MEMO: I like my space. I don’t want to be constantly touched. I need quiet.
Unfortunately, my children have not gotten the memo. Several times a week (and sometimes on a daily basis) by the time my husband gets home from work I am all touched out and need peace and quiet. This doesn’t go over very well for my physical-touch-love-language husband who would just like to hold me when he walks through the door.
Now, my kids are good. They aren’t always running around like crazy people, but they are kids. As the day progresses my nerves become more and more tense and my fuse gets shorter and shorter. My requests are simple. All I want is to go 5 minutes without hearing my name and to go to the bathroom by myself without someone needing something or asking a question.
I was able to handle the tension pretty well (on most days) until……my fourth child was born. I distinctly remember one day when I was nursing Jacob and Luke sat on my left side with his back snug up against me. Then Bekah came and sat on my right side with her arms wrapped around my right arm and her legs on top of my legs. I couldn’t move. I literally was surrounded. Now I absolutely love my kids, but it took everything in me not to just scream! My space had been invaded beyond what I could handle.
During the early days of our fourth child’s life, I continued to have frustrating day after frustrating day and my temper was getting shorter. I had to figure out something to do. They were just being kids, good kids, but I needed space.
Then my wonderful husband came to my rescue!! When I was in the nursing every 3 hours in the middle of the night stage he put our lazy boy chair in the corner of our bedroom. He added a pillow, my favorite blanket, and a place to put my drink. It was glorious! I didn’t think about using this space as my retreat area until Nate suggested one day that I go up there to have “5 Minutes of Peace.”
Oh, what a brilliant idea!! We have now trained the kids that when mom is sitting in “The Chair” she is to be left alone. They have been heard saying, “Don’t talk to mom – she is having 5 minutes of Peace.” You know what I also realized – the kids survived when I was gone! I think it was initially hard for me to step away because I felt bad leaving them. I thought, “I should not need to have a break… if I was a good mom.” But that is a lie. Everyone needs a moment to regroup, refocus and just rest. I now use this opportunity to sit, read a book, read my Bible, do a devotional, pray or take a nap.
Sometimes 5 minutes is all I need, sometimes 10, 15 or 30. But if I take the time to do it, the result is a happier, healthier, focused, loving mom. The time away is totally worth it for all that are involved!
Do you have a place for a retreat? Do you use that time to gain strength from the Lord?
Psalm 62:5-8 (NIV) Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.