I know it is very difficult to remember to take care of yourself as a mother. In fact, one Mother’s Day, my son gave me a card that said, “Don’t forget to eat!” I have it hanging on my bulletin board as a reminder.
I was reading in the book of Acts in the Bible one day and Paul was admonishing the Christians to, “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.” (Acts 20:28) This made me think about how we do need to fill ourselves up first so we have something to give to others in our care. This doesn’t just apply to mothers, but to anyone in any kind of ministry or position of caring for others. Those of us in this kind of service are usually very giving, unselfish people who can easily give on empty. It is so much better to give out of a place of fullness though.
I’m sure you have heard the analogy of putting on your own oxygen mask first before you help someone else with theirs. The point being, that if you pass out from lack of air, you are not going to be in any shape to save someone else! I really struggle with self-care feeling self-ish. What I try to think about is how I treat my kids: I make sure they get regular meals, doctor appointments, time for recreation, and an education. Why would I deserve less? Why would you?
The great thing is that as I do take time to “fill” myself up, I have so much more patience and emotional space for those God has entrusted me with. So oddly enough, self-care turns out to be one of the most unselfish things we can do!
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.” Psalm 81:10