Monday, January 24, 2011

Mommy Martyrdom

---Ever tell yourself?---

Be selfless

Put your kids first

Put your husband first

Stop thinking about yourself

It's so self centered to want alone time

You aren't pleasing the Lord when you're so needy

Give of yourself more

Support your husband

Let your husband do the things that make him happy

It makes the kids happy

You can have alone time later in life

This isn't your season for personal time

Be thankful you get to stay at home

Stop asking for more

Think about what is best for everyone else

You don't need it


"So He Himself Often Withdrew into the wilderness and prayed"
-Luke 5:16

[If it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me.]

Clearly the bible tells us that we're to be selfless and put others first, but it never says to do so at the expense of running yourself into the ground. It is possible to put out so much and never put the point of emptiness. 

Where there is nothing left to give...

To your husband
To your kids
To your family
To your friends
To the world


Stop being a Mommy Martyr.

Stop listening to the lies [out of context] listed above. 

Stop accepting that being a wife and mother = you completely lose yourself

I'm not talking feminism here. I'm not talking selfishness. I'm talking loving your husband and family so much so you're unwilling to give them any less than your best. And realizing you don't function your best when you're starved. How can you feed them if you've had nothing to eat yourself? Didn't the Lord himself, go away and spend time with the Father so He could feed us? We didn't call Him selfish for always "having to have alone time". We didn't criticism him for "putting him before us".


Talk to the Lord, tell him you need some time with just Him

Talk to your husband, tell him you need some time all-by-yourself


Yes, I said it. Everyday.


If getting up early [and loosing the lack of sleep you probably already had] is your preference, go for it, enjoy it...soak Him up.

But, for the rest of us, I believe there is another solution. In as much as it is possible, I suggest finding a consistent [as dinner!] solution to having daddy help everyday at some point so that mommy can slip away for
 ...15 ...30 ...45 ...60 minutes and just be with Him.

No kids waking up up early in the morning
No one getting out of their bed early from nap
No one needing something from you
No one pulling on you
No one watching you
No one talking to you
No dishes to stare at or laundry that needs folding

Just you and Him.

If it's your car, the backyard, a closet, Starbucks, or a room in your house.

Just Go.

Start making you a priority again.
Start taking care of you again.
Start spending time with Him again.

A wise husband delights in giving his wife time and space to be with her Maker, especially not at the cost of her sleep or attention.

We've been doing this for a few months, and it's doesn't always happen, but it happens more than it doesn't. After dinner, Charles has some one-on-one time with the boys in the evening and I slip away to be alone. I don't alway study the Word, sometimes I'm just alone. Whatever refreshes my spirit I do. Then I jump back in and have family time before putting the kids to bed and having alone time with Charles. Maybe it's not for everyone, but it's made a real difference for our family. I feel like I have time to myself and I didn't have to wake up before everyone or stay up after everyone to get it.

Well this is my opinion anyway, but you are on my blog, so that's what you get.

Do you have alone time? How does that work [not work] in your family?


[ Praying your family finds an explosion of spiritual blessings & peace as you put back into yourself.]


  1. I totally agree! I am usually able to steal away for a few minutes after dinner while Chris does bath time with the kids. Sometimes it's only 10 minutes but oh my word, does it do the trick!

  2. Thanks for that reminder! Usually right after Grace goes down for her morning nap I have alone time with the Lord. I konw she's good for at LEAST 30 minutes, even if she doesn't fall asleep. And usually I get out of the house alone time once a week to meet a friend for coffee or just sit and stare at the wall at panera :) I have a hard time not going right to my office after she goes down to make sure I get my hours in - but I try to remind myself, as you said, I can't invest in anyone else until I've invested in me. :)

  3. Thank you for this, I needed the reminder for sure!

  4. Amen sister! I have been so busy these last few weeks with my family here from out of state, that I haven't had time to spend with Jesus! I have notice that my attitude sucks (can I say that?) Anyways, I haven't posted a devotion in to weeks. Thank you so much for todays post God used you to speak to me. Pray that my attitude will change!

  5. This one is great. I think in the church realm all we sometimes hear is that we are to give, give, give of ourselves as moms and wives. I read a book recently called Passionate Housewives Desperate for God that left me feeling more desperate. Thanks for bringing up the point that we can have our quiet time when it works for us. Not in the early hours after being up with 2+kids! God will meet us where we are and for the little bit of time we give Him, He is always faithful to meet us there! We are important and need to be filled up. Sometimes I go and walk thru a store all by myself, or read a book at Starbucks and I feel so refreshed afterwards. My hubby likes a happy wife! Great post! I'm always inspired when I get to read your blog!

