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  1. I’m glad you decided to revisit this topic. I think I’m one of those people that understood where you were coming from, or at least has a similar opinion :)

    The problem arises when people hear that they shouldn’t take selfish time out or shouldn’t NEED time to themselves to enjoy life, and equate that with caring for yourself. Equating all time spent caring for yourself as selfish, or equating it as an absolute need above all else.

    Right now I am struggling with, long story short, serious mental issues brought on by the hormones of pregnancy. I need to take care of myself, if I denied myself all care I would end up a crumbled heap, or at the hospital psych ward away from my family (we’re close to that even WITH me caring for myself!). But that time to myself is not about me me me, it’s not some entitlment and if I couldn’t have it I would be expected to push through anyway as best I could. It’s not about that, it’s about ensuring that I am able to care for my family, to ensure I am able to do what the Lord calls me to do. Right at this minute the best way for me to serve them is to make sure I’m ok. The attitude is what’s important here.

    We need to care for ourselves to be able to care for our families, but the question is the attitude, is it something we feel entitled to and if we can’t get it we take that out on our family? Is it about us and our ‘needs’, or about God and being able to best serve Him and our families, and caring for ourselves to be able to fill that role. Every mum should have a nice bubble bath with candles once in awhile, but not because they want time alone all for themselves, but because they know they must care for themselves to be able to care for others.

    Having written this I think we might have slightly different opinions on the topic after all, but we’re on a similar level I think, with the same intentions but a slightly different way of implementing them.

    • I struggled with what sounds like some similar things during my pregnancy with #7…just wanted to let you know, if you need to talk, I’m here. Email me. :)

  2. OH, Amy…. even Jesus left the disciples in a boat….for his time with God…even in the garden, he asked them to watch, but he still walked away from them. Why do we believe this lie that says if we take time for ourselves or our marriage…we are being consumed with ‘me’…I do believe you can make an idol out of ‘me’ time on either side of the spectrum and each of us needs to identify what me time is for us…as individuals. Me – it’s early in the morning…alone, then a walk with my husband and even…on the back patio…while the children are still in bed or spending their own time alone with God. We need that time…to refresh. Hugs, sweet friend…Thank you for living your life out loud and daring to go where many would not when trampled on in the past…the Father knows your heart!

  3. I’ve found for myself sometimes just spending some fun/relaxed/unscheduled time each day with my kids helps me refuel almost as well as time alone. I think you covered this topic very well!

  4. Before moving on to the subject at hand, I must just tell you this one thing: The Me Time Myth was one of the first posts of yours I ever read, and I knew right then and there that we thought on the same wavelength and I could learn so much from you!

    I agree completely that it’s about attitude; I find it so sad when I hear people say they ‘need’ several hours a day away from their children. When motherhood is something to escape from, you’ll always want more time away because you see it as a burden rather than a blessing, whereas learning to joy in your calling gives more happiness and peace than any amount of ‘me time’ ever could.

    I think a lot of the time it comes down to the age-old ‘need vs. want’ question. I *need* to be fit and healthy enough to care for my family, which for me with a chronic back problem means that quite often when my husband comes home I hand over the baby while I sit with ice on my back for half an hour. If I don’t do that, I end up in too much pain to carry my daughter (and that never goes down well!) or move around normally to be able to run my house. But where I *need* to keep myself fighting fit, I don’t need to lose myself in a knitting project for three days or watch junk on TV. Those are things I *want* to do, and I can perform some pretty spectacular mental gymnastics to convince myself they’re actually needs. Because everyone knows it’ll be of huge benefit to your family for you to teach yourself how to knit socks – and right at this very moment – right? 😉 I was actually reading your decluttering ebook last night, and I find myself now coming back to your point that the more stuff we *think* we need (in this case ‘time for myself’), the more it starts to own us and takes our focus away from what we *actually* need – Him.

    Bless you for speaking the truth, even when it’s not easy!

  5. Hi Amy, I am a new reader and really have enjoyed looking around your blog and reading past articles as well as the ten days blog hop! I struggle with ” me time ” although I don’t seek it out everyday, I do enjoy my children, and I adore my husband, I find it relaxing to have an afternoon off once in a while. My husband is very gracious and about once a month he lets me go out with my cousins for dinner and coffee. I find it nice to connect with my cousins as many of them have children and homeschool. We get encouragement from one another, and it never turns into one of those gripe sessions that I have seen happen in so many groups of women. I will admit however there are times during our day, that I take a few min to myself. Sometimes while the littles are napping, I will check my email or read a blog post, or work on a project. ( currently my project is a monthly menu board ) Most of my projects are for the betterment of my home. I will say this however, when I am having “me time” I am not always praying and seeking God. I am not always spending that time with him, or even doing it so that I can better serve him. If I were to be honest I can be pretty selfish about it. Now I don’t walk around thinking about my next me time session, nor do I have to have it to feel justified. I do enjoy it however. I have prayed about this, and have asked God to give me a heart that longs to worship him and he is little by little revealing himself to me, but my ” me time ” motive is not always as pure as yours. I would like it to be. Anyway that is where I am at!
    Thanks for the food for thought!

