“Have regular hours for work and play;
make each day both useful and pleasant,
and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well.
Then youth will be delightful,
old age will bring few regrets,
and life will become a beautiful success.”
-Marmee- Little Women- by Louisa May Alcott
Andrew has always said that he didn’t marry me for a clean bathroom, ironed clothes or dinner on the table- that can all be hired done if needed. He married me to come along beside him in our marriage- happy, content, each of us completing the other.
Taking care of young children 24/7 can be overwhelming and exhausting. And there is always one more thing to do, always. It’s hard for a young mum to relax-without guilt. But you should. Even if it is just 10 or 15 minutes; that little bit of time can refresh. Long ago, my dear husband understood this and continually told me that he wanted me to take it easy, enjoy life raising our family. So, I took him at his word and spent children’s napping time doing enjoyable things, like reading a book for shear relaxation when I might have gotten all manner of things cleaned and scrubbed.
For goodness sake, when all the kids are sleeping all at the same time, do not, do not spend that precious peaceful time scrubbing toilets. Do something you enjoy. If you do love cleaning or making dinner, then yes, go ahead and do that while the house is quiet. But if it’s not a thrill to you, find that thing you love to do and do it. Successful parenting for the long haul, means finding time for yourself.
Cleaning has never been and never will be my forte. It does not excite me. At all. Afternoons when kids were napping, I would pull out my watercolor paints. Sometimes it would be a good book for fifteen minutes. For a few demented years, it was aerobics complete with the scrunchy fat socks, short gym shorts, and headband. I’m over that now.
A friend said recently that she wishes she’d spent a little more time on herself during those really hectic years. I know what she means and she doesn’t mean out of pure selfishness. A martyr is a hard person to be married to.
Above everything else, take a few minutes to read your Bible- the Psalms are balm for the soul- and pray, pray to God about how overwhelming it is to be responsible for all these little people, how incapable you feel, how some days you just don’t want to start the day. He is faithful.