We have babies that wake through the night, kiddos who wet the bed and bodies that run in all different directions at different times of the day. The throws of motherhood with young babies is no joke and many of you know it. Our bodies are in the thick of hormonal changes and it’s hard to envision a time when things are cool, calm and collected.
However, physically and mentally we need time to refocus. Our bodies and minds can’t run on E — continually pouring another cup of coffee just to make it past the afternoon. The brain fog is a real thing and it takes extra effort to fight through it and fine some sense of mental clarity. Quiet time is a necessity.
If I could give new Moms one piece of advice it would be to establish a daily quiet time routine. If you can establish this habit when your babies are tiny, even newborns, you will have mastered a skill that will carry you well into their older years. During the newborn stage, it’s hard to keep your eyes open, let alone journal, pray, read your Bible or sip a cup of hot tea. But the time is there — it just has to be established and continually practiced.
When I had 1 kid and my husband was deployed I could tell my energy was draining during the long days of solo parenting. I started getting up early, and even though I barely slept with my husband away and a little baby, I forced myself out of bed. It was hard, but it has stuck with me throughout the years. Now with many more kiddos in our crew, I still get up before them all. Sometimes I am nursing a baby, other times I am holding a toddler, but that time is mine.
I journal, I pray, I read my Bible, I empty my brain, I cry, I reflect, I rejoice, I take time to process. This time is fuel for my day.
In the midst of busy, we can’t still our minds. They run and run and run, and then we crawl into bed and they run some more. We need to protect time for rest and recovery just as much as we protect other things in our life.
If you’re new to establishing a quiet time, don’t be afraid to start small. Start by picking a time, picking a place and picking a few things you want to do. I have my same pen, Bible, journal, table and chair waiting for me in the morning. Make it easy for you to stick with!
Don’t set lofty goals of staying there for an hour, just start by carving out 15 minutes. Of course, I suggest getting up early because you have a much higher chance that it will in fact be quiet. If you wait until the afternoon, who knows what could be making noise? If you wait until bedtime, you will probably be too tired to mentally reset and refocus. I would love a quiet time in the bath at night or an evening sleep routine, but those habits I put at the end of my day don’t seem to stick as well as the morning ones. Over time you will likely crave more and more time, and your body will quickly adjust to your new routine.
Some of the greatest motherhood advice I ever received was this. Imagine yourself as a restaurant owner. If you entered the restaurant right when it opened, you would be frantically running around preparing tables and food for your guests already walking through the door. Instead, imagine if you were there much earlier, prepping the napkins, lighting the candles and finishing the first dishes in the kitchen. You would be excited to greet your guests!
Your children and your family are your first guests in the day and your restaurant is your home or the many things you face during the day! Prepare your restaurant well and it will be a great day of business.