    • I’m not perfect by a long stretch, but I want to encourage you that worship doesn’t always look like long prayer sessions. Putting together a menu board IS worship. Yes, we have to keep our motives in check, but I think moms often miss the fact that what they do to serve the family and make the day run smoother is worship of Christ. To me, that is one of the most beautiful forms of it. :)

  6. I am with you on this one. I am not sure I would have been several years ago, not because I didn’t want to but because I didn’t understand it. My heart is going through a transformation and I appreciate your standing on something that is important to you. We have bought into our society in the sense that it is all about “me”. This is just one of the lies we have bought into and churches have encouraged. Not purposely just ignorantly, some maybe intentionally. thanks for this message.

  7. Amy, I so enjoy reading your post and I feel like you’ve just put into words how I too have always felt about the “Me time” ideas. I’m not a writer, so I’ve never been able to explain my thoughts on it quite like you have here. I really don’t don’t care much for the phrase “Me time” because it sounds quite selfish. Thinking about my mom raising six kids, I can’t ever remember her taking “Me time”. That’s not to say that she didn’t have a quiet moment to sit and think by herself without us kids around, but it wasn’t the ‘I need to treat myself, me time’ that a lot of people think of and she never resented it. I find your blogs very uplifting and inspirational. There are times when I get frusterated, not so much with my kids but with my responsibility to them. When I find myself in a moment like that, I always remember the verse on your “About” page, Psalms 127:3-5, that children are a heritage, a reward and the responsibility is not as much to my kids as it is to the Lord. I too am gratful you choose to live your life out loud and thank you for allowing yourself to be used as a guide, not only to your family, but to others as well.

  8. One of the first posts I read of yours was “The Me Time Myth” and I loved it. Personally, I enjoy “We Time” more than “Me Time”. I enjoy going on a date with my husband or shopping with just a couple of my kiddos so we can talk.

    When I start to have the feelings that I need “Me Time” most likely it is because I have made life to hard on myself by having such things as: too high of expectations for our home cleanliness, making our homeschooling day too complicated with all sorts of subjects or assignments or curricula. When I keep life simple and don’t buy into the lie that I need to do more (more cleaning or decorating, more homeschool, more outside activities) then I have peace and enjoy my family and I don’t feel like I need to run away.

    “Me Time” isn’t all bad unless we make it our idol.

  9. This is obviously from the heart and beautifully said! Thank you for sharing…it is an important message for momies in this day in time, where society teaches us it is all about us! How sadly wrong they are. May we all remember to make it all about HIM!

    • Michele – This is one posts that I poured my heart into, praying through the entire thing. Praise the Lord you could see that. :)

  10. My “me time”. Tuesday mornings while my kiddos are in watchcare and I’m at Bible study. Sunday mornings when they kids are in sunday school and my husband and I are in church. Wednesday nights when my kids are at AWANA and my husband and I sit and play games or just talk (since we don’t drive home, too far to drive). I don’t think its about carving out time for you, its about taking the opportunities God gives you to be alone, or to be with your spouse. God knows that it can be tough, thats why He sends us rest. Thats why He put it in my head to send my kids to bed by husband and I then have more time together. For the record ours kids are just about to turn 2 and 4.

    It saddens my heart greatly, when I hear moms talking about how the school year is almost over and that they are dreading summer break. Or when there is a long weekend, how they can’t wait for it to be over. Our kids can sense these things…

    God Bless!

    • I agree. God gives us opportunities, it’s up to us how we use/view them.

      I also want to cry when I hear people cringing over breaks. :( I am the exact opposite so I just don’t understand it.

    • We’ve even heard the “summer dread” preached from the pulpit. Terrible. :( And putting the kids to bed earlier is something we are doing as well. It gives Ty and I time to talk over the previous day and the day to come.

  11. Thanks for the great post, Amy. Over the years, I’ve fluctuated between the martyrs club and the guilty mom’s club. I do believe strongly that the “You NEED me time” message is very destructive. Think of the moms for whom “me time” is nigh unto impossible–husbands who travel for work, or are deployed oversees, or are unavailable for other, more tragic reasons. Should these dear ladies be fed the message that if they don’t have gym time, or girl time, or whatever, that they *cannot* be the moms that God has called them to be? I think not.

    The backlash that all “me time” is evil can be equally destructive, but it’s the trap that I’ve fallen into most often, due to the combination of my convictions and personal circumstances. Living for “me time” is evil. Having it every once in a while, if you can without compromising your responsibilities, is not necessary evil…but that was hard for me to type. 😉 Here I am, taking a few minutes “to myself” to read and comment on a blog post, and I feel, you guessed it, guilty. The balance is incredibly difficult to strike, isn’t it?

  12. LOVE this post!

    I am one of those people that my “Me Time” consists of my coffee and daily devotion before my children wake up. That’s ALL the me time I want. I love being with my children. Sure we all have “off” days, but on those days is when we get the chance to set school aside and snuggle up on the couch to a good book or a video.

    And YES in our house we strive for JOY. . . Jesus. . .Others. . .Yourself.

    Thank you so mcuh for sharing.

  13. This is one of the best posts I’ve read! I’ve often been perplexed with the encouragement to hold out a little selfishness in order to be a better mother. While I’m not a Spartan into totally denying myself of attention, it’s not the purpose of motherhood. I have struggled with the right balance until, as you have written, I decided to give myself willingly to whatever needs my family. When your time is a gift rather than a sacrifice, the alone time actually refreshes instead of creating a yearning for more alone time. The Lord knows a mother’s heart and needs…He created us. With Him, we can each find the right balance.

    Thank you for your courage in posting this!

