Mother’s Day often turns into a big event for families. It can be a special time, but it can also leave the honoree feeling more exhausted than refreshed. When Mother’s Day becomes a marathon of family visits, special breakfasts, and making sure that the kids have something to give to grandmothers—and even great-grandmothers!—the morning after feels like the day after a long vacation. It was fun. But now you’re a little jet lagged and feel like you need a vacation from the vacation.
Unfortunately, this is the reality for most mothers. In light of that, it's time to think about ways to extend Mother’s Day into Mother’s Month. For the remaining weeks of May, let's give mothers the gift of solitude. If you’re a mother, extend the gift to yourself too!
We tend to think of solitude as something to be avoided in our culture, especially in church culture. But it can actually boost psychological and spiritual wellbeing. For busy mothers, being alone is often a chance to reclaim their bodies and minds after uninterrupted days or even weeks of time spent focused on the needs of others.
How to Make the Most of Time Spent Alone
Just being alone for an hour isn’t quite enough. Though it’s a great place to start. Making the most of solitude includes finding time and space for reflection. Try these ideas for yourself or encourage a mom in your ministry to do so. They will help instill the gift of peace long after Mother's Day has ended:
- Take time for prayer: Taking time to pray can be calming and healing. It allows for ruminating about worries, expressing gratitude, and getting in touch with God in daily life.
- Dive into journaling:Writing down the events of the day is a good start. But reflective journaling can also mean setting goals, keeping a gratitude list, letting out difficult feelings, and capturing fleeting moments to ponder later. Journaling and prayer time work well together too.
- Participate in guided meditation:While prayer and journaling can feel very active, mindfulness meditation encourages people to focus on calming their busy minds. There are several great apps with soothing voices to guide meditation. The practice has proven health benefits.
- Get back to nature:Time alone doesn’t have to be quiet. Spending time outdoors gardening, hiking, or cycling is like meditation in motion. Plus, it has added benefits of fresh air and beautiful scenery. Connecting to the earth is also good for the spirit and helps remind you of your connection to all God’s creatures.
Making Alone Time Happen
So how can you make sure moms get the opportunity to enjoy some solitude? Schedule it as the commitment that it is and do your part to make it happen. In your ministry, that might mean letting a busy mom off of work early to allow space for quiet time. Or encouraging her to take a long walk over lunch.
For you, it might mean older kids and your spouse take turns making dinner or doing chores during a meditation. Younger children can get involved by being taught that parents need a bit of time alone to recharge. They’ll respect it when it becomes a regular part of the household routine. Share these tips with moms in your ministry, too, so that their alone time can extend beyond a few stolen hours at work.
This year, commit to making sure mothers feels nurtured all year long. When you schedule alone time for yourself or for a mother in your ministry, you’re giving a gift that will last well beyond the second Sunday in May. The gift of alone time will provide lasting well-being for someone who plays an important role—in the church, in the home, and in the world.