8 Ways Moms Can Stay Emotionally Replenished Through Every Mothering Season
1) Discover the exact things that fill you up in this season.
Often the answer to what fills you up is the opposite of what you have too much of in this season.
For example, when I was a nursing mom and a mom of toddlers, I had little people who physically needed me day in and day out. That’s why it was important for me to physically take breaks away from my kids whenever I was able.
Now my kids are a bit older and they’re quite noisy (believe it or not, tweens, teens and even preschoolers can be louder than babies!) and I am busy helping them with their school and extracurricular activities. So what fills me up is silence, stillness and being able to create beauty on my own (writing is a big part of that).
Friend, we’ll never ever be able to do everything that we consider “restful” in every season. Unfortunately, that is part of the sacrifice of mothering!
However, I challenge you to come up with a variety of things that would bring you replenishment and that are realistic for this mothering season. Think out of the box and don’t worry if they’re the “right” things or not. They need to be what fills you up, not someone else.
2) Find the stolen moments (and protect them).
“Stolen moments” are those brief breaks in the day where you can build in those restful activities. Depending on your season, it may look like:
- Reading a devotional and praying for the first 10-15 minutes of naptime
- Getting up a few minutes before the kids do in the morning to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee
- Taking a daily walk around the neighborhood to put the baby to sleep in the stroller
- Sitting outside in the fresh air for 10 minutes while the kids do some independent schoolwork
- Taking a hot bubble bath two nights a week after the kids are in bed
Those are precious times, friend. Those are needed times. They must be scheduled, protected and fought for. Truly.
We’re not going to get a week away at a fancy spa (which is probably what we all really need!), but regularly scheduled stolen moments (doing things that fill your soul) can make a world of difference.
3) Learn simple in-the-moment replenishment techniques.
There are those times when you feel like you’re going to lose your mind. I totally get that.
You can’t wait for your “scheduled” time because, well, it’s been an insane day and are pretty sure you’re going to transform from mom to Mamba if you don’t have a good three seconds to yourself… like, right now.
Lisa Grace Byrne of Well-Grounded Life has taught me much in this area. In her Replenish 365 course, she teaches several practical calming techniques that physically turn on the calm response in our brains and turn off the stress. I find myself using these all the time, and I’m convinced every mom needs to learn these and have them in her back pocket.
P.S. Replenish 365 is a life-changing, year-long course full of wisdom and practical insight like these. I can’t tell you how much this course has impacted my journey as a mom! Lisa not only gave me the tools to find rest, but she gave me the permission to finally make it a part of my everyday.
Learn more about the course here (registration is only open through the end of January).
4) Be aware of how media plays a role in your free time.
Alright, don’t throw tomatoes at me, but I need to state the obvious: we all probably spend too much time in front of a screen, and this alone hinders our ability to find authentic soul rest.
This is something I have to keep on top of all the time. It’s very easy, especially after a tough mothering day to just want to completely check out in front of a screen. TV and social media have their place (some days we do need to know that life does exist outside these four walls!), but they can easily become a rest-stealer instead of a rejuvenator.
I’m not saying we need to completely eliminate screen time; I’m just encouraging you to consider how much “rest time” you spend in front a device. Because you and I both know that screens (whether big or little) can very quickly make us lose all track of time.
You may consider taking a break from television or social media for a time. Or maybe you take a break from it on certain nights of the week so that you can concentrate on those things that will truly fill up your soul.
I’m not asking you to give up your Netflix binge watching or those days when you need to escape into Facebook for longer than you know you should. But the question to consider is, “How does screen time habitually fit into your life?” Speaking of habits…
5) Rethink your daily habits.
Habits are the tiny steps that take us where we will end up.
If we want to lose 20 pounds this year, the habit of working out every weekday brings us closer to our desired goal. At the same time, the habit of a drinking a sugary, caffeinated drink three days a week takes us further from our weight loss goals.
I know this is not a new concept (in fact, it’s quite obvious).
But it’s worth pointing out that little, repeated investments in anything produce a result.
