09 Feb A Mom’s Search For “Me Time”
Like most moms, I find “me time” browsing social media. It’s the fastest and most convenient way to do something on your own without dropping your baby, stopping breastfeeding, or moving your other arm where your child is snuggled. I even coined the term “social me time” in my head because that’s exactly what I’m doing.
It lets me be in the loop for news, parenting trends, funny animal videos, and home hacking tips from 5-Minute Crafts and Tasty. Your “social me time” allows you to be social without actually being social. Liking, commenting, and chatting lets you connect with friends without having to hang out with them because you can’t really tag your kids along on a girls’ night out.
But here’s the kicker, the idea behind “me time” should relax you. It’s supposed to be the break you’re craving for. Sadly, “social me time” is only a temporary fix. I’ve got nothing but tired eyes, a couple of laughs, and a bunch of new worries after my accumulated browsing time.
What They Don’t Tell You
As much as social media is good for a lot of things, it can also be a great downer. A mom who has it all together can make you question yourself, “What am I doing wrong?” A super fit mom of five can make you doubt if you should eat your comfort food—the only unhealthy nutrition that keeps you sane (i.e. chips and sweets). A near perfect child can make you wonder why your child is not like that.
All of these can be too much for a sleep-deprived, dead-tired, and slightly-overweight mom. See, I had to include that bit about weight because love handles are part of motherhood. So yes, “social me time” can be fun but it can also put a lot of unnecessary pressure on moms like us who just try to do what’s best for our kids.
What We Really Need
Around the middle of last year, I spent more time on “social me time” than I wanted to. To be honest, it affected how I managed my time. It ate up a chunk of my devotion time (if not all on certain days). I would even justify it in my head saying, “I need this me time.”
Sure, we all need to have that time to recharge but don’t we need something that will calm our minds and souls? If there’s anything I’ve learned from my “social me time” binge it’s that it makes you more alert than you want to be. An idea you just saw can make you add one more item to your things to do. An interesting post can prompt you to Google more about it. You know the drill.
If really we look at what we lack and need, I would say that we need sleep and some quiet moments alone. Sometimes sleep can be hard to squeeze in and the quiet moments can even be more difficult to find. But isn’t it true that if we want something bad enough we try our best to have it?
In the 24 hours we have, we need to find a few minutes of solitude. May it be in the bathroom before we shower, in the bedroom beside our sleeping angels, or in the car/commute where we can just relax and let the kids entertain themselves with what they see.
Me Time in His Arms
In one of my journals, I remember writing to God and telling Him that I miss Him. I miss talking to Him. I miss spending time with Him. I miss being refilled by Him. I just can’t make excuses and tell the Lord “life happened” because He already knows that.
He knows my struggles and sins. He knows I want to be better but He also knows I’m struggling. God knows I love my son but He also knows how hard it is to raise a human being. So sometimes, even if I’m not saying anything during my prayer time, when the only words I can tell Him are, “Lord, you know what’s in my heart.” I know that He has already probed what’s in there, deeper than I could ever go.
The “me time” I need is the “Me time” at the foot of the One who loves me. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30) Just reading this verse makes me teary-eyed!
The rest I’m yearning for can only be found in Him. You might think that I should know this by now, right? Being a Christian for many years doesn’t guarantee a smooth, struggle-free ride. I’m far from perfect and will never even be close to it.
But you know what? That’s the beauty of having a relationship with Jesus. You go through the ups and downs together. You go through “on fire” peaks to “dry” valleys together. You go through stubborn stonewalling to open communication together. The only difference is you have a Partner that never changes and loves you just the same.
He is the same God who said that even “the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Luke 12:7) and that I am “a masterpiece” (Ephesians 2:10). He is the same God who “formed my inward parts” and “knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13). In His eyes, I am complete and cherished. There’s no pressure nor pretensions when I’m with Him.
He is the same Potter and I will always be His clay (Isaiah 64:8). I know He will continue to mold me until my last breath. This will include falling and getting back up; making mistakes and asking forgiveness; trying a do-over and failing; being on track and getting side-tracked, but through it all I know He will never let me go. He will make sure that His light will shine through my cracks.
The One That Never Changes
Social media is just one of the many things that will get updated and shaken up in the coming years. We’ve seen the era of Friendster, MySpace, and Multiply end. Now it’s Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and more. In 10 years, it will be different and more complex. These will be part of our lives and our children’s lives. And it’s not wrong.
It’s how we view it, use it, and let it dictate how we’re supposed to think, feel, and act that makes a difference. In other words, it’s a user issue. I’m not going cold turkey on social media but now I realized that it’s not the “me time” I want nor need.
It’s the other kind of “Me time.” The one I always end up going back to. The one where my soul is filled by Him who never changes. The one where I can come broken and come out whole. The one where I am accepted flaws and all. The one where I am completely rested and restored.