Finding Real Rest as a Mom

Modern moms are tired. Tired. Although I could try to state it as eloquently as possible, the bottom line is that this tiredness transcends the need for physical rest. This tiredness has been referred to as the mental load, it has been explored in relation to division of household chores, and it, no doubt, fuels the never-ending conversation surrounding sleep training. Whichever direction the conversation takes, its many voices seem to call for one thing: rest.

The general definition is easy enough: “to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.” The second given definition (what did we ever do before Google?) caught my eye – “to be placed or supported so as to stay in a specified position.” I like the idea of embracing rest in a way that “places us and supports” us in mothering is a healthy and sustainable way – something vitally needed.

So, the question is, “What does this look like played out in the daily?” Although I by no means have the answer to this question, here are a few things that I’m learning.

Find Your Own Unique “Style” 

When it comes to recharging your batteries as a mom, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

After one-too-many sessions of acting like a “mombie,” zoning out on social media at the end of a long day, I’m realizing that inactivity isn’t really restful for me. I need to rest in a way that uniquely fits me. Personally, this means doing something that gives my heart a chance to “catch up.”

I often feel like I’m charging forward in life, while my heart runs behind me, trying to catch up. Journaling and physical movement provide much-needed space to “metabolize” emotion, so-to-speak, so that I can face life with clarity. This alone is worth the time investment required.

Rest is holistic

Along the lines of the above, embracing rest isn’t something that you just do during the times you actively “rest.” Rather, times of relaxation feed a restful mentality that impacts all of life — especially the stressful moments. Though I have a lot to learn and grow in this area, I think that real rest is transformative.

In the tough moments of mothering, working, and any given combination of “all of the things,” choosing a restful mindset helps carry you through.

Rest involves boundaries

Most of us have heard this before – healthy boundaries are essential for healthy, happy lives.

Though we often think of boundaries in terms of setting them with others, one of the most important people to set boundaries with is myself. Like I stated before, I often feel like I can’t keep up with myself. I’m sure many can relate. I need to be honest enough with myself to take on only the things that are in my heart to do. I have to admit that I can’t do it all. Rather than perceiving self-imposed boundaries as limitations, I’m choosing to view them as tools for expansion.

Without rest, we will never reach our full potential in any sphere of life.

When we recharge in ways that nurture us as individuals, everybody in our lives benefits. With these thoughts in mind, I would love to know – what does rest look like for you?

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