  14. Amy, YOU ROCK! I have tried to put this idea about “Me Time” into words with others so many times, and you proclaimed what was in my head so much more clearly than I could! THANK YOU!!! (and don’t listen to the naysayers… you’re RIGHT ON!)

    • Thanks, Stacy! Some of the pain that post caused was because it was originally written right before Emmy got sick and then published in TOS shortly after she passed away. When people suggested my children would hate me it was a little more than I could handle at the time. *sigh*

  15. I love the way you described this touchy mama subject…well done! I agree…it’s about worship. God will give me strength, peace, etc as I trust in Him.

  16. I wrote something similar to this last year! I addressed three categories and said that “me time” is really not about “us” but about refueling for our families through being fed by God.
    If we do things during our time that leave us feeling empty still, that time was not effective for us nor spent wisely.

    God gave us a day of rest to give us permission to rest. He made the sabbath for man, not man for the sabbath.

    Excellent post here, Amy! (((Hugs)))

    • Can I just also add? God made us each so unique and the way we recharge may vary. Again, I think it all comes down to doing all things for the glory of God. Some do well with having down time with their children. Some need time away (like me, a true introvert). That doesn’t mean I love my children less. It just means I recharge differently. And as long as we’re not living for this time, but rather using it as a tool, it is very healthy.

  17. Thank you for your thoughts on this! I think I’ve touched in all the camps. It’s hard being a Mom in a me first focused world and trying to live as Christ wants. Focusing on Christ definitely helps me keep a better perspective.

  18. Your original ‘Me Time’ article ministered to me in a positive, challenging, and loving way. I have worn each of the three ‘badges’ you mentioned, at one time or another. I find I have often swung like a pendulum, from one extreme to the other, looking for the right balance.
    Choosing to be a living sacrifice, looking to do all I do for the glory of God, I trust that HE will fill me up and I am emptied out.

  19. I totally understand where you are coming from. I thought I was alone in wanting to be with my family. So many criticize me for not wanting “girls night out.” I am truly happy this way. Yes, I have my moments where I could use a break, but God fills us back to overflowing when we seek Him. Thank you for showing us your heart.

  20. First of all, I just wanted to encourage you, Amy. I know it must be hard to be transparent, but so many of us gain so much from post like these. Thank you. Also, what is the “subscriber list” and the checklist you speak of? I am on th email list, is that it?

    • Thank you, Crissy. At the bottom of the emails that come to your inbox is a link and passcode. There you can get subscriber freebies. :)

  21. Amy, this post came at just the right time……and was a real blessing to me this morning. As a mom of 4 I struggle to know where the balance is – between wanting me time and not wanting to have a selfish attitude about it. Thank you for this post, and for the food for thought this morning. I appreciate it.

  22. What a delightful post. Very balanced and spoken from the heart. It is not about me, it is about Him, and my “quiet time” is time to reflect on Him, His love for me and my family, His strength to encourage me to continue, His faith in my weakness. He is the one who lifts me up. Nothing I do for myself can do that – I’ve tried it both ways. As a single mom, I would long for that time alone, and I would spend it on me – and I came out empty. I still long for that time alone, but I use that time as a mini-retreat with the Lord, and I come away full and refreshed, ready to do it again. Thanks for sharing your heart!!

  23. I just want you to know how highly encouraged and uplifted I was by your original Me Time Myth post. It made such a difference to me, in fact that I had printed it out and posted it on my kitchen bulliten board. It had come at a time in my life when I had 3 littles under 4 and my husband was in school and was Active Duty Navy.I’m sorry that you recieved less than entusiastic feedback, but this mama appreciated it greatly many years ago and still see it sometimes and re read it. As always, thank you for the encouragement.

  24. For me, I had much greater struggles with “me time” when my children were younger, needier and clingier. Now that my children are older (7 and 11), I have a tremendous amount of freedom. I’m actually liking it. :)

    I wasn’t aware of “the backlash” but I’ll certainly be going over to read those posts as well. How can I get “Mom’s Sacrifice List?”

    Your posts are always such a blessing.

    • The Sacrifice List is in the Subscriber Pack. If you sign up in the box in the post or on my sidebar, you will see a link and code at the bottom of every email that comes from me. All my subscriber freebies are there. :)

  25. This is a wonderful post and many women need to hear this…including myself. It’s easy to get selfish and havelife become ‘all about you.’ I struggle with this daily, but with the Lord’s grace, He will help me work through this struggle. Lord bless!

  26. I very much appreciate this post. I home school my younger two children but I also have a child on the severe end of the Autism Spectrum (he attends a private school during the day). My days and nights are always challenging and I often feel guilty for needing some quiet time … but you are so right. These times of quiet, maybe getting away for an evening once a month or so with some friends for fellowship, or even getting to go to a Bible study, and most definitely waking early for time alone with God are, in essence, a form of worship and definitely a refocusing of my attention back onto my Savior. I am always in church, but I rarely get to be in the service because of my special needs son … I am always ‘on’ and I get very weary with the demands and lack of support. However, I am learning the beauty of resting in my Savior in the midst of the challenges. I can’t express myself here as I wish to, but just wanted to tell you that this post is helpful for me today, right where I am at and I am glad you shared it.

    • I have an Autistic Child as well, and it takes a different toll out of you than other kids. With mine, I never sit for more than a minute and he is forever ahead of me destroying things. I need more time without him than with the other kids, and I think it’s because he has a greater need of my attention.

