleasant for both of us. And, as a single parent, I haven’t figured out how to be. SAHM and still own a house and feed us. 🙂

  3. In a day filled with “me”, “I” and “deserve,” it’s no wonder our daycare’s are filled. Thanks for your insightful and lovely post. Every mother does need mental and physical breaks through the day. They don’t DESERVE them, but they need them. I agree, nap times are wonderful breaks that many mothers do not use. Discipline and structure help everyone’s day go smoothly. The day one of the older women in my church came over to my messy house and taught me how to make my kids nap and have quiet time, how to set up a schedule and how get some order, was one of the best days of my “mommy” life. I look back now (as a mother of 4 teens) and am truly thankful I didn’t let someone else have all those precious moments with my babies. I can look back without regret and with happiness to know that I was their mother, not some daycare worker.

    A line from one of my favorite poems: Children Won’t Wait “God give me wisdom to see that TODAY is my day with my children. That there is no unimportant moment in their lives. No other work so rewarding. May I know that no other career is so precious. No other task so urgent. May I not defer it nor neglect it. But by Thy Spirit accept it gladly, joyously and by Thy grace realize That the time is short and my time is now—

    I’m very proud of you Momma Bear. I’ll be praying for you.

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