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Mommy Time: A Privilege Or A Right? {Thrive @ Home Thursday}

It has come to my attention that many mothers, myself included at times, feel that getting away from the kids once in awhile is a right.  It is something that is owed to us.

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When I recently found this mindset in myself, I was a bit appalled. Not because it’s sinful, necessarily, but it can easily lead to a wrong attitude toward my daughter and my husband.

Have you ever caught yourself getting upset with your children because they won’t leave you alone or need you often? Or perhaps you’ve been angry at your husband because he gets to leave the house to go to work and you’re stuck at home with the kids. Hateful and discontented thoughts begin to creep in.

“Can’t I just make dinner in peace one in awhile?”
“Is the baby crying again?!?”
“Why can’t he watch the kids on his day off so I can have a day off?”

Surely I’m not the only mama that struggles with this at times.

Please realize that I am not saying that moms don’t need to get out once in awhile. I think getting out of the house is helpful in allowing women to rest and re-charge a bit in order to better serve their family. However, I think it is important to view “mommy time” as a privilege, not a right.

Philippians 2:3-5 says,

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interest of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.”

Let us strive to take care of the needs of our family with a heart of humility, so that our mommy time will truly be a blessed privilege.

Do you believe mommy time is a right or privilege?

 

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Thrive @ Home ThursdayThrive @ Home Thursday is a link-up for women in all seasons of life to encourage one another to thrive–not just survive–at home!

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About Jenni Mullinix

Jenni is a writer who passionately strives to encourage and equip Christian women to live for the glory of God by fulfilling their call in every season of life. She is happily married to the love of her life and delights in being a stay-at-home mama. She is fascinated with all things domestic and strives to live a life of Gospel-centered simplicity. In her free time, she enjoys deep conversations, decaf lattes and diving into a good book. Read more...

Comments

  1. Very interesting post, Jenni. I am a huge proponent of “Me time” not in a selfish way, but in a needed way. I totally agree that Mommy-Time is a privilege, not a right… and we have to guard our hearts to let it be something we enjoy and look forward to, but not as a source of bitterness or resentment to our family.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts– be blessed today sister!

    • Sharita, I definitely agree that “mommy time” is much needed once in awhile! I always feel refreshed and renewed after having some time to myself. Thank you for your comment!

  2. I believe it is definitely a privilege! Great message here. In our society, we tend to get so caught up in what we believe are our “rights”. I can’t find too much about my rights in Scripture. As you pointed out, the Bible calls us to serve which often requires sacrifice.

    Mary Beth

  3. I believe it’s a privilege. We don’t have family nearby and I find I do not get very many mommy breaks. However, I believe it’s helped me over the years. I’ve learned to appreciate them. I also give them to other moms like myself. I find now that I benefit greatly because I have little ones around that consider me a second mom or an aunt. God amazes me. :)

  4. I agree with you. It is not wrong to want and even need time for ourselves, yet we’ve got to be careful that the desire does not lead to a sense of entitlement. This is my sacrifice and I believe God will provide everything I need, including the time I need. It’s definitely a privilege in my eyes.

    • You are so right, Theresa. God WILL provide for our needs, whether it is time away or strength to keep serving. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  5. Mommy Time certainly helps me be a better wife and mommy. I struggle with a poor attitude about it especially in the summer when the Hubs is home and on “vacation.” I am still doing what I do every day and watching him sleep in and rest (which he desperately needs to do!). Rather than looking at this as a way to serve and love my husband, I often see it as a way that I am getting “the shaft.” Oh, Lord – change my heart!

  6. I agree it is a privilege, but I think it should also be a priority. We need to be recharged too! When my husband is working a lot or traveling, I try to work in a time with a babysitter or switch off with another mom friend.

    BUT, it is definitely a privilege and if I’m not careful, like you suggest, Jenni, I can let bitter thoughts develop and become frustrated with my children.

  7. I think it’s a privilege, but it’s also a necessity. I’m a better mother when I’ve had time to myself. That’s not meant in a selfish way, but a way that lets me recharge and regroup.

  8. My husband is very good about getting me out of the house for some me-time each week. It’s great for the whole family when I am refreshed.

  9. I’m with Laura, it is both. Everyone needs time to themselves now and then, and oftentimes mothers forget that (which is what leads to the build-up of frustration that screams, “CAN’T I JUST COOK IN PEACE!!!”) I find that having at least an hour a week scheduled where I can be alone (even if it’s to do the grocery shopping) helps me to be a better wife and mother.

    • Alone time is important for recharging for sure. I try to use nap times as my “mommy time” once in awhile instead of working. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Charlie!

  10. So glad I found this through Jen’s link up. You are a WISE mama! I agree that when I begin to think of MY time as a right, I grow crabby and critical. Just yesterday I had the PRIVILEGE of meeting another precious mom over lunch and I returned to my five kids with such joy that my firstborn offered to “send me off again tomorrow” ! Time away does wonders- but DEMANDING time away just creates distress. Blessings to you from a mom in Iowa!