      This bothered me greatly, and I thought about how Jesus had time with people who needed healing (physical demands), and he had time with his disciples, who didn’t need healing, but needed him in a different way, and time alone with God. I view my autistic son as needing physical attention, and my other kids like the disciples…

      By the way, I don’t know if you have heard of the research for healing Autisim, but we have been pursuing this with my son and he is a completly different child. (For the better). It has made all of the difference in the world and I praise God we believed there was hope and pursued it. Defeat Autisim Now, and Talk About Healing Autism are two great starting places. Also, Jenny McCarthy’s books (she swears a ton) are really informational.

      If you want, you can check out my blog or email me with questions. I’m not trying to be rude, I just know for me, I was really grateful someone stepped out and told me there was hope!

  27. I love the way you described both ends of this. I just wrote about this last week, actually. (

    I mention that when the oxygen mask drops down in an emergency, (when flying) we are to first put it on ourselves, then put it on others around us. We are of no help to those around us if we are passed out on the chair beside them.

    We are afraid of putting it on ourselves first (because that flies in the face of everything “motherhood” and serving is about), but then wonder why we run around life lifeless, frazzled and lethargic. It takes a wise person to find that balance of how we get refreshed daily and serve others selflessly! And we as sisters in Christ need to extend grace to others if their daily refreshment doesn’t match what our daily refreshment looks like. Thanks for bringing up this thought-provoking topic!

  28. Beautifully expressed. I think the reason for the backlash is most certainly the guilt or selfishness you mentioned. Interesting that those things strike at the heart of the “fleshly nature,” we aim to die to. I hope you are encouraged by the positive comments this time around.

  29. The idea of “me time” is something I have struggled with. I’m not necessarily for or against it (although I wish there were a better title for it!). When I see other mothers that get it (the kind that takes you out of the house for hours to do something by yourself), I feel jealous, but when I get it myself I feel bored and just miss my family. I end up coming home more frustrated and unfulfilled then had I not gone at all. I finally decided that I just need to focus on my family and if the opportunity arises great, and if not, then oh well. I do get some quiet time to myself in the mornings before the kids get up and that helps me get my day started on a more positive note :)

  30. Excellent post! There must be a balance. God-honoring me time is so vital. Someone else commented that even Jesus left the disciples in the boat. Amen. Even Jesus needed to get away.
    I blogged about this topic awhile back and said there must be balance and the time should still be God-honoring.

    I also want to point out that if we are spending quite time with the Lord daily (or as often as humanly possible) is that not Me Time? Most Christian women would not deny that they should be spending time alone with the Lord yet, as you pointed out, some pridefully rebuke the idea of Me Time.

  31. An excellent article which I thoroughly agree with in every single aspect. But the very positive perspective that your closing paragraphs give was something I hadn’t heard before, or thought of, and is food for thought. Many thanks.

  32. Thank you for this post, it is a topic that I struggle with often and frankly don’t know the right answer to. I fluctuate between the martyrs and guilty moms club, like Tiana. Although I realize that I should take care of me, especially since I have fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, I just don’t know how to. So I pour and pour myself out until I crash and burn once again and then can hardly function. I love serving my family, but sometimes it is just.too.much but I feel guilty if I “escape” at all.

    Andrea from Minnesota

  33. Dear Amy,
    I find myself fitting best in the “Guilty Moms Club” more often than not this past year.
    You describe it well and I found your post truthful and encouraging.
    Having not read your first one, I can not compare, but see nothing at all offensive in any way with this one. Quite the opposite. Sharing the truth in love is what helps us see where God needs to shed light on areas we are struggling and at the same time give us that little push in the right direction. I feel that’s what you have done and I thank you.

  34. As a mom of 10 I used to struggle with this, battling moments of self-pity over not being able to enjoy “me time”. But then I discovered “we time”. My quiet time with the Lord, which is MUCH more refreshing than simply “me time”! “We time” with my husband keeps us connected and another form of “we time” involves my children. I have older children now who are capable of running the home so that I can take one child out for an occasional “fun day”. This week we celebrated 20 years with our 3rd daughter Emily and today she and I will go into town for a whole day of shopping, tea, and dinner with Daddy later this evening.

  35. I’m not sure how different this post is from the original, but I think this one is beautifully and lovingly written. My “me” time is about making me better so I can be a better wife, mom and friend. It fills my soul so I can shine brightly for God. Thank you for revisiting this topic.

  36. This is exactly why I have had to leave most of my real world friends. They simply could not understand that I prefer to spend time with the family. I know some might think my husband is controlling and wont let me go, but that is not the truth. We just prefer each other and our children. We don’t do most things that they can not be involved in.
    When we were married 16 years ago, I took literal the leave and cleave. He is my best friend and I am his. And if I do miss that trip with the ladies at church to go out for breakfast or lunch it is well worth it for the family. Not that I always miss it, but my family comes first and then if I can I will, but it is still hard with 5 to find that quite time.
    There are days when I would love to go to the store without 5 kids, but then I am sure there are days my husband does not want to work 12 hour days also. We both have our work and we both love our family. It would be truly selfish of me to ask him to take them when he has been working all week so hard to provide for me to stay home with them. And yes, he does watch them, just last night I was not feeling well and he sent me to bed at 8:). I got a great night sleep.

