WT 066: How Do I Start to Focus on Me Again?

Being a mom changes your life's priorities. While your little ones bring you more joy and love than you have ever imagined, they also bring a big set of needs that have you focusing on them, and not on yourself. You're a wonderful mom and you're doing a great job, it's okay (and necessary) to find ways to focus on yourself.

Question 1:  Karen, in my mind I know that I have to make time for ‘me time’ – but I feel guilty actually doing it. I sometimes feel judged when I tell my mom or mother-in-law that I got my nails done or spent time alone in Starbucks and they say things like ‘How nice for you, I never had that luxury.’ So I guess my question isn’t actually about me time, but more about how to work through feeling guilt or like I don’t measure up to other moms. Can you send me your tips or Bible verses?

Karen's Answer: First off, you don’t have to measure up to other moms, you are great just the way you are! I think the verse I would recommend for not feeling like you measure up is :

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

I think we can all struggle with feeling like we don’t measure up.  But, honestly, it’s like comparing apples to oranges.  If you compare the two the apple is not going to measure up too the orange and vice versa, because they are indeed different.  IF at BOAW I can get moms to stop this comparison game, and just run their own race, this ministry will succeed! I know that’s a lofty goal, but we must change our norm.  Right now, the norm is to compare. We need to change that to celebrating others, and being okay to run our own race.  Good for you for getting your nails done or grabbing a Starbucks.  I’m sure you are thrilled you did! Way to go!

Question 2:  Karen, did you have any kinds of hobbies outside of your mom duties when your kids were young? Most of my hobbies revolve around my kids, girl scout troop leader, classroom mom, etc. I think it might be time to branch out to a hobby that’s just for me.

Karen's Answers: When my children were young, my hobby was my friends.  Just grabbing dinner or meeting a friend at the movies was how I invested in myself.  It was nice to not be responsible for anyone for a few hours and just talk, listen and laugh. I’m glad you are thinking about yourself and discovering what your hobby will be.  Way to Go!

Try a few things! Antique shopping, reading, taking a walk on the greenway or in your neighborhood, gardening, riding a bike, making floral arrangements, figure out you!

Question 3: Karen, my spiritual life needs a boost! How did you keep your spiritual life thriving when you had kids and do you have certain quiet time devotionals you would recommend? I would love a peek into your spiritual bookshelf.

Karen's Answer: I would recommend Moments for God as your devotional, I know I wrote it, but it is written just for moms.  So, I think you will enjoy it.

Music has always been a big part of my spiritual life, I connect with music, especially Christian lyrics and they get deep into my soul.  As a mom, it’s hard to do in depth Bible studies, so music was an easy way to connect with God while on the run.  I would keep it playing around the house all during the day.

I read books of strong women that had it hard, but conquered life through leaning into God. Cori Ten Boom, Catherine Marshall, Ruth Graham, women that stayed home, keeping the home strong while their husbands were out doing their job. These women inspired me to do more.

I also loved Jesus Calling and My Utmost for His Highest as devotionals. I still read My Utmost everyday.  Read a proverbs everyday. Great wisdom there.

Get a devotional book and start, even if  you only do it every other day, three times a week, just start.

Question 4: I need help staying motivated to exercise. In my mind, I want to commit to a routine but I am bad at following through. I live in the cycle of “I’ll start on Monday” – what are your tips?

Karen's Answer: I’m right there with you! I’m in a phase right now, to where I am trying to get back into the habit.  My tips, you just got to start. You can start by walking to the mailbox and back double the amount you are doing.  I’ve even ran up and down my stairs before just trying to move! I did get a fitbit type of watch that counts my steps and that really helped make me realize how much I wasn’t moving.

When the kids were little I would do an exercise video when they were napping, or I would go on a bike ride with the child on the back of the bike. I would walk with a neighbor at night. I would meet a friend at the gym and workout, which I hate, but I would do it.  Recently I’ve started doing Beach Body, 21 Day fix.  That’s been good and it’s only 30 min, which I like.

Start today - do something, even if it’s 25 sit ups, push ups and jumping jacks then increase your number as you get stronger!

Moms, we know your time is precious. Thank for spending it with us. We hope you feel encouraged, equipped and most importantly—the peace of God.

Thank you moms, have a great day!