Love Your Life: Tangible rewards are good for everyone.

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This is part three of a four-part series about things that I think can help you love your life as MOM a little bit more. For Part 1, go here. Part 2 is here.

Moms Need Treats too

Most of the reward you will see for good mothering will come after your children become parents themselves – or maybe not even until you see God face to face. It is a great job, but it’s often times one where you might not always be recognized for doing your job well. And that’s okay.

God sees. God knows. And that is really important to remind yourself of.

At the same time, there are things that you can do to boost your morale.

For years I heard people talk about “me time” and making sure I “got away” from my family. That always rubbed me wrong. I love my family. I don’t ever want my kids to think I’m running away from them.

But, I did learn not to be afraid to give myself tangible rewards or treats from time to time. My husband was the one to convince me to take a morning off once a week, while he flew solo with the kids. This was years ago, when we had four boys 7 and under.

Yes, really.

fishmama and fishboys

He realized before me that I needed a break, something to look forward to at the end of the week. He sent me away on Saturday mornings. I could do whatever I wanted all by myself. It was amazing. And it was so desperately needed during that season, even if I didn’t really know it.

I would get up as early as I possibly could on Saturday mornings, so I could have more time. Ha!

I don’t need that same break nowadays. Seasons change, and so will your needs and desires, and those of your family. But remember that treating yourself is okay.

I’m not talking about a month in the Bahamas, but simple, practical, doable things that you can do to remind you that you are an individual as well as a wife and mother.

By that I mean:

  • a morning off
  • a bubble bath
  • a dessert you don’t have to share
  • a couple hours at a coffee shop with a friend
  • even buying your favorite DVD and watching it as a special treat. My kids know that Pride and Prejudice is one of my creature comforts and that they can watch along — or leave the room.
  • extended time with God, journaling, dreaming, and praying

Moms need treats every once in awhile. It will do you all a world of good.

What tangible rewards encourage you?

Head over to Part Four in the Love Your Life series.

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  1. I totally agree!!! while it seems so hard sometimes to make time for yourself….if you don’t then it’s very hard to take care of others. I enjoy playing piano or guitar or sometimes I’ll get a massage. These are things that work for me…..might not work for everyone else….just listen to your heart. You can hardly go wrong that way 🙂

  2. Greatest! These days, I have big kids to help with the little ones, so even though the household is more hectic than it was 10 years ago when I had all little ones, I don’t find I need that ‘away’ time quite as much. These days, when I feel I need some ‘mommy time,’ I can usually relax by playing the piano for half hour in the evening or reading the newspaper on the couch.

  3. I like to read (books or emails ) while I drink my tea/milk .no fixed time and the kids know this is my me time .

    What a precious pic for you and the boys , May God bless your family !

  4. Thanks, this is a good idea. I have always been rubbed wrong by the “me time” talks also. It is nice to see someone else felt that same way. I am finding some breaks essential though, especially now that I’m homeschooling and have 5 children. I usually help the kids get their lunch, then disappear into my room at lunchtime for a break. The older kids help the younger ones get anything else they need.

    1. It’s good for us to recharge our batteries. It’s not a trip to the Bahamas with the girlfriends. It’s being able to go to the bathroom alone! 🙂

  5. It is a very hard concept to accept that moms need some time to focus on themselves. As a mom that works out side the home 40 hours a week, I do really hate not spending every other moment the kids are awake with them. However, when I do this for lengthy periods of time, feeling guilty anytime I’m not with them, I notice I get irritated and impatient with EVERYONE!
    I love my work, but I feel it’s similar to being a mom! I’m a sales assistant so I am constantly serving the needs of the staff I support and their clients. All very demanding people (even more than the kids!). Then at home it’s serving the needs of the kids and the husband…at the end of the day/night I kept feeling like I had nothing left of myself. I used to write poetry, draw, read and listen to music. Hubby and I loved the movies and concerts. Becoming parents those things have pretty much faded into the far distant past! I’m too tired to focus on those artsy things. Going out is rare! Partly because we feel guilty leaving them and because we can’t afford both the activity and a babysitter! Yesterday I spent about 2 hours wandering the mall alone and it just feels good! Not because I need to “get away” but because I need time to focus on me. My birthday is coming up so I had a bunch of freebies to pick up and came home with a bunch of stuff that I didn’t even have to pay for! Felt nice…but so does typing up this comment with one finger, since I’ve got my five year old girl cuddled up on my lap! I have learned to recognize when I need a little time to focus on myself before I become a complete witch with a capital B!

    1. I too work outside the home 40 hours a week, so I understand why you might feel guilty not spending every minute with them. I used to as well until my children started school. They are at school all week and they too like to spend some alone time in their bedrooms after school. It was like a bolt of thunder when it struck me: It is not just me! They want me time too! We all need some down time to just rest, rejuvenate and be alone with God. In the long run, I think it makes us better parents.