:: As usual, this post was written months ago and I am just now posting it! These last couple of weekends have been slower paced for me and my son is a champion napper now – if you were wondering! ::
After four jam-packed weekends in a row, my good friend Melissa encouraged me to take a day off for myself. I was in dire need of a sabbatical of my own. So what does the sabbatical of a SAHM look like anyway? Is it asking your husband to take charge of the house so you can go away to a hotel overnight? Well, maybe for some people it looks that way. But for me, it was just going back to the basics of being a SAHM. Back when it was just Adelynn and me each day, we would spend every minute together. She would nap and I would do some of my own things, but when she was awake, we were playing or she was “helping” me with household chores.
Somewhere along the last 5 years, and mainly in the last 5 weeks, I had lost sight of that joy. The joy that means including the kids in everything I do. My current thought was that sometimes just doing the dishes myself is easier. It would feel like a win-win situation for me because they would get to watch My Little Pony and I would get the dishes done.
But what was the motivation behind that? Truthfully, I was focused on my schedule. I have an agenda. I have things I want to accomplish. I have a reputation to maintain. I want people to believe that I can make it as a SAHM. I don’t want to fall under the stigma of people coming over, seeing a mess, and whispering “What does she DO all day anyway? Her kids must be so out of control.”
Having a baby boy who doesn’t nap very well has really been a gift. (Most days I don’t see it this way at all, but what I am writing is truth.) When I am in the mindset to see it this way, he teaches me to take everything one moment at a time. I don’t know the next time he will nap or when he will wake up and I need to enjoy each moment I have whether that is resting or playing.
After these crazy weekends, Melissa encouraged me to rest. Which is so crazy because my house has 5+ weeks of messy build up in it. 5+ weeks of unfinished projects and 5+ weeks of dirt. Obviously this day was my day to catch up. But begrudgingly, I took her advice.
And you know what happened? I laughed harder than I have in weeks. I truly listened to the things Adelynn said. She notices so many things. Ava’s incurable optimism almost made me burst with pride. And her imagination is one of a kind. Ollie’s new skills of mobility and grass eating were impressive. I noticed their dirty feet and tangled hair. But I also noticed their bright eyes and overflowing hearts.
I saw a quote on my Sabbath day that said this:
“Jesus doesn’t participate in the rat race. He’s into the slower rhythms of life, like abiding, delighting, and dwelling – all words that require us to trust Him with our place and our pace. Words used to describe us being with Him.” – Lysa TerKeurst, Uninvited
Clearly, that was for me on that day and hopefully every day after!
That same day I listened to the radio on the way to pick up Adelynn from school and they were talking about learning to say “no”. The Lysa TerKeurst quote and the radio content were no coincidence. The woman on the radio was was saying that we can say yes, but it needs to be a no if it’s not going to be a yes for our kids. And it might sting a little, but in this season of life, that is truth.
This was a life-changing, attitude-changing day for me. I got so much more out of the day by choosing my kids and their presence over my own agenda.
So do whatever you need to do to take your sabbatical. Ask your kids if they want to color, pick up a marker and go to town. Find the play doh and ask them what you should make. Take them out for cupcakes or morning coffee. Ask if they want to watch your favorite movie from when you were young and then lay on the floor with them and answer all of their movie questions. Blow some bubbles. Do it in the bathtub if it’s cold outside. Or do it on the kitchen floor so you can mop it together. Ask them a billion questions until they start getting annoyed with you. Invest. Being present is a gift. Choose to accept it.