  37. I think I fall into the “guilty” category. I get frazzled and worn out and frustrated with my children. First, I feel guilty because I only have two and they are only 3 and 15 months. Why can’t I handle this? I want to have more children and homeschool but that feels like a ridiculous dream when I am so exhausted now. Sometimes I just want to escape, but then I feel guilty for any time that I am not with them. My husband is wonderful and tries to give me time to myself frequently. I know I really do need it…my gym time a few days a week is very helpful for my depression and some physical issues I have. Doing our “big” grocery shopping alone keeps my anxiety about the task lower and helps me stay in budget because I can focus better. I feel guilty about those things though. Other mothers don’t need to leave their home to exercise. I see moms of many at the store with all of their kids and they manage it just fine. The only “me time” thing I do that I don’t feel guilty about is my every other week coffee date with two close friends. Our husbands all work together for a church planting organization, and when we get together we always pray together and encourage each other. We meet after bedtime and spend two hours just pouring into each other. After reading this post, I realize that that time together is a form of worship. Maybe if I can incorporate that into my gym time and solo shopping trips I will feel less guilty. I can listen to worship music or a sermon while I work out. I can pray while I shop.
    Anyway, all that to say…thank you :) Your perspective is very encouraging to this weary mama!

  38. Amen sweet Amy. Beautifully guided by the spirit in my opinion. God says to pour ourselves out, just as He did. God will fill us back up, and sometimes, we need to get alone with God occasionally so that we can focus on His “filling”. Other times he just fills us right where we are at. God is order, God is good. Seeking rest in anything else, is forgetting what a BIG God we serve. P.S. I am the “Guilty Mom’s Club” :-( But the Lord is helping me oh so much! (Through prayer and learning to lean on Him)

  39. Oh. My. Goodness. This is SO what I needed today. Isn’t it amazing that God knows RIGHT when we need something, and makes it available. Thank you so much for letting Him use you as a vessel to encourage others. I am 100% that last mom you spoke of. I constantly feel at the end of my rope. I have 6 kids, ages 2,3,4,5,6, and 14. The gap was not OUR choice, but God knows :) (I think He knew I would need help! LOL) I actually told my husband just a couple of days ago that I can’t do it all. I can’t homeschool, garden, can, clean the house, make dinner, etc. It’s too much. But I am so encouraged by your words. I AM right. I CANNOT do it all, by myself. But through Him, I can. I try, when I get discouraged, to remember, ‘And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,giving thanks to God the Father through him.’
    Thank you

  40. Thank you! Thank you for this post! I have been camped out in the 3rd category for too long. I’ve not been able to put it into words as well as you did. About hiding from what I keep seeing as failure and inability and getting stuck in a cycle of bad habits of avoidance. It helps to hear someone say it. I am at risk of failing by trying to avoid failure at all costs with “me time.” Of course, most people I talk to in the world tell me to “take time for myself” and everything. But like you said, there is no better way to recharge self than by spending time in prayer and meditation. It’s not really about me. It’s about keeping in tune with God.

  41. That was beautiful. I have tried the “Me Time” thing…and it ends up that if I make time just for me I don’t like the me I’m spending time with. I start thinking too much about the things I’m missing. I am not refreshed afterward. It is the sacred time I spend with the Lord (whatever that looks like – at the grocery store, early in the morning with my coffee, etc…), my husband, my girl friends, and those precious timeless moments with my children that bring refreshment to my soul.

  42. Thank you. =)
    This sentence: “They talk of filling yourself first so you can fill others.” Actually, that statement IS true.. but in a way that most people don’t mean it.
    We MUST fill ourselves with God, His Word, and The Spirit, first, in order to fill others. We cannot share that which we do not have. Peace, Joy, Patience, Love, Gentleness, and so on.. these things don’t come out of ME, they come out of the Spirit WITHIN ME, and if I’m not drinking my fill of God daily, I won’t be able to pour God into my family.
    To me this is the truest sense of taking care of myself and having Me Time. To have my time before the Lord. (Sometimes with littles underfoot, sometimes alone, it is not the “alone” that matters it is the “before the Lord” that matters!)

    I also understand that I am supposed to take care of myself physically with good nutrition and enough sleep. And sometimes I need to step away for a deep breath and a prayer before diving back in. (Sometimes that deep breath is a women’s retreat.) God does want us to take care of the bodies that He gave us, I’m not arguing that. But like you I find that the BIGGEST thing about taking care of us is taking care of our relationship with HIM. All else flows from there. If you’re keeping a God-centered mindset, you can’t entertain a self-centered one. =)

    Thanks, again!!

  43. I have been processing this one for a while now this morning…

    I think the key is when you wrote that– this should all be about Him.

    And I’ve shifted my perspective over the years of being a mama.
    Initially, in response to the “it’s all about me” world view that is EVERYWHERE these day and also the negative view of children that permeates our culture (seeing them as a drain vs. a gift)–

    I felt pretty strongly that “me time” was rooted in selfishness (*and this is where I should have pulled the log-of-pride-out-of-my-own-eye :)

    But over the years I’ve softened a lot as God has shown me how just as parents, we delight in giving our kiddos good gifts…

    And time-doing-something-I-enjoy–
    (whether taking a walk or in prayer or a reading a book or enjoying friendships or even just messing-around-while-looking-for-garage-sales)…

    If I can view those times as a gift from Him–

    not as a “right”…
    not as something I’m “owed”…
    not as a “need” (because we know ALL we need can be found in Him) …

    But as just a beautiful, kind, often fun gift from Him (usually gifted through the grace and love of my husband’s willingness)…well, then I find those times so satisfying and refreshing and I come back really thankful and He uses the opportunities to make me a better mama and wife– for Him.

