Rest, as a Mother, it’s one of those things I always need but can never seem to get.Really, it wasn’t that bad till my third child came along and now I just can’t seem to get a break. I’m constantly on, constantly alert to what the kids are doing, and constantly just trying to keep up.

This Sunday at Church our class was about resting in God and everyone was talking about how they find their place of rest, or their quiet place. Now for some people, that’s just simply finding time for Bible study. For me, being slightly introverted, it means that sometimes, I just need quiet and alone. Do you know how hard quiet and alone is to get with 3 young children? Yep, really hard!

It’s a constant struggle to find that quiet, with 3 young kids, homeschooling my oldest, freelancing from home, and just keeping up with friends, family, kids activities, and other events. Quiet is hard to come by.

First I had to overcome feeling guilty about giving myself some quiet time away from everyone, and I had to give myself permission to just rest, relax, and unwind every so often (that means no cleaning, no working). Some weeks it just works out, the kids go to bed and I get a few hours to myself, other weeks I’m just desperate for quiet time so I put the baby down for his nap and send the girls to their room to play quietly. They have to play with the door shut until I come and get them. Usually, a little over an hour.

The first time I did this I felt bad about shutting them in their room for an hour, but really, after an hour of quiet I felt so much better and was able to get so much more done and engage with my kids so much better that I no longer hesitate when I need some space. I’ve done it enough times, they know the rules. They don’t have to take a nap, they just have to play quietly and get along for an hour. And, usually, when I come get them, they are so busy playing I just poke my head in, tell them they’re allowed to come out now, they say ok, I close the door, and they appear an hour or so later.

Second, I had to learn to be ok with not getting everything done. It’s ok that the kitchen isn’t always clean, the laundry isn’t always done, and my floor looks like a toy factory.

Third, I’m learning the importance of teaching my kids to do things for themselves. My oldest is 5 so there’s obviously a limit to what I can expect the kids to do but we do require that the girls pick up their room every night, and that they take their plates and put them on the counter after dinner. The 5yr old is responsible for feeding the fish every morning. I’m working on teaching them to consistently put away their pjs when they get dressed in the morning, and hang their coats up when they come in the door. Every little bit helps and it’s important for children to learn to be responsible for helping around the house.

And lastly, I’m learning that when I’m taking my time to rest, I need to actually rest. If I’m tired, I need to nap, if I need to think, I need to sit quietly and process through decisions that need to be made, whatever my goal is for my quiet time, I need to focus on it while I have the chance. And there are those days that it just doesn’t work for me, the baby is cranky, the girls argue, or my phone just won’t quit ringing. Those days, I just know when it’s time to give up and I’ll give rest another try when I get the chance.

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