THE SWEETNESS OF DOING NOTHING (MOTHERHOOD EDITION)

I have not been blogging because I have been resting.  I have learned the discipline of Sabbath way back in college thru Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. This Christian institution developed in me the idea of enjoying "planned rest". Since then, even as a student, I saw the importance of giving myself a holiday every now and then. Little did I know that this lifestyle affected the big choices I had in my life, such as:  (1) pursuing teaching because of the vacation that comes with it (2)  Choosing long trips and restful vacations instead of the usual 3 days and 2 nights out of town trips (3) marrying a man who is not a workaholic (4) Pursuing BabyWise (sleep training for Risen) (5) Not feeling guilty for over sleeping and resting.

It was since October 23, 2017 that I decided to cut down on work so we can rest as a family, celebrate Bryan's 35th birthday, nap on afternoons, and go from one place to the next without thinking of deadlines, profits and work.  It was a choice since I know I have to set aside "important things" to give way to rest and time with family.  And since rest may also mean accepting less hosting gigs but spending more money, it was really a decision we have to take.  Good thing, my husband believes and I have been a believer of rest, hence, it was not hard for us to enjoy the sweetness of doing nothing (La Dolce Far Niente).







Guess what, Mommy?  You too can rest :)  And yes, I also know that motherhood is such a toil and that it is impossible not to do anything for a day.  But wait, please let me lead you to the idea of rest and why it is a must for mothers like us. To begin, why should we rest?

1. We rest because we are tired2. We rest so we can be more productive 
3.  We rest so we can take care of our health
4.  We rest so we can stop, regain balance and assess our situation
5.  We rest so we can be more present for our husbands and children 
6.  We rest because God rested as well


Now the bigger question is, how can we rest?

1.  We have to plan it.  For mothers whose time is erratic, we have to make a way to sleep longer, take naps or stay in idly in bed.   We have to schedule it days in advance.  Rest can't be spontaneous, so we just really have to allot time on when we can do it.  If for some reasons something happened, postpone it BUT do it the next day.  Treat it like an errand or a deadline.  If we need to drop things, do it.

2.  Involve your husbands, parents, in-laws or even the Ninangs of your kids.  This is why it takes a village to raise kids, because we need the help we can get.  Now, when we are allowed to leave our kids to our husbands or to a trusted tita, do not do errands but just rest.  The thing is, when we "deposit" our kids to other people, we still work.  Do your very best not to.  Tell your husbands to command you to sleep or just watch TV.  There is nothing wrong with this.  Trust me, it will benefit you more.

3.  Prepare early.  I remember cooking a day before and having paper plates ready so I can rest instead of cooking or doing the dishes.  You can do this as well.  Buy a Lechon Manok or prepare Adobo that you can just reheat the next day.  You may also opt to use the disposable diapers for a day to not be stressed with the laundry. 

4.  Be a wise mom.  There is a danger of following whatever your child wants.  Parents know better so please do not let your kids decide on where they want to sleep, play and eat.  Discuss with your husband how you can discipline your child so they can be trained to use car seats, and to sleep in another room or bed.  Also IF possible, consider the season of just really "being a mom" for a few months.  IF you can afford it, just be a mother after giving birth.  Try not to pursue anything.  Your work and passion can wait.  I think it is better to "postpone" it so you can be physically and mentally ready for the challenge.  A human being just came out of you, it is okay to just be a mom for the next three months (my suggested timeline).  

5.  Do not forget you are a wife first.  In many times, we forget about this.  We pursue many things except the idea of being a better wife.  Your God, then your husband.  Make sure you have these two as your priorities.  There is rest in your husband's loving arms.  

6.  Find your real definition of rest.  In the past, rest for me means long drives and quick getaways.  Now, the true meaning of relaxation for me is doing nothing (e.g. reading, watching or staying in bed) at home.  I am not ashamed to be called a "tita" because rest for me means being at home.  Postpone lakads, say "no" to meet-ups and instead, just rest.

7.  Remember that our body is a gift form God.  We have to be stewards of God's provision of a healthy body.  We rest not only because we are tired but because this is a way of telling God we value our bodies by giving it the rest it deserves. We do not drink when we are thirsty.  When we start to long for water, that means there is already something "wrong".  Same thing with sabbath.  Do not wait to get tired before taking rests.

To be real, working and resting are two things we can enjoy.  Yes, you are a mom, but please let me tell youthat you can and you should rest.  If you want to be a better wife, mother and woman to the people around you, do not forget to spend time doing nothing.  Plan it and do it -  for you and your family's sake.

So, what is the plan Mommy?  When are you resting?