  44. Absolutely NO BACKLASH here!! Just more respect and gratitude that you had the courage to revise this. I have printed up and passed out the original My Time Myth because I think it is vitally important. This revision is that much better and I will pass this one out as well!! Thank you for this article. It is says exactly what is taught in Scripture but somewhere gets lost!!

  45. Thank you for this. I have fallen into all three camps! Today I find myself doing things in moderation. Sometimes I really need some alone time to completely focus on God and God alone. Sometimes I’m fussy and my husbands takes my kids out for some daddy time while I scrub dishes, light candles and then welcome them back to a cleaner home. Sometimes my husband wants my full attention so we go on dates, sans kids, for dinner somewhere.

    I’ve really taken to heart something you said a while back that I’m paraphrasing: what we need is not time with ‘ourselves’ which offers no rest at all, but time to rest in the Lord, and let Him fill our empty cups to overflowing so His love and joy overflows to our families.

    This whole train of thought has totally revolutionized how I seek to refill. Thank you! Now I find myself praying, out loud, for whatever is troubling me over a sink of suds while my kids are having a snack right there in the kitchen and then spinning around being able to snuggle them because I know the Lord has my whole world in His hands. What a beautiful witness for His provision these acts are. Thank you, thank you 😉 This is the first an only place I’ve even heard of this thought before and it’s just so great.

    BTW – I’ve had to lay all this out for my husband who used to almost push me out the door to go get some coffee and shopping somewhere and chill out. Now he hands me my bible!

  46. Amy,
    So beautifully written and well said. I was just re-reading your original article in The Old Schoolhouse a few weeks ago. :)

  47. Amen!

    I’m sorry you took any backlash in the past for writing truth and this is truth. We are born to serve, worship & glorify…and I hope putting this forward will mold others homeschooling moms thinking.

  48. I love this! I am a mom of four (ages 5 and under) and I am always find sin creeping in in the form of “The Guilty Mom”. My new mantra a prayer every time I feel overwhelmed and burdened by my husband and family is: “You are here to serve.” Not only am I here to serve my husband and my children but more importantly I am here to serve the Lord. It is through them (my family) that I serve Him!
    We are preparing to begin our homeschooling journey in the fall and are SO looking forward to it! You have been such a huge help and inspiration to us! I know the more that I have my eyes and my heart set on God, the more His plan will unfold in our lives. Thank you again!
    PS Don’t ever let anyone make you feel that your words and what God puts on your heart are incorrect. Most likely it is that they are offended because they take it personally. It is probably either a struggle in their lives or one that they don’t recognize but I guarantee that you made them think and maybe even changed a heart or two! Keep speaking the truth! You a wonderful woman doing God’s work and He is the only one that you have to answer to 😉

  49. Thank you for being brave and visiting again, as this was the first time I have read this. I so was in need of it!

  50. Thanks, Amy! Also wondering if you linked your history curriculum yet and I missed it? Looking forward to my first year homeschooling (finally!) next year and am trying to pull things together. Also, I was raised Catholic and do not have much Bible knowledge myself, but really feeling the Lord pulling me to Impart
    this on my children. I don’t know where to start being that I don’t have a good base myself. Any suggestions for teaching Bible when I’m a “newbie” myself? My daughter will be in fourth grade.

    • I did link to it in the Writing Your Own History Curriculum post I believe. I really like Hurlbut’s Story Bible and Mighty Acts of God for Bible time. This mama learned a lot!

  51. I do a majority of my housework while the kids are up…and so during nap and bedtime I can spend the time doing stuff I want to do. I am able to take a bath, sew, organize, watch a movie etc…so I never feel like I don’t get to do things I want to do. But my goal in life is not to be away from kids and seek out “me time” why have kids then if all you want to do is get rid of them. I have met people like that who need “girl time” and “me time” and it grieves my heart. I didn’t have my first born till I was 25…so I figure I had 25 years of me time and it wasn’t near as fulfilling as being a wife and mother.

  52. Amy, this post is simply beautiful. I wholeheartedly agree with you. Thank you for shining light on this touchy subject. We don’t need me time, we need Him time.

  53. Applause!
    I would fall mostly into your third category, Hide! But as I began to read that paragraph, I thought, I’m not that guilty? Sometime, like today, I think Oh, I was hoping I would get more done here it is Thursday already. But I am not getting more done and that’s the way it is. I am not schooling my younger two as I did my older two and I’m not sure if it’s better or worse? But that’s the way it is.
    One day the Lord will make up for these locust years, and that’s the way it is.

  54. Amy, I never read your first post on this topic but I can say I think you did a great job of covering it this go round. Thank you for sharing your heart and I will pray that your words speak to those that need them.

  55. I read your me time myth article when you originally posted it and loved it! In a culture where taking care of ME is the only thing people think about, your article hit home.

    BUT…my love language is acts of service. I am so good at taking care of everyone’s needs around me, even if my body and spirit are completely falling apart. After 14 years of parenting and much of that alone (my husband is in the military, he travels and works long hours), I am finding myself in a place where I’m having to figure out how to have “me” time. For years I have felt guilty for doing anything for myself – even showering some days! I haven’t exercised regularly, will give up necessary sleep for my family and other people, have had ZERO time alone. And my body is worn out, exhausted and giving up. My spirit the same. My emotions the same. I have successfully taught my husband that I can do everything, he isn’t necessary here, so he can work longer hours. My children are self-centered, selfish and lazy because I always am around to help, do it, whatever.

