From the moment we become mothers, our world begins to orbit around our bellies. We consume books, articles, and advice from our friends. Most talk about their birthing experiences or nursing. Yet, how often do we pick thier brains about what it takes to mother day in and day out? Do we ever ask, “How do I keep from losing myself?”

We don’t hear stories about how to discipline a cranky 18 month-old. We hardly ever hear how to balance being a nursing mom to sexy mom in the bedroom. Nor does anyone tell us how to keep our identities from being consumed into all things motherhood. No one told me how I would be counting down the days, weeks and minutes to my getaway in the mountains at a writer’s conference.

As I peeled my kids off me in the airport and brushed my husband’s lips with mine, I couldn’t get on the plane fast enough. As we flew through turbulence and I wondered if I would quite possibly die (If you have been on this plane ride, you would have been filling out your will–trust me), the guilt ate at me.

It was then that I realized, no one ever really taught me to balance motherhood with the rest of me. Have you ever felt that way? We want to be the best mother’s possible, raising children who are godly, successful and well rounded; but what happened to the rest of us? It reminds me of when Jesus put Martha in a time out (Okay, it wasn’t really a time out but he did tell her to chill, to balance priorities with his word). Read the story here: Martha, Mary & Jesus. Martha is annoyed that her sister left all the work of hosting Jesus and his disciples on her shoulders. Mary was found sitting at Jesus’ feet.

Yes there is the daily domestic duties, work, and raising our kids, but if we don’t take time out to refresh ourselves–to enjoy our other passions (including sitting at Jesus’ feet), what are we teaching our kids about us? What are we teaching them about themselves. As I soaked in the presence of God this past weekend, I took long walks to be alone with God, to focus on the weak areas of my heart. As I sat by the fire and reminciesed the view of the snow capped mountians, I realized we need to put ourselves first. No that doesnt mean retail therapy and getting a babysitter. It means to be intentional about ensuring we are balanced in mind and spirit before we can pour ourselves out for our kids.

So it’s back to meditating on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. How do you keep yourself from being lost in motherhood? How do you balance your passions, God, and life itself?

28 thoughts on “Mama Go Ahead, Take a Time Out”


  2. That’s a tough one. I try to get up early for time with my Bible and hopefully some exercise in there somewhere, but I also had to learn that it’s okay to put myself in time out, just as I would them. Sometimes I need to step back from things, breathe, pray through something, and go back to the situation in a few minutes with a clearer perspective. Few things really need to be dealt with that very minute, and giving myself time to look at the big picture sometimes keeps me feeling like a mom and not like a crazy person.

  3. I hear ya! Its hard to juggle home life and me-life. I know that’s not really a word 😉 my husband is faithful in giving me some mommy time at least twice a month. I go to the movies with a girlfriend or get my hair done. Sometimes just a browse through the bookstore or crafting is what I do. It keeps me sane!

    1. I think that its wonderful he sees your need and helps you! Its important to be able to communicate those needs with him. Dineen Miller shared with me this morning some of her books she has written. She has several on marriage. Here is her site:

    1. Loremil, I have so been there and still am some days. Jesus often took time outs to be alone. He set a great example for us. Hurry Less Worry Less for Families” and “Hurry Less Worry Less for Moms by Judy Christie is another good read. I love having extra books to read on hand, dont you?

  4. I try to get to a ladies Bible study once a week. Thanks to Daddy for helping me recharge since I stay with my baby during church in the nursery and miss service just about every week. Without that few hours out I’d be so overwhelmed and crazy!!

  5. Just this morning the enemy used loved ones to cause a minor tremor & shake up at our home, and I find myself saying “Mama Needs a Time Out!”

