Using Rest to battle restlessness

A coffee cup on a table, next to a planner, pen and cell phone.

For moms, I think the idea of a Sabbath or a day of rest seems pretty far-fetched. There is no day when the kids suddenly need nothing. But I do think that as moms, we tend to expect too much of ourselves; at least I know I do. There is all this guilt that happens when we are not fully engaged in every moment of everyday. It is really quite crazy when you think about it.

We all know that no one can do things well all the time without a break, and yet we often expect it of ourselves. So what can we do to create a rhythm of rest within our week?

Choose a day or set times for more rest

On Saturdays, I intentionally don’t do any work for my blog or for our homeschool. I also don’t clean the house or get much done on my to-do list. Knowing that I don’t need to get any of this work done on Saturdays frees me from feeling bad about avoiding it.

That being said, I am still mom on Saturdays. Saturdays are often busy with family activities, so getting time alone is often out.

I am working this year on being intentional about getting out of the house one evening a week for an hour or two by myself — sitting in a coffee shop, the library, wandering around a shopping center, whatever I feel like doing. I know that nothing is going to happen without setting aside a specific day ahead of time so I recently worked it out with my husband to make Wednesday evenings my alone-time.

Don’t cook or do dishes

In my world, it is not really rest if I need to cook or do the dishes! If you enjoy those tasks, feel free to do them, otherwise think creatively about how to do the absolute minimum during times you have set aside for intentional rest.

Order pizza, eat cereal, ask your spouse to cook; double and freeze meals during the week and make those frozen meals on your day of rest.  I do a combination of all of these things.

Use paper plates. This is key in my world!  I buy a massive pack of paper plates at Costco and use them on Saturdays or other times when I just really need a bit of a break. It seems like a simple thing, but it really does make things so much easier!

Ask for help

Ask your spouse to get up with the kids so you can sleep in a few extra hours. Ask them to take care of things so you can go sit in a coffee shop. Whatever it is that will help you get the time you need to rest, ask for it. I am not saying to ask for a whole day to disappear every week, but definitely ask for a few hours.

If you don’t have a spouse that is able or willing to help you, try to find someone else. Ask your parents, hire a babysitter or swap childcare with a friend. It is often hard to ask, but I have found that most people are more willing to help than you think.

More on restlessness

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