  6. I guess I'm the lone dissenter here, but speaking from experience, having the mindset that I "need" alone time every day and that my husband should provide that by stepping in and caring for the kids can lead to frustration, bitterness and anger. For the single mother, the military wife, or women whose husbands work odd hours, long hours, or travel this is not an option. God will supply our every need and our need is to rely every single moment of every single day on Him. We need to fill ourselves with His word, pour our hearts out to Him in prayer and listen and follow Him. We can get those quiet moments in throughout our day, more like several small meals in a day, as opposed to one large feast a day. We can train our children to play quietly for a short time while we study God's word. In one of Elizabeth Elliot's books(can't remember the title)she shares of how her mother would sit in the rocking chair with her head covered with a dish towel while she communed with God. The dish towel was a signal to the children to NOT interrupt her. Here are some ways that I fill myself with God's word throughout the day, read a verse or two early in the morning and spend time meditating on those verses as I tend to my morning duties with the children, verses posted on the window above my sink, where I can read and meditate on these as I do the dishes, short devotionals located in the bathrooms, Bible next to the chair I normally sit in to nurse the baby. I pray as I shower, fold the laundry, and throughout the day as things pop into my mind. Whenever something disturbs me or causes me anxiety I immediately take it to God. I cry out to Him for wisdom constantly as I'm faced with decisions to make throughout the day. I play praise and worship music while we do chores or ride in the car. I also put on teaching cd's in the car that minister to me and the kids. When I had all little kids I would put them in the stroller and go for a walk, praying while they enjoyed the fresh air. There are times when I desperately need a feast of complete alone time, and God has always been faithful to provide in those times and give me the refreshing I need, but I can't expect these on a daily basis. I do meet with Him daily and when my children interrupt during one of these times with Him, then I just introduce them to Him, I share the verse I'm reading with them or let them join in my prayer. I have at times suffered from Mommy Martyrdom but it is normally when I've placed unrealistic expectations on myself or others instead of clinging to God and abiding in Him. Just out of curiousity I looked up Luke 5:16 in the KJV and found that it says "And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed." The word "often" is not found here and when I checked Strong's Concordance I could not find any reference to a Greek word that referred to often. I'm not a Bible scholar but I just found it interesting to note that word was not in the KJV version. All of this is said in grace and love. You are blessed that your husband will step in and give you that alone time, but for those of us that do not have that, we should not let it hinder us in our relationship with God, our husbands or our children. God will meet us and fill us, if we seek Him whenever and however we can. I will add that although the tips I mentioned may seem as if I leave meeting with God open to chance, I do plan times with Him, I just know they must be short and I plan many throughout the day, so that if one gets interrupted or doesn't happen then I have others. At the season of life I am in I find myself seeking and crying out to Him ALL day long. I am weak and He is strong. I need His strength to make it through the day. Great thought provoking post!

  7. LivingFree, Thank you for graciously responding. I always appreciate a different opinion brought with such tact and love. Oh, how awfully unproductive the other way is, huh? ha I am so fascinated that it doesn't appear in the KJV, we make it a habit to mainly read NKJV, good to note.

    I totally hear what you're saying. That's why I put "In as much as it is possible" and "is your preference, go for it" because as you so wonderfully brought up [great point!] it would be really awful and loving of us as wives to "put" this expectation on our husbands or anyone. Rather, it's a blessing when--- in agreement the husband "in as much as possible" gives this gift to his wife [if she wants it].

    In your case, you have found other ways of alone time which is wonderful. And I too enjoy the Lord's voice while folding laundry, standing over dishes, etc.

    Let's do a for example, last night my husband got off work late and wasn't feeling well. My alone time was going to the grocery store alone, it wasn't like sitting alone and reading, but it was still a little break. He didn't have to do this for me, but I was so thankful. I didn't ask for it or demand it. My husband typically works long hours, but when he can he loves to do this for me everyday [it was actually his original idea].

    What's most important I think, is that we all find works best for our families...walking in the Spirit...hearing his voice for the answers of how to do this "life thing".

    Thanks for replying so in depth!

  8. Candra,

    Thanks for taking my comment so graciously. I didn't realize how LONG it was until after it was published. I didn't mean to write a book. :D Sometimes I do need that alone time. Just the other day my husband commented he wanted a coke and I quickly volunteered to go get him one. He replied that he would go get it and I said, "NO, I NEED to get out!" He understood and watched all 7 kids while I went to the library and the grocery store for a bit of quiet. I came back so refreshed. I just know that if I expect it everyday I will be disappointed. So I have learned to depend on God for the daily filling and take the quiet times as an extra blessing and gift. I also know that once upon a time a post like this would have left me discontent with my husband and life. I know that was not your intent. You wrote this to encourage us, but Satan likes to twist things and sow seeds of discontent. My comment was to encourage those ladies who Satan might tempt to think that they can't be the wife and mother God has called them to be because they don't get that "quiet time". God will fill us even if it is in the midst of a noisy home filled with rowdy children. We just need to seek and ask. I enjoyed the discussion on this cold, rainy day:D

  9. ALONE TIME??? LOL! What's that? I do mine during nap time and that is about as good as it gets around here. We have a Daddy who works 12 hour days, usually 6 days a week. 8 am to 8 pm. He has a new job prospect that would make our life simpler and I am praying everyday that he gets it!

  10. My current season of life is one with teenagers who do not care to get up early. So I get up earlier than them to have my quiet time. It definitely sets the tone for my day. Of course, through the years, it's looked different at different times. Everyone has to figure out what works for them. But time spent with the Lord is never wasted.



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