“I just can’t get any peace and quiet!” – Every. Mom. All. Day. Long.
You’re right, you can’t.
Motherhood isn’t designed with built-in breaks. It’s 24/7/365 forever and ever until you die. How’s that for some hope?!
I had a moment this past weekend where it hit me like a ton of bricks. NO ONE EVER GIVES ME ANY PEACE AND QUIET!
I’m training for a half marathon coming right up here in November, and this past Saturday was supposed to be my 6-mile long run. I was so tired and just not feeling it when I woke up to the sound of Josie “sneaking” into my bed and poking my forehead with her tiny fingers until I finally mustered up a, “Good morning, sweet girl.”
And I lay there, wishing I would’ve set my alarm earlier so I could enjoy a cup of hot coffee in a dark quiet home before what just happened, happened. I thought through how achy my body felt after a 17-story rappel the day before (!!!) and a recent trip to the gym and basically let myself off the hook for my morning run. My mind wandered to how old I felt, and how sorry I felt for myself that my husband was going to leave at 9:30 that morning for an overnight Bachelor party.
WAIT A SECOND!
I popped out of bed so fast. I changed into my running clothes and brought the kids downstairs to enjoy some waffles while I literally chugged my coffee. I settled the kids in the playroom and went up to whisper-yell at my still-sleeping husband that I would be back in an hour – just enough time before he would need to shower, pack, and leave the chaos for a weekend of bro-time.
I ran and ran and ran. Somewhere around mile 5, I began to feel the swell of gratitude for a body that responds to consistent training. For strong legs that carry me on the run and throughout my days. For a heart that beats faster during exercise of body, mind, and soul. For the pavement under foot that leads me back home to my eager kids.
And it hit me. Even though I could’ve shamed myself that the only real motivation I felt to run that morning was to “escape” my kids, I let that nonsense go and took hold of the fact that I could’ve still been throwing myself a pity party in bed – that no one gives me any peace and quiet.
That’s right. It’s not my 5-year-old’s job, let alone within her capacity, to understand and appreciate my need for margin. Same can be said x1000 for my 2-year-old. And even, God bless him, my husband.
It’s MY JOB to create my quiet.
No one is going to force me out of bed at my first alarm to make sure I take a few precious moments to quiet my heart and mind before the day.
No one is going to force me to shut the radio in my car off to make sure I transform my commute and errand-running into restful space.
No one is going to force me to put my phone down after the kids go to bed to make sure I take a few deep breaths of thankfulness to end a chaotic day.
No one but me.
I know there are a million circumstances that present themselves each and every day that seem to make it impossible to rest…to get a little reprieve. And I know that I’m more fortunate than most – I’m a married, suburban, middle-class white woman with two kids – a boy and a girl. I know I’m writing to single mothers, divorced mothers, mothers who just got the diagnosis of autism, mothers who wish they didn’t have to work so they could be stay-at-home-moms. Mothers who wish they could work so they didn’t have to be stay-at-home-moms. Mothers who have cancer. Mothers who just lost a baby. Mothers who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
I’m not going to sit behind my laptop and pretend to know all of the things that make your life hard. But I am going to tell you this with truth and grace. YOU are the only one who is in charge of making sure YOU have a little peace and quiet.
You don’t need to run for an hour to get it. You don’t even need to set an early alarm to get it. You do what YOU can do to make the pipe dream of peace and quiet a reality. Because when you do, oh my goodness gracious, you’ll come alive.
By creating your quiet, you’ll begin to breathe just a little easier – if only for that moment. You’ll begin to dream a little bit easier – if only for that moment. You’ll begin to listen with ears ready to hear the still, small voice of God – if only for that moment – as He reminds you that He’s near you in the quiet and the chaos. He loves you whether you’ve got it all together or you’re falling all the way apart. He smiles proudly at you all day and sings songs of hope over you all night.
So what is it? What is holding you back from creating your quiet? What is one teeny tiny step you can make today, RIGHT NOW, to create some quiet – some rest for your body, mind, and soul? Maybe it’s a slow and drawn-out walk around the car after you buckle your boy in his car seat. Maybe it’s a deliberate dedication to folding laundry in silence. Maybe it’s memorizing little pieces of scripture so that when you DO create moments of peace and quiet, you begin or end them with some truth you can take to the bank.
Whatever it is for you, I pray you create your quiet this week. And in the quiet, more than anything, I hope you can hear the loving whispers of your Heavenly Father as He reminds you just how loved you are.
Just in case no one else tells you today, you’re a really great mom! Mother of the Year, in fact!