    I needed a time out of the frustration, and anger and a “Time In with Jesus”. Heather your post, “5 Simple Ways to Defuse The Angry Mom Syndrome” is the cup of tea I needed today, or perhaps I should say it was the vitamin supplement. Thank You so much. ♥ Anissa

  6. My kids are pretty self sufficient as they are all teen or preteen age so I get more time now than I use too but I do pray for those whom I know have small children, your life does meld into your kids needs, wants, desires, dreams, etc. and we have to be careful of this because as they get older and become independent, they need us less and if we have not established personal mommy time out to “do our own thing” then we will have no idea what to do when we are not “needed” anymore. This is such an important (but all too often ignored) subject. Moms , please realize the importance of personal time, not just for immediate sanity lol but also for when that time comes that you have more personal time whether you want it or not!!! Thank you Heather for this discussion today … it is certainly one I will be sharing with others!!!

  7. I am loving your discussion on Moms Together today! I am a SAHM of two boys- ages 5 & 3. My youngest has Spina Bifida and many other special needs. So today’s topic is right on the money! Sometimes between all of the sleepless nights, overwhelming doctor appointments, therapies, parenting and being a wife -while taking care of the home, I tend to lose sight of what’s really important! So, thank you!

  8. Thank you for this post! We really don’t talk about a lot of the real struggles of motherhood – postpartum depression, issues with nursing, discipline, and as you said balance. I am so thankful for the MT group for sharing blogs like this with me so I know I am not alone!

    1. Misty, isn’t MT great. I love going there daily for encouragement, advice and to know that my sanity is just like every other moms!

  9. I ask myself this very question often! I was a working mom until about a year and a half ago. My days (and evenings) consist of laundry, dishes, running kids here and there… I do try to have a girls night with some friends occasionally, but we always end up talking about kids, husbands, etc. I feel like I’m just so-and-so’s mom, so-and-so’s wife. I need to really try to prioritize my time with Jesus and not lose myself. Your book sounds amazing and I’ve enjoyed reading your posts on FB today at Mom’s Together!

    1. Thanks Julie, I know its so hard sometimes. I struggled with that when I first began staying home.

  10. Thank you for the reminder. As a single mom of four (ages 6, 5, 4, and 2 months) it is very easy to let myself use the excuse of being too busy. I know I definantly need to spend some time on me, and especially with God.

  11. This seems to be exactly what I need to read right now. I think that in order to be great mothers, we have to learn how to take care of ourselves. At least at my house, if I am not 100%, then some things suffer. Whether it be dishes, laundry or whatever. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband who doesn’t mind picking up the slack, but its my job, my place in our family to make he household run. Taking time fir oneself, can give you that needed boost to get back in track. What a wonderful bloc!

  12. As a fairly new Christian, the whole idea of submitting and accepting that He is the one in control has been a bit daunting. Reading your story confirms to me that no matter the circumstances, you can be at peace in the midst of Motherhood chaos. Thank you for the reminder 🙂

  13. Thank you all for stopping by today. It was so much fun to chat and get to know each of you and your mama hearts. I look forward to having each of you stop back often. You have blessed my heart today.

    1. Im glad Anna. When my kids were little, and I was up 2, 3, or 4 times a night, I was too tired to be up early. So naptime became my time out. 🙂

  14. This is where I am at. I have five children (11, 7, 5, 3, and 1) and find it difficult to not get caught up in the busyness. I have asked God for his guidance, direction, and to make the time I have more effective. I am realizing that I have put myself last in line far too much and have bordered on self neglect. This means I am not as capable as a parent as I could be. I am learning to stop and enjoy the moments with my children, to slow down and focus, that it’s okay to call and talk to someone when I need adult conversation, that TV for a small amount of time while I read my Bible isn’t going to kill my kids, etc. I’m learning that it is okay to say “You need to wait a minute, Mommy needs a chance to breathe” and that hubby looking after the children once in a while is fine. This is all very recent though. I wish I was more aware of how to balance life with my first four children!

    1. Hi Amanda, it took many failures and lessons like yours for me to ‘get’ the fact we need a time out, we need those moments with God. The sooner we get that through our heads the better for our hearts!

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