    Obviously I missed the point somewhere!! Now I’m trying to figure out how to have a bit of balance in all this. I’m exercising again (and trying to ignore the mess in the house in the process). I’m spending more time in prayer. I’m willing to speak up and say “I need to be alone for a few minutes”. All of this is so hard! I’m recognizing that leaving the kids with my husband is actually good for all of them!

    I still agree with your article, still love it. Just trying to figure out how to carve out a bit of space for my sanity and yet not be selfish.

  56. Hey! I am new to your blog. Just have to say I really appreciate your post! I can relate to all of those categories of women, at one point or another in my motherhood journey. As a mother of 7, homeschooling the remaining 4 school-aged children, and working part-time, it can be a daily battle to NOT be in a category. The Lord, in his grace and mercy, and infinite patience(!) is teaching me about thanksgiving…a thankful heart! So whether I am baking the weeks bread while struggling to keep the attention of a 5 and 7 yr. old on their language arts, or finding a few moments to sit in relative peace and read, I need to give God the thanks and praise for where he has placed me, and, at times, the strength to make it through the next 5 minutes! Thanks again for your words!

  57. Hi Amy,
    Thank you so much for this post and your Me Time Myth post. Your words ring so true to me. I feel humbled, challenged and hopeful. The woman you described in your Me Time Myth post has often been me. Recently things have gotten better and I do credit the Lord with filling “the void”. Also, now that I have three kids I’ve realized that I would have to wrestle my way to consistent “me” time. I know that I would never be satisfied, never feel like I had enough. I’ve just accepted that if it happens, “great”. If it doesn’t happen, I do rely on God to pull me through. If I truly feel like I “need” a break, well then I don’t begrudge myself one. Thank you for the encouragement. God truly is the only one that can show us the beauty and fulfillment of parenting, through the wonderful and the challenging moments. He can reveal the joy in it all, but sometimes I need reminders of that.

  58. thank you for the post. thank you for your courage. it was well written and something for me to contemplate as I struggle with this issue period but especially in the midst of my circumstances. thank you again. God Bless!

  59. I struggle with the “me time” I always feel guilty when I’m away..I have one little one and I take care of her all the time, and I enjoy it! I know there’s ups and downs just like everything else a person does. I don’t feel I’m being selfish when I go to my quilting group once every two weeks, and she can’t go yet (she will when she’s older). BUT she is spending time with her Daddy, and she LOVES alone time just him and her! Maybe that’s an idea for some women who have things they’d like to do, but feel bad about it. Daddies need time with their children to! It’s so funny to watch and her about them together! I agree we SHOULD NOT live for alone time. I won’t be a liar and say I don’t like nap time for an hour or two of quietness, but I don’t live for it! My husband actually made a comment one day when he saw me on the blog called “Once a Month Mom” now he doesn’t know anything about the blog world, but he said that is an interesting name….It really shows people around you how you may or may not be feeling. No I don’t want to be a once a month mom, I want to be an every day Mom, but if you keep pushing away for more time it gets ugly! I praise God I have such a wonderful family, and he rains down blessings on me every day! No one is a perfect parent we all need to pray for God’s Guidance!

  60. Excellent post! I really appreciate your spirit and your perspective . . . and agree for the most part, but not sure I agree 100%.

    Am I understanding you to say that it is only OK to take a bubble bath, for example, if you are praying?? thinking about God? I mean, certainly all of our life should be lived to bring glory to God, and we are to pray without ceasing. But, I don’t think we as women need the bondage of feeling guilty of having time to ourselves if it wasn’t all spent in an extended Devotional time. what if we are focusing on a workout routine? Or writing a blog post? Or thinking about challenges with our schedule or what curriculum we might want to consider for the next school year? These are examples of something I might do during “Me Time.”

    Perhaps I”m misunderstanding you?

    Anyway, I think the key, as with everything, is balance. I think it is wrong to look at ME TIME as a right we DESERVE and MUST HAVE. But, if God allows us to have some time to relax or refresh, we should consider it a PRIVILEGE and THANK HIM for the gift of this time of refreshment. I do think we need times to break away from the routine and disengage, even more so, because we give so much of ourselves all the rest of the time

    thanks for letting me share my thoughts!


    • Elizabeth,
      Christianity shouldn’t be compartmentalized to the point where we are only being “holy” if we are praying or fasting or in church. Christianity must permeate every area of our lives, so while I’m not talking about God every second while I’m out with friends, I am still behaving in a way befitting a Christian woman. That IS worship! :)

  61. Amen! I have usually found myself falling into the “guilty mom’s club.” You’ve put into words what I’ve been slowly coming to realize over the past few weeks: whatever “me time” I get, if not centered on the Lord and delighting in the blessings He’s given me, just leaves me feeling empty and craving more, not refreshed, fulfilled, or content.

    Thank you for this encouragement!

