this is why moms need a life outside of their kids

My Instagram account portrays the part of my life that I want my audience to see, but just like every other person on social media, there is more to my life –  and it doesn’t revolve around my kids.

I love my kids, but there has to be a life outside of them.

I learned the hard way that keeping myself from going out or spending time away may have made me feel sad and guilty initially, but it was really what was best for me as a mother in the long run.

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I’m not a stay-at-home mom. I work part-time, enjoy tending to flowers in my yard, and write on the side. There is more to everyone than what meets the eye of social media.

There is so much pressure to keep a perfect house, plan the Pinterest-worthy birthday parties, dress to the latest fashion, and homeschool your kids. I feel it, and I’m sure you have at some point too. I try really hard to do all those things, but the hard truth is that we weren’t created to strive for perfection to the point that we burn out!

We were created in the image of a God whose Craftsmanship cannot be surpassed. His creations are wonderfully made. We are wonderfully made – right now, just as you are right now! His grace despite what I can’t do gives me hope as a mother, as a wife, and as a woman in this difficult world.

Sure, sometimes I still feel like I need to be super mom. But my I know my kids love me despite my ability to make awesome looking cakes. There is still a part of me that cries inside when I can’t do something perfect the first time, or when I feel like I don’t fit it. But, at the end of the day, friend? There is some One who looks at us lovingly and is still proud of us.

I will always try to be the best mother I can be to my kids, but my life doesn’t revolve around them. And I wouldn’t want it to!

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I want my kids to see me as a well-rounded mother. They should see me as a mother, but also as a woman. They should see me for the kind of wife I am to their father, and what kind of friend I am to those around me. I want them to learn how to be a good neighbor, and a supportive, law-abiding citizen by looking at the kind of person I am. If my life revolves solely around them and their desires (not their needs, their wants) it makes it hard to focus on the bigger picture.

My kids fill up 2/3 of my heart, they really do. I would do anything for them, right up to sacrificing my life for theirs if it came to it. But mamas, we can’t lose sight of ourselves in the midst of mothering.

I am saying this to myself as much as I am saying it to you. It’s hard. Sometimes it involves sacrificing parts of the family schedule so that you can have some time to yourself. It’s not selfish! Wouldn’t you tell a student to take a break from their work if they were stressed to their wits end? Wouldn’t you encourage a friend to step away from something that was burning them out, just for a few minutes?

Loving yourself reflects in the way you love your children. When you are refreshed, you’re less likely to lose your temper, you can focus better, and your mood is improved which helps pretty much everything else in your life.

Today is a new day. Let’s start fresh, beginning with the way we see ourselves.

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