|Falls Park, Greenville, SC|
I sat for a long time watching this small waterfall, a short walk downstream from a larger one. I absolutely love waterfalls (side note: my husband proposed in front of a waterfall during a hike).
Those 48 hours of time to myself (and later with a couple friends) made the entire week that followed a little better. It was indeed intense and difficult - but with a time of refreshing behind me, I faced it a with a bit more strength.
I've been a stay at home mom since the very beginning. I rarely get out to do much more than make a grocery run after my husband is home. There are many dynamics behind the reasons for this, none of them are selfish on other people's parts, nor are they martyr-like for me. It's simply a reality in my life. On top of that, I have always believed that my kids are my responsibility and often felt guilty for leaving them in someone else's care.
What I missed along the way was the realization that if I keep running on empty, I have nothing to offer any more. That works for all areas of life: spiritual and emotional specifically come to mind.
It's not easy to find uninterrupted time in my house - even at night a toddler finds more hours of sleep in my bed than her own. If I wake early, someone inevitably needs me and if they call out loudly while I'm downstairs more people wake and need me. If I shower for more than seven-ish minutes, there is often a small person popping their head into the bathroom with a question, complaint or need. (The same applies to the potty.)
This affects spending time with the Lord, with the need for a good cry, with the need to finish a phone call, with writing (you don't want to know how many times I've gotten up during the writing of this post!).
My conclusion was that I need more time away. If I'm lucky, a weekend (or long day) once a month. Even every six weeks would be wonderful. If I can do this, I will have a chance to build up my reserves again, to dwell on the things of God, to laugh heartily, to follow my whim as I explore somewhere at my own pace. I will have the chance to relax and renew and refresh.
I wonder how many other moms have that need. I'm wondering especially if there is a way to help create that opportunity for them. An inexpensive getaway for one day, one night, perhaps two...? Something without an agenda, with discounts built in (for lunch, a shared hotel room, maybe a tour or one activity). I would love to find a way to create an affordable getaway for moms. Would you take one if you had someone to watch your kids for the day (my husband does that in my case)?
What stops you from getting away?
What would help make it a reality?