Therefore, if we want to sustain a restful, replenished spirit, then we can’t look to rest as a short-term fix. It must become a lifestyle sustained by little habits (go back to step one to see what those habits could be for this season).
Of course habits are hard to form and to sustain! But how important is your sanity and peace? How important is it to you to mentally maintain a sense of order in the crazy child-rearing years?
6) Clearly define your why, and passionately fight for it.
I’m guessing you probably don’t go to bed each night without practicing the habit of brushing your teeth, right? You and I have great reasons for keeping up this habit (teeth that don’t fall out, decent-smelling breath, etc) and so it’s a no-brainer. When we get ready for bed, we brush our teeth.
Find your why behind your need for rest. What kind of a mom, wife and friend could you be if you’ve cultivated the habit of rest? Future pace yourself in that position and really experience the emotions behind it. How different could your life be?
Here’s another example: I don’t enjoy working out, and I never have. Seriously, if someone could promise me a fit body and those same endorphins from cleaning toilets for an hour a day, I would happily do so.
However, I get up every weekday morning at 4:30 a.m. and work out, but not for the workout itself. I do it because I notice a remarkable change in my attitude, energy and creative flow for the rest of the day. On those days when I think, “Ugh… I don’t want to work out!” I do it anyway because I know how much better I will feel for the rest of the day.
Thirty minutes of sweat somehow equals better fitting clothes and a much happier me, so I continue to practice the habit. That’s the kind of “why” I want you to find behind establishing a habit of regularly schedule rest.
7) Live for more than the now.
Remember when I was telling you about the two big secrets to making rest a regular part of your life? This is the first one, and it is life-changing. Truly.
You were created with a purpose. You are more than just a mom, but you are a person with a soul and a reason for being on this earth.
True, right now, a big part of that purpose is to be the best mom and wife you can be. But ultimately, you were created as God’s child with a purpose and destiny that far extends these child-rearing years.
From an eternal perspective, everything you’re going through right now (the good, the bad and the ugly) is a gift offering to you. Now, if you’re going through a difficult horrible situation right now, please understand that I’m not saying that the pain is a gift. I’m saying that every opportunity we go through is a chance to allow God to ultimately transform us into the women we long to be.
What does this have to do with staying rested and replenished? Everything, because often replenishment, rest (and ultimately acceptance) come when we can step back from the trees to see the forest.
We get so caught up in the day to day, and regular rest through quiet times with God bring a calm and bigger perspective that is unmatched by anything else.
I highly encourage you to learn more about what it means to have a deep, intimate relationship with the One who is the source of all rest (here’s 5 practical ways to do that).
8) Get support and community.
Dude, this is not easy stuff. There’s a reason why so many of us struggle to keep rest and replenishment a priority in our lives.
It takes self commitment, yes. But it also takes a supportive team behind you.
And that’s secret number two.
That’s why Replenish 365 really is a wonderful resource. Replenish 365 is a year-long course with weekly videos, assignments and an incredibly supportive Facebook community that allows you to easily and gently begin making these changes in your life.
Along with learning to cultivate authentic, habitual rest, Replenish 365 delves deep into other important aspects for a fully cared-for soul.
If you’re tired of just getting through the day, Replenish 365 may be exactly what you need. When I went through the course 3 years ago, I couldn’t believe how much it resonated with me on a deep level. I was much more depleted than I thought, and Replenish 365 was the tool that brought lasting change.
The community is warm, and what Lisa teaches is truly revolutionary. I would recommend it to every woman!
Learn more about Replenish 365 and get your questions answered here.
P.S. Members have lifetime access to the materials and community, so I will be going through parts of Replenish 365 again this year! I can’t tell you how this investment in myself has paid off in dividends, and I look forward to seeing how the material will continue to transform me into the woman I want to be!
I’d love for you to join me! Learn more about this limited-time opportunity here (registration closes Jan 28).
You are worth it, and your family deserves a well-rested mama! While I pray that what we’ve talked about here is helpful, I know that you will learn exponentially more in Replenish 365!
Join me and let’s discover deeper levels of rest together!