Putting the “Me” Back in Mom-me

By Steph Fink
I am a big fan of chocolate…all kinds, textures, varieties,shapes and size.  I don’tdiscriminate.  I do not eatchocolate, all day, or even every day. (Okay, I’ve thought about it!) If I did, I would no longer enjoy it and it’d make me sick!
My sons are as sweet and delicious as chocolate.  But,if I live out of balance, and spend all day, every day with them, I find Idon’t enjoy them.  I get grumpy and talk more sharply.  Then, as a“reward” for my verbal overindulgence, I feel guilty that I am not acting likethe Mom God designed me to be.  God has repeatedly reminded me thatbalance needs to occur in all areas of my life…not just with chocolate!  I need to put the “me”, back in Mom-me!
Matthew 22:39 says to, “Love others as much as youlove yourself.”  If we donot love ourselves, in a balanced way, then we truly cannot love others. This verse, which is also known as the second commandment, is clear.  Godtold us to love others as much as we love ourselves. If we love our children somuch that we do not make time for ourselves, then we are not following God’sdesign.  Figuring out what balance “looks like” is challenging. Children require endless time and energy.   When I originally wrote this, my then four-year-old sonvisited me SIX TIMES as he went through the bedtime stall tactic phase.  Then the phone rang (again).
Does this scenario “ring” a familiar bell?
Some things are in my control and some things are not.  My son was going through a phase, whichI cannot control.  I can help guide him through, but I cannot control it. (And for the record, he did eventually grow out of it!)  The phone, on theother hand, is something that I can control.  I decided that there is alot more of “me” when I let the answering machine take a message.  I need to take care of myself to be amore balanced and loving Mom.  When I chose to change the pattern and takesome down time for me and live more balanced, I’m a nicer version of “me”. 
If you love your kids (and I know you do!), make you apriority!  Don’t feel guilty aboutputting “me” back in Mom-me! 
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise butas wise…”. Paul is telling us in Ephesians 5:15 to live wisely and becareful to make balanced choices. How do you get me back in Mom-me? Pray aboutit.  Here are a few ideas on how toreintroduce “me” back into Mom-me
• Swap your kids with a trusted friend and do not dosomething on your “To Do” list.  Take yourself out to lunch, go for a run, or go buy that new tubeof lipstick!
• Pay a babysitter and go for a walk, or take a book toa park and enjoy reading while sitting in the sun!
• Swap kids one night a month with your husband or a friend,tuck the kids in bed and go out to a movie! (Remove slippers and no sweatpants!)
• Check your local community center.  Most offer avariety of dance, craft, and exercise programs at a low cost and with ashort-term commitment.  Once you get something paid for and on thecalendar, you are more likely to attend it!
• Check your local library.  Many have book andgardening clubs.  Most have free events with special speakers on politics,events and topics.   This is a great way to refresh your mind withouthurting the family budget!
My husband and I have been very supportive of each other inthis area.  Whenever possible, Saturday is my day to sleep in, and Sundayis his day since we go to the late church service.  We give each other onenight “off” a week.  His is on Monday as he volunteer firefights (seriously,no Monday night football for me…how awesome is that?!).  My free nightvaries each week around the family schedule, but it does happen!  Justthis past month, I was able to do four different things:  see a movie, meet a friend for dinner,go for a walk/talk with a friend and go to a night exercise class at mygym.  Variety is just what I neededto break up some of my daily monotony!
I just love in Proverbs 21:5 that it says to make aplan.  Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry putsyou further behind.”  Pray andmake a plan! Then be flexible!
Let us be Moms who are balanced, loving and wise day-by-dayand step-by-step, setting the example of true self-careto our kids.
How do you put the “me” back in Mom-me?

Steph’swriting has appeared in Proverbs 31 Ministry, P31 Woman magazine.  Inher free time she can be found encouraging numerous MOPS group in thenorthern Virginia area on the “Colorful Art of Friendship – AllowingGod to Paint the Masterpieces” and MOPS leaders on “Being a BrightLight”.

Steph can be found blogging at www.encouragedinheart.org or on Facebook at Stephanie Fink or on her Facebook page Encouraged in Heart – Stephanie Fink.  She loves big hair, big cups of coffee and big bear hugs.

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