Taking care of yourself is vital to being able to take care of others. We can’t extend to other people what we don’t have ourselves. There are endless demands on parents today—family, work, friends, church—and if we don’t take the time to reflect on our emotional, spiritual, and physical needs, we will dry up quickly and have nothing left to give others.
Consider how Jesus did this, the perfect model. Many times Jesus retreated from people to rest or be alone or to pray. In Mark 1:35 Scripture says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” After being among the crowds and ministering to people for days on end, Jesus withdrew to be filled up, renewed, and restored. Why? To hear from the Father, and to be able to go back out into the world and continue His Father’s work.
In the same way, parents need to guard their spiritual and mental health by withdrawing at times to hear from God and be filled up, renewed, and restored. Then, they will be able to re-enter their “world” of parenting with a new perspective—rejuvenated and encouraged.
Jesus also took the time to sleep. In the middle of a terrible storm on the Sea of Galilee, as his disciples panicked, Jesus took a little nap. He knew the value of rest, and of trusting God for redeeming time lost while sleeping (Matthew 8:23–27). The Psalmist wrote, “For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.” Taking a simple step like going to be thirty minutes earlier each night, or allowing yourself time to take a twenty-minute nap will do wonders for improved alertness. It will help reduce stress and boost your mood.
The pressures of parenting are great, and these are just two ideas for helping to manage the stress that comes with it. I want to encourage you to examine where you are at right now, and consider how you can take steps to better care for yourself. I am praying for you!
Please check out this week’s online parenting class:
Standing together with you