If you have babies, toddlers, or preschoolers you are thick in the middle of the most physically demanding season of motherhood. If you have school-age kids and teenagers you are feeling exhausted from the mind-bending discussions and emotional needs of your season. Moms of littles long for the day they don't have tie everyone's shoes and wipe everyone's butts. Moms of bigs are startled to find out that what they're facing is every bit as draining as the physical work was.
My mom gave me some magical advice I'm excited to pass on to you.
GO. TAKE. A. NAP!
Sometimes it's the most spiritual thing you can do.
It sounds simple, but I'm a Mom, so I know it's not. There are a million things conspiring against you taking a break long enough to actually sleep. Napping requires engaging in a two-front battle against circumstances and guilt. You either have to temporarily ignore needs or miraculously get enough ahead of them to carve out some minutes. If you are brave enough to do one of those things, you might lay down, close your eyes, and then be kept wide awake by guilt - the feeling that you don't deserve this break.
You're wrong. Let me tell you again:
Taking a NAP might be the
most spiritual thing
you can do right now!
Taking a nap resets you emotionally. We've all experienced waking up to find the "big deal" we couldn't stop obsessing about yesterday evaporated and suddenly isn't controlling us anymore. When you're stressed out and feeling like you just might snap, taking a nap IS NOT avoidance, it's a smart way to step back and evaluate whether your emotions are telling you the truth. Something that really needs to be dealt with will still be waiting when you wake up. After a nap you'll have the energy to handle it without losing your grip and doing and saying things you'll regret.
Taking a nap also resets you physically. You are tired! Dealing with life effectively takes energy. You can only "gut through" so much before you hit a wall that will take you down for the count. It's not good for you to get to the point of exhaustion. If you won't do it for yourself, you need to know that it's not good for your husband or kids for you to get worn down to that point either. We need to be humble enough to admit our bodies have limits and not pretend we can be Wonder Woman.
Taking a nap resets you mentally. Dots that should connect easily in your brain, just don't when you're tired. It takes monumental effort to reason out simple problems. That's why train conductors, airplane pilots, and semi drivers are limited in how long they are allowed to work before they sleep. The stakes are too high for them to make a wrong decision or even to make a right decision too slowly. The stakes are just as high for you.
Taking naps resets you spiritually too, and this is essential. When you sleep, you provide margin between the daily-ness of your life and your dreams and goals. The in-between moments when you are drifting off or slowing waking up are often times God uses to speak to you. It's time when your soul and brain connect in a way that is deeper than normal and helps you remember who you want to be.
Don't forgo moments of rest because you feel guilty or think taking a nap makes you weak. Those thoughts are a lie of the devil. I'm not kidding. The enemy wants you depleted. He wants you to make the most important decisions of your life on an empty tank. He wants you unsure and emotional. He wants you to model trying to bite off more than you can chew for your childen and then he wants them to see you wallow in the feeling of failure. He wants your children to think living depleted is normal and the life they can expect when they become adults. The. Devil. Wants. You. Tired.
Don't stand for it sweet Mommas. Fight back. Fill your well so you have something to draw from.
Go take a nap!
It might be the most spiritual thing you do today!