  11. So very true! I’ve found myself thinking this way at times. I try to always remind myself that if I get up early I will get some “mommy time”. That has been what I’ve been doing now for almost 2 months and I love it! Thanks for sharing this “tough” subject ;) Blessings!

    • I have been trying to get up earlier as well, however we still aren’t sleeping through the night so it doesn’t happen as much as I would like. Thanks for your comment!

  12. Nichole says:

    Solitude is an important spiritual discipline, as Jesus modeled. So Mommy time is a priority and a privelege.

  13. I think Paul’s perspective at the end of Philippians can be made our own as mothers: that we have learned the secret of contentment, whether with alone time or without…I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • So true, Ruth! I am so thankful that we serve a God that equips us to do what He calls us to. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  14. love this! i actually wrote a guest post touching on the same issue recently. it’s something good to think through.

  15. great thoughts. I agree with the comments-priority and privilege. Balance-not bitterness.=) Thanks for linking up to my party!

  16. I think you should do what makes you happy, and if it makes you happy then find a way to make time for it, period. Although it sounds like you maybe a bit busier than I. Whatever you choose, good luck.

  17. Mommy time is needed but, it is a privilege to be able to ask someone to take over for you. Many women don’t have the luxury of leaving their children with someone responsible. I frequently struggle with the desire for me time but, the guilt of leaving my son with someone else.

    • I can definitely sympathize with you there! My daughter will not stay with anyone yet. I have learned to work around naptime and bedtime when I need a break. Thanks for sharing!

  18. I really appreciated this post. This has been turning around in my mind lately after some conversations I’ve heard/had. I actually agree with you, especially the part about this shaping our attitudes towards our family. Thanks for sharing!

    • It can be difficult to put our family’s needs ahead of our own sometimes, but I believe God will bless our efforts as we strive to bring Him glory in all we do. Thanks for your comment, Ande!

  19. Great post! I am about to enter motherhood any day now (baby was due yesterday!), and I know already that this will be a struggle for me. I pray the Lord will change my heart and give me grace to mother my children in love and not selfishness!

    • Hoping for an easy delivery and quick recovery. You are embarking on a wonderful journey and I am so excited for you! Motherhood will change you in so many ways, but I pray that the joy it brings you will outweigh the difficult times. Cherish each moment, remembering that each stage (both the good and the bad) are only here for a short time. :)

  20. Wow…this is definitely a thought-provoking post. I appreciated it in a BIG way. Sometimes its hard being a mommy…or being a wife for that matter but then I think “God is using these people in my life to sharpen and refine me. It looks like they are doing their work.” Ha! Thanks for linking up to Titus 2 Tuesday. Hope to see you again this week.

    Kathy

  21. I have many thoughts on this issue. I remember as a new mom when I told my husband I needed a break this was mind boggling to him. He apparently thought I was a strong woman who really did not need anything. Then he shared with a family member that I asked him to give me a break for a couple of hours. I was given a thoroughly guilt producing lecture about how selfish I was for asking for a break. I was also told that now that I was a mom I no longer was allowed to have any needs of my own. Let me say it was a long time before I asked for a break again. My husband had sever epilepsy at the time, his cognitive function had deteriorated significantly, I had an infant, and my husband had formerly been part of owner of a business that failed and left us with a big amount of debt. So I had tons of stress. Then had another baby. Then four years ago my husband had brain surgery and has been seizure free ever since. His cognitive function has become the best it has ever been in his life. He was not able to find work so he ended up starting a business. I continued working while he was building the business to the point it could take care of us. I did not take care of myself and my needs did not get met. I emotionally deteriorated until I became suicidal (I share more about this on my blog). I left the work force even thought the business had not grown to the point we had agreed upon before I made this move– we decided that some things are more important than money. It was scary to make this move before we had planned, but God has taken care of us. My husband’s cognitive abilities continue to get better and better. He now understands that I need time to rest and recharge. He makes it a priority. Before this experience I would have said me time is a priviledge. Now however we approach it as a right. So we make sure it is included in our family’s life as if it is my right. That way we make sure it happens. BTW, once I came home to be with my children and started some of my own healing process I am now a whole lot better. Me time is important– take it from someone who did not get it.

    • Charity, I definitely think that mommy time is needed at times–especially in a difficult situation such as yours. I think it is important to find a balance as extremes to either side can be harmful to ourselves and our families in the end. Thank you for sharing your story!

  22. What an interesting topic to think on. As a mom of a little boy, I do admit that I appreciate the occasional time to myself because I have that sort of personality that craves time alone and balance in relation to the time I spend with others. But I recognize that as a mother, this may not always be possible for me and that my family and son NEED to come first. I don’t think it is a right but a privilege for sure. This has been an area of challenge for me and an area that I hope God is working on in me. Eventually I hope to have a more generous spirit in regards to time. :)

  23. I think it is a privilege. When I think of it like this it helps motivate me to get things done. I will say to myself, “If I get this done then I can have a tea break.” Thanks for sharing this at Mom’s Library!

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