A mother’s work is never done: Feed the baby, change the baby, wash the dishes, sweep the floor, cook dinner … There’s nothing worse than filling the dishwasher twice in one day only to find that there are still dishes left in the sink!
Since the birth of my son, I have found myself working in circles every day of the week, resenting the fact that I never get a day off–not a holiday or a weekend or a sick day. I still cringe when I hear my husband say, “Oh, good, it’s Friday. We get to sleep in tomorrow.” To which (for the last eight months) I always reply, “No, Sweetheart, I won’t be sleeping tomorrow. I never get to sleep in!”
Not long ago, I decided that something must be done about this. I needed a Sabbath, just like everyone else.
A Sabbath is a day of rest. It was established in the Old Testament through God’s law that was given to Moses. The order to take a Sabbath was one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8), right alongside “Thou shall not murder,” and “Thou shall not commit adultery.” If God thought it was important enough to establish this for His people, shouldn’t I think it’s important in my life, as well?
But how can a mother take a day off? True, some things can’t be overlooked, like the needs of the baby. But there are some things that don’t have to be maintained every day. As I evaluated my regular weekly tasks, I discovered ways I could loosen up my weekends and make room for a little fun and relaxation.
Here are the three rules I established to find my personal rest:
1. No housework on the weekends. No dishes, no laundry, no putting things away. I gave myself permission not to feel guilty about a dirty house, and I use the time I save catching up on my hobbies or just relaxing in front of the TV.
2. Cook as little as possible. Now, perhaps your hobby is cooking, and if that’s the case, feel free to kick it up a notch with a five-course meal. I, however, see it as a chore. So I’ve asked my husband if we can scrape up a few extra bucks on the weekends for take-out. On one income, it’s not always possible to eat out, and in those cases, I prepare the easiest meal I can find–Hamburger Helper and hotdogs, anyone? Or there’s always the possibility of “Leftover Smorgasbord” from the previous week’s dinners. The women in the Old Testament were instructed to prepare their meals the night before the Sabbath. Whatever the case, the goal is simplicity.
3. Take time to do things I enjoy. Since I’ve cut out chores and housework on the weekends, I’ve been able to start drawing again, something I haven’t done in years. I’ve also recently been entertained by scanning old photos and loading them onto the Internet to share with high school and college friends. During my Sabbath, I often sit back with some hot tea and enjoy a good movie with my husband without that nagging feeling that I didn’t get such-n-such done today. It’s actually relaxing! Finally, I can stop saying, “If I ever get an extra minute I’ll …” and start saying, “I’ll get to that on Saturday when I take my Sabbath.”
Yes, I still have to change dirty diapers, and since I’m nursing my baby, I still don’t have the option of sleeping in, but these few changes have given me a better attitude and something to look forward to each weekend.
I’m curious what other stay-at-home moms do to break up the never-ending cycle. Make a comment and leave your suggestions.
Copyright © 2009 by Sabrina Beasley. All rights reserved. Used by permission.