I am a stay at home mother of three cute little curly haired boys. They make me laugh everyday. I am so grateful that God chose me to be their Mommy. I love seeing them smile and watching them act out action scenes from their favorite super hero movies. And I just…….I just need a moment!
Ok so here’s the amazing thing about being a stay at home mom: it will drive you crazy if you let it! Facts! Don’t let Linda the amazing pastry chef mom who’s Insta looks like an editorial spread have you fooled. Her hair does not look like that most days. As amazing as being able to be at home with my boys is, I now know I need some Mommy Time.
Let’s back this up… Last year was really tough for us. It was truly the best of times and the worst of times. We were in a new city where we knew no one and surprise to us, my husband would be on travel every other week and I would be by myself a lot. I always say how awesome Single Parents are, because they do it all, and often by themselves. Blessed are we that have family and a significant other who helps us with our children.
Anywho… There I was by myself caring for my three boys, sun up to sun down, doing my mommy thang, and doing what my husband usually does. Even when he was in town I was determined to be the wife and mother who did it all! I am not only a stay at home mother of a 5, 3, and 1 year old; I work from home, homeschool, and am in school myself sometimes! I took zero breaks! Breaks are for the weak I thought. I’m supposed to be the strong black woman, a woman who can handle it all. After all, at least I have a man, and at least I have the option to stay at home. I was a flickering light that soon burned out.
Fast forward…what is Mommy Time, and why do you need it? Mommy Time is a moment in your day, week, month, that you take to exhale. In that time you do whatever makes you happy and allows you to fully relax. Take a nap, pray, read, paint, hit up Target, go on a HGTV adventure on your couch with some ice cream imagining you’re one of those people with the huge budget who apparently have some made up job that we all wish we did. Mommy Time for me is a moment to be girly. I live in a house full of boys, and as much as I love to wrestle, play video games, and run outside; I need some time to let my wrists hang!
I go to the nail salon, go shopping in all the stores I know my kids would get kicked out of (by me), I eat treats I don’t have to share, and sometimes I get that good on ya belly nap under the covers with rain sounds playing in the background. Now, all this is awesomesauce, buuutttt the guilt.
I remember writing an article a few years ago about Mom Guilt. It’s so real and we all feel it. It is, as if I’m not staring in my kids faces at all times while folding laundry and stirring a pot, I’m sucking as a mother. Know this: the time you take to better yourself and rest your mind, is refining the quality of time you will spend with your kids and husband. After a bowl of cereal I’m ready to sing all the Nick Jr. theme songs for my boys. After my nails are did, I’m ready to… well I do have 3 kids…
Hey you momma, make it a priority to take some time off for you. You are not being selfish, your kids will survive (as my husband likes to remind me), and you do not have to feel guilt or shame in your exhale moment. Whether you are a working parent, single parent, or married; take time. Schedule your Mommy Time right now and let me know how it went!
For many years I’ve heard people speak on the importance of conquering our fears. I thought to conquer a fear meant to take something you’re afraid of doing, and simply do it. So that’s what I would do. The problem was and still is, I’m still pretty scared of those same things. The fear is still there. How can that be? I fear singing in front of people, I was on a Praise Team for years. I fear showing my thighs in shorts, I rocked shorts all summer long. I fear starting my blog and videos, I’ve done it before!
How can I fear something that I’ve conquered? I recently realized I never dealt with the true fear, only the product of my fears. I’m not afraid of singing in front of people, I have fear of failure. I’m not afraid of showing my thighs, I have fear of judgement. I’m not afraid of writing and videography, I fear not being good enough. For so long I would never announce my fear. I would just hold it in and ignorantly believe, if I don’t say it, its not true! Um….yeah… Wake up to reality girl!
As brave and full of faith I am, I also recognize I’m holding onto a lot of fear. Fear that came from somewhere. Where? When did it all start? These are just a few of the questions I had to ask myself so that I could finally reach my freedom that I cling on to today.
Here’s my raw moment: When I was a little girl I had no fear of failing. I believed that I had gifts inside of me, and God gave me my unique name, because one day the world would need my gifts. I loved singing and dancing, and pretty much anything that involved music. Until one day… One day someone gave a harsh critique to my singing. Someone who’s opinion of me mattered so much. From that day on, I always second guessed my singing, and feared being a let down to those listening. It was the same story for the shorts. After hearing people I admired talk badly about women with thick thighs in shorts, I figured I too would be on their talk list. I began to fear being judged by people. Then with the blog and videos, I’ve had small success on my previous uploads and work, but not at the level I would have liked. I struggle with the comparison trap; fearing I won’t be as good as others. Before I began my site I thought, what if no one sees and likes my work?
The thing that’s so crazy that just hit me as I’m typing is, the things that bring me so much joy, I fear to do! Straight crazy! I had a moment last year while I was driving to some local shops. I began to laugh. There I was driving on the highway, giggling in my car to myself…. I’m a little off, I know ;) I was having a conversation with God thanking Him for bringing me to a place of joy that I fought so hard for. Fear had me so bound and in a place of hopelessness. Then what joy is came to me: Joy is not internalizing external things. <—- Read that statement over a few times.
With the history of the fears I listed above I had internalized external things and it robbed me of my joy and gave me fear instead. I allowed others opinions to become my truths. To conquer fear you first must dig to the root of it, and snatch that sucker up! God has shown me the truth in the scripture, “…In thy presence is fulness of joy.” (Psalm 16:11) The more time I spend in His presence, the more I am filled with joy, and the more fear leaves me. I am more than a conqueror through Christ who strengthens me, and I will be strong and very courageous, because perfect love casts out fear, for God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind!