Take Time for Yourself
Being a single mom
It’s hard to be a single mom. You are the loving mom, the breadwinner, the disciplinarian, the doctor, the teacher, the open arms, the cook, the custodian…
When do you get to be you? When do you get to take time for yourself? Is it okay to do so or is it a selfish request?
My daughter and I have no family where I live, so my struggles at times seem overwhelming. There are so many things I’d like to do, or need to do, but can’t unless I get a sitter. I don’t like getting sitters as I worry about what is going on whenever I do. Plus, sitters are expensive! I also feel guilty about being away from her and wondering if she feels that I’m putting other things before her.
This means that I don’t get to do many things that I would enjoy. That part is fine with me. I made a choice and knew that I’d have to give up a lot of luxuries. But, there are things that I feel I need to do, especially when it comes to learning and moving forward in my walk with God. When I’m unable to do those things, that’s when I feel a bit frustrated.
The love I have for my daughter is second only to the love I have for God. She’s my heart and she knows it. I have absolutely no regrets where she is concerned. But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel the stress of being a single mom.
I have the single parent guilt and tend to overcompensate at times. I stay in more than I’d like because I don’t want her to feel like she’s third in my life. If my family was nearby, I wouldn’t feel bad about letting her stay with Nana for a couple of hours while I attended a conference or visited other churches. But since that isn’t the case, I choose to stay in. However, that leaves me feeling a bit dissatisfied.
In my studies, I’ve come across this verse quite a few times in the past couple of weeks.
16 But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.
Luke 5:16 (NASB)
Jesus loved His people, but He would often slip away from the crowds to be alone and pray. To me, that didn’t really relate to my situation. When I want to be alone to pray, I go to my room. I will sometimes cover my head with my scarf when I pray and my daughter knows that I’m praying and will not interrupt. But today, while seeking answers, I also saw this.
31 And He *said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) 32 They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves.
Mark 6:31-32 (NASB)
Jesus told his apostles to come away with Him. They’d done so much and needed to be away from the people. The overall meaning is that they needed time away from others in both cases.
Further searching led to me the following:
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NASB)
I can’t possibly glorify God in a body that is stressed out. I can’t be a good mother to my daughter in a body that’s stressed out. If I don’t take care of myself, that can lead to health issues which would really put us in a bind.
God is so good! He led me directly to where I needed to be today. He also revealed other sources to me in regards to my daughter.
Even as I write this, she is at a friend’s house. They had sleep over and the parents offered to keep her all day so that I can go to church and get things done. This has happened twice! God reminded me of this as I was writing this article. He is just so GOOD!
Single moms, you do need to take time for yourself. Do not feel guilty for doing so. If your body isn’t healthy, your relationships won’t be either!
Sitters are expensive. Look for other options. There are times where I have my daughter and her friend at my house or I take them out for the day. I believe that is why her parents made the offer to me. Do you have a relationship like that? If not, see if you can forge one. Look for other opportunities as well. Maybe there is a family with a teenaged daughter who’d like to earn some extra money but won’t charge as much as a regular sitter. If your family is nearby, ask them if they would watch your child(ren) for a couple of hours so that you can re-energize.
We all need a break or we will break down. I encourage you to take care of yourself. Even if all you do is take a casual stroll, visit a coffee shop, or read in the library. If it’s something you enjoy, it will relax you and let you re-energize, God will give you a way!
Have a blessed day!