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Since I am an introvert and often a homebody, I recharge best by snuggling up in a soft throw, with a hot cup of coffee and a good book, maybe the BEST book, a This Old House magazine or a Jane Austen movie. This is pretty hard with three young children and I can often vacillate between guilt that I should feel I need time to myself and the factual knowledge that I need that time to recharge. Thankfully I have a hubby who “gets it”  that I need time to myself, but what we’re both finding out, is that the idea of me going “out” to recharge is in-and-of-itself  not always helpful. There are definitely days when I need to get out of the house to feel like a member of society and interact with other adults without a preschooler or toddler pulling at my arm, but there are other days when I need a quiet house and a good book and maybe even a nap. 

In recent history, my husband has been pretty great about taking the kids to the gym or somewhere else with him to give me time to myself. It was great, but after a while I realized that I was rarely getting out of the house by MY self and I began to crave that! My husband was not opposed to this switch and was helpful to make this change a reality as well, but I think we both functioned in a sense that it was one or other {getting out or staying home}.  I am realizing as of late that I need to figure out a balance of both. {I know, right? Silly women… it takes us so long to figure out what serves us best.} I have to figure out better what it is that I need to be a healthy and happy mama. Obviously this starts with the Gospel. I have to find my identity and joy in Christ. If I’m not satisfied in Him, I won’t find satisfaction in anything else. Thomas Watson puts it very well…

Christ must be all, for “in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead,” Colossians 2:9. He has a partnership with God the Father. John 16:15, “All things that the Father has, are Mine.” So there is enough in Him to scatter all our fears, to remove all our burdens, to supply all our needs. There can be no defect in that which is infinite.

After periods of time when we have been particularly busy either going places or having people in our home, I often feel depleted and need to recharge. It can be easy to let my house “go” in order to be |still| and recharge and sometimes you just have to do whatever you need to take that time. I’ll admit it, every now and again I push the laundry and vacuuming to the back burner, let my kids watch movies back to back or make them all play in their room together {WHAT?!?!  I know, shock and awe, terrible mom, right?} and settle in to read or write for a bit but I have also found that I am more easily recharged if I can have my recharge time in a clean {or mostly clean} house with the knowledge that my kids are happily interacting with a friend, their daddy or their grandparents and dinner is taken care of.

In striving for a “cleaner” house and completed dinner, it could easily take over the day, so if I know that I need some recharging time I simply take care of the basics. Here are MY basics {they don’t have to be yours in fact, if you don’t need a clean-er house to relax, more power to ya!}

  • Throw dinner in the crockpot. A slow cooker recipe is perfect to pull out when you want to feed your family with something other than a frozen pizza {although that can work too}, but don’t want to have to spend an hour putting it together.
  • Get your dishes done. A clean kitchen often makes a mama happy, so take care of the dishes, maybe even just one half of a cycle as in: loading the dirty dishes and running the dishwasher and wipe down your counters.
  • Make your bed and remove dirty laundry from the bedroom and/or bathroom. Don’t worry about your kids’ rooms…  leave that for another day or better yet, if they are old enough, have your kids clean their own rooms. If the laundry is something that can’t be set aside for the day, decide on a load or two to accomplish that day and set a timer for the cycle time so you can make that transfer immediately and not prolong the process. You can take your recharge time while the laundry is washing and/or drying.
  • Run a vacuum or sweep. It’s amazing how much more easy it is to relax when your floor is clean. Keep in mind, you don’t have to do your whole house, just the main living area. 
  • Quick and general pickup. I set a timer for myself and my kids and we race to see how much we can pick up and put away in 20 minutes. 
  • Send the kids away either with Dad, Grandma or a friend!
With those things accomplished, hopefully you, like me, will find relaxing and recharging easier and more enjoyable. Next I will share with you one of my favorite book series for reading on my recharge days.
What are the “must accomplish” items on your list before recharging?
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Written by Heidi Brachle

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