One of the trickiest variables in learning time management is knowing how to plan for rest.
Balancing rest and work goes deeper than a schedule. Just having time to sleep, eat, and transition doesn’t mean I have achieved adequate rest. And while scheduling and planning are wise, as a mother and more specifically a homeschooling mother, my life is constant activity. I can’t even be guaranteed that my sleep will be restful.
I’ve often said there’s no rest for the weary. And it’s sad but true when living with little people. They require more than their fair share of attention all hours of the day.
And when I’m weary, I’m more likely to fall prey to some pretty powerful lies. Just like the crushing weight of anxiety I battled as a first-time mom, realizing that this motherhood thing is a lot harder and more demanding that I could have imagined, starting a new week of planning and scheduling for my family of 5 can feel like a weight I can’t bear.
Believing and living a lie has the power to keep me in bondage to a system of futile thoughts and actions.
The bondage is circular and affects both my feelings toward work and rest. For example, if I’m working diligently on cleaning the kitchen but a child comes in and spills a whole bowl of cereal then I feel like the “job” of cleaning the kitchen isn’t done and therefore I’m not allowed to rest. I have a wrong expectation that I’m not allowed or I don’t deserve to rest until everything is perfect.
And when my heart is set on being perfect, I’ve set myself up to listen to these 7 lies about rest:
- Rest has to be earned. When the job is done, then go ahead a rest. But is the “job” of motherhood ever finished at the end of the day or week? There’s no time clock at my house that gives me the green light for rest.
- The strong don’t need rest. Workaholics aren’t the only ones that struggle with slowing down. It’s that sneaky pride that bites me and says you can do it all!
- You have to pay for it (costs may be losses in life and position, or monetarily: meaning paying for a vacation, boat, new toy etc.). I don’t know about you, but my budget just doesn’t allow for planning huge dream vacations and yachts. If I’m pining after what isn’t within my means, then I’m not only neglecting rest but I’m also not grateful for the opportunities to enjoy life.
- It comes only a couple times a year on special occasions. Holidays are nice, but they cannot refresh me enough to last for the next several months. It isn’t right to bottle up the need to rest and expect that I can get out of a holiday what isn’t there to get.
- It is a reward only for those who are worthy of it. Sometimes I wait for someone to award me some “time off” to go and rest. I live like being accountable to myself for the balance of activity and rest isn’t enough – I’m longing for others to notice me and my efforts which therefore affirms that I’ve done a “good job” and now am worthy to take a break.
- You’ll look lazy if you make time for rest. This one gets me the most because I have been lazy. I have wasted time and energy which robbed my family of enjoying a home of purpose, passion, and life. Getting my focus tangled up in too much “big picture” and not enough bite size pieces has led me to discouragement before the sun even rises. So this lie is a twisted truth. I do need to make time for rest AND work. Just because I haven’t worked well, doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t still make time to rest well.
- It is a means to more work. When my wheels are always turning, and my toe is tappin’ while I’m supposed to be focused on rest this is believing the lie that my rest only fuels me for more work. Work is then the obvious idol in my life, controlling my thoughts even when I’m not at work.