All I can say is that if you plan on having a large family or already have one, you better learn to relax quickly.We recently got to go camping overnight with some friends. I was strategic and left my 6 year old, who is not a fan of the great outdoors, and my 2 year old, who is well, 2, with my sister. That left me with only five kids. (My oldest is on a mission trip right now and my husband had to work.) I was cautiously optimistic. The two older boys are seasoned Boy Scout campers so I left the packing of equipment up to them. The two girls are fairly self-sufficient, so the only one that could have been challenging was my 4 year old little guy.
We ended up having a great day and that evening my friends took a few of the kids out on the boat. The other children were playing nicely, the sun was setting over the lake. The fire was crackling at my feet as I sat in front of it. It was amazing, I got 60 WHOLE seconds to relax. It was beautiful. Then children came back to chat by the fire.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, but when you have child-chaos around you most of the day it is very important to try to find a minute here and there to just take a breath. There are quite a few types of exercise regimens that teach you how to relax quickly, or breathe deeply. I think the reason they teach some of those before you have a baby is not so much for the delivery, but for the next 18 to 20 years of raising your child!
It was really wonderful to get to spend some time outdoors camping by the lake, but I can’t always wait for those kind of opportunities to relax. The great thing is in Exodus 33:14, God promises, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” That means wherever we are at, with however many kids! Right now some things I am doing to take a minute to breathe are: stepping outside for a couple minutes while the children are starting to clean up from a meal; watering my garden by myself in the morning; going out in the evening and watering my patio plants. The tricky thing about even stepping away for a minute is “Mommy guilt” kicks in fairly quickly. Don’t feel guilty! We moms give so much all the time that we will not make it if we don’t take a little break every now and then.
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
What are some ways you take 60 seconds to relax? I would love to hear some of your ideas! Also, next week I will tell you how my four year old did camping…