…..but I feel so exhausted and overwhelmed!
So here we are, the day to honor us in our high role as Mothers, and we just feel… spent. Somehow there are expectations that this day should be special, it should be somehow like a Hallmark card commercial, and yet…
Why? Why do so many wonderful MOMYS reach this very special day feeling like their tank is on empty? The answer is really simple – because it IS!
But. But but but but – what does that mean? Somehow when we reach that point, we feel guilt and maybe shame and self-condemnation. But the truth of it is, we are empty because we have poured out our whole selves into those we love. We’ve done precisely what we are called to do – to give and sustain life, to meet needs, to comfort bruised emotions, to heal physical ailments, to reassure during the dark hours of the night, to feed, to clean, to teach, to discipline, to moderate, to mentor, to be a living example, and so much more. We are depleted because we have done what we are called to do, we have given our all. This is success. This is fulfillment of our calling, it is a GOOD thing! It is the mark that we have realized the calling of our role, and we have done our utmost to honor it!
And when we reach that point, it is important to know something about ourselves. Dear Mother of Many Young Siblings, do you know your personality type? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Do you know your love language? Do you feel loved by encouraging words, gifts, physical touch, acts of service, or quality time? Because when you have given your all, the next step must be to refill YOUR tank so that you can continue to nurture those you love.
I think that it is so important that we know ourselves. Is your battery recharged by being with people and lots of interaction, which is an indication of an extrovert personality? Or are you an introvert, who is recharged by withdrawing and spending time in her own company?
Know yourself, so that you can plan to refill your tank, and you can let those who love you know what you need. The people who love you WANT you to be happy, fulfilled, satisfied, calm, peaceful, joyful and feel loved. Only if you know yourself, are you able to communicate kindly to them, ‘please, on this special day that you want to honor me, and help me to recharge, this is what I am needing.’ Tell them how much time with them, tell them how much time alone – because what recharges Jane, exhausts Judy. Help them to understand you.
You may need to remind them (or teach them, or learn together) your love language. Which speaks love most powerfully to you?
• A message with encouraging words?
• Cuddle time or a massage – something with lots of physical touching?
• Gifts, carefully selected and wrapped with care and creativity?
• Spending quality time together, interacting, maybe with a special or meaningful activity?
• Performing little acts of service for you – maybe doing the chores you usually do, or some extra effort that makes something better, cleaning the floors, organizing a space, doing something that needs doing or that you would love to have done?
One momys may feel super blessed if her children let her spend the afternoon alone in her room with a good book and a nap while her family cleans the house and prepares dinner. Another momys may feel neglected and unloved by the same action!
One momys may feel richly encouraged by arts and crafts with loving words, while another would have her tank filled much more by watching a movie all cuddled together on the couch under a blanket.
Know yourself, and help those who love you to know and to understand you so that this weekend your tank can be refilled so that you can continue pouring out to your family and your loved ones. And if you are in a position of being able to organize your own holiday and plan your own ‘party,’ then do those things that will most meet your need.
It’s as simple as filling the tank of the car with gas. It absolutely must be done for the car to continue to run. It’s not an option, and it isn’t a bad thing for a car to have burned all it’s fuel providing us transportation and service! It is fulfilling it’s humble role. We’re the same, momys. We have a glorious, honored, very important role! And when we give our utmost to live in our role, we burn energy and from time to time we must refill our own emotional, physical, and spiritual tanks.
It’s complicated, and it isn’t the same for each person. Please don’t have unspoken expectations of your family and feel disappointed if they don’t understand. Each of your children and your family members have their own personality type, and their own love language – and they very well might be loving you in the way that THEY would prefer for themselves. Maturity is when we understand these things about each other, and step out of our comfort zones and understanding, and love each other in ways that fill tanks – which is different for different people.
Maybe this explains a little about why there are such different ways that people choose to express their love toward their Creator. Maybe people choose the expression of love that they understand the best because of their personality, and their love language.
There is not a right or wrong personality or a right or wrong love language. But demonstrating love is recognizing what meets the need of the one to whom we are communicating love. On Mothers Day, our families want to love and honor Mom. We can help them know how best to do this.
And next month on Father’s day, when we make plans to love and honor the fathers in our lives, we can think about whether our planning is from the perspective of ‘what I would like’ or ‘what is his preference – personality / love language / etc.’
And anytime when we want to love and honor our Creator, we can be mindful of recognizing our own preferences as well as His.
Praying for every momys that this weekend will be spiritually strengthening, physically refreshing, and emotionally rejuvenating in a very personally meaningful way.
Please share about how that happens for you, it helps us to know each other so we can love and support one another in this community.