  62. I mean no disrespect, but please step into the 21st century. Why should we have to make ALL the sacrifices? I am a stay at home mom. I love my daughter and my husband very much, but you know what? When I’m not feeling very good, either health wise, or just “me” wise, I don’t do such a great job looking after them. Here is the thing though, my husband is a grown man. Why can’t he look after himself a little? Devotion to the Lord is a good thing, absolutely, but the rules of the bible are archaic at best. There is no room for personal growth for a woman and that is just wrong. Just because a woman “can’t live without” her “me time” does NOT mean that she loves her family any less than the woman who gives up everything but her daily 5 minute shower to do for her family. I love God, I love my husband and my daughter, but if I don’t love myself very well then that interferes with my taking care of them. Using the bible to dictate how a woman should be have is just silly. Back when it was written, all a woman was good for was having and raising children and there were no other pursuits open to her to let off steam and allow her a break. These days that simply is not the case and every woman should be allowed her “me time” whatever that may be, and she should be able to feel as much need for that time as she wants without someone telling her she’s wrong to think that way. If I didn’t get breaks from my duties once in awhile, I’d never get anything done, like going back to school, because “GASP” I don’t want to be a housewife forever. I know that’s a huge shock, but I don’t want my daughter to grow up thinking she can only be wife and mother. I want her to have the chance to do whatever she wants and she should not grow up thinking she will have to choose between family and career, she can do both. And I certainly won’t have anyone telling her she’s less Christian or God fearing than you if she chooses career AND family. If a woman’s “me time” is a little time set aside for private devotions each day, then that’s great, but you know what, I can pray anywhere, even at the gym, and I’m here to tell you that a little work out does wonders for the self. A night out, a morning to sleep in, a weekend away with the girls are ALL acceptable versions of “me time”. The men helped make the babies, there is NO reason that they can’t help take care of them as well. Raising and education the children is NOT just the job of the mother. A housewife has SO many things to do, and so many demands on her time that she simply must get some time away for herself. If a woman is fine going without then that is her business, but shame on you for judging those of us who look forward to and enjoy our breaks. Has it ever occured to you that the children need breaks from their mothers just as much as the mothers need breaks from their children? I know my daughter loves going away to grandma’s for the weekend. She has fewer rules, she gets more treats, she just has a lot more fun than when she’s with tight laced mommy and that is good for her. If you judge those of us who look forward to, and yes “can’t live without” our breaks, then you are no better than the women who boast about their self sacrifice. Please, join the overworked mothers and housewives in the 21st century please, and realize that gender roles have no place in this world and the woman shouldn’t have to be the only one to sacrifice. There is nothing wrong with making the daddy pitch in, they are his kids too. And don’t tell me I’m less of a Christian because I believe that. I love God just as much as the next person, but I do enjoy a trip to see Wicked with my girlfriends as well because I can’t live without a break from my husband, my duties, and my house, and yes sometimes my kid too. I love her with all my heart, but sometimes she drives me crazy and it dosen’t make me less of or a bad mother for saying that. What do you get out of making us feel ashamed of the natural urges we feel to look after ourselves sometimes? Seriously, who made you the expert on how all wives and mothers should feel and behave? Judge not lest ye be judged. You can have your opinions and theories, but you don’t need try to tell everyone that you’re right and their wrong. Don’t tell me how to be a mother cause I’m doing just fine. My daughter is smart and better behaved than most children of her age because I work very hard to make her that way so I’m entitled to whatever “me time” I want. Your way is not the only way, and your belief is not the only one, nor is it the only right one. Every woman is allowed to be an individual now and no one should stifle that, not even God who created us with all our wonderful strenghts and uniquness.

    • I don’t think Amy is trying to say you can’t do anything to help you keep your sanity. I think she’s saying that by being in the Word and following God’s plan in your life can look different for you than me. Sometimes a mom does need a break. Mom’s aren’t supposed to do it all by ourselves. God created us to be a helper to our spouses and told us to love each other. That means we respect them and honor them and help them carry out their desires for the family. It’s a full circle when in God’s plan. I know many husbands who step up and help out around the home and with the kids, but when they are at work the mom is the one in charge and is teaching the children. If both spouses work outside the home the children are still be taught by whoever has been chosen to care for them and there are still things to do when everyone is home together.

    • I don’t think Amy was attempting to tell anyone how to be a mother. In fact, I think she was just expressing her own opinion on her own blog which no one forces any of us to read. I also a little confused by your comment that you’re a Christian, yet view the Bible as archaic and don’t believe this should be used a reference for what a woman should be. What should we look to then if not our faith and the word of God?

      For the record it is disrespectful to tell someone to step into the 21st century since surely you did not mean it as a compliment. Just because a woman chooses to care for her family rather than pursue a career or views personal time in a different manner than you doesn’t mean she isn’t living squarely in this century. In fact, I think she’s talking about a very real phenomenon of this century- the idea that marriage and children are burdensome, that someone has to have a career to be successful, or that women in general are somehow more entitled to their free time than anyone else. (I think we’re all aware that our husbands helped create our babies with us, and can care for them. What does this have to do with being a mother or a mother’s devotion to her family? Why is this always brought up when someone dares to suggest that a woman has a responsibility to her family?)

      Frankly, there is nothing wrong with being “only” a wife and a mother. While I do enjoy my free time as I believe most mothers do, my children are my responsibility- and my desire for time to devote only to myself has to be balanced. I am not just an individual now, but also a wife and mother that have responsibilities that go far beyond what is pleasurable just for me.

      Amy, I appreciate your take on this as this was something I was thinking about and discussing with my husband today. Thanks for so candidly discussing this and sharing your opinion! :)

    • Oh my, where is the animosity coming from? You should hear yourself…
      You sound so bitter and un-Christ like. If this is what all your “me time” has resulted in, you aren’t making a very good case for yourself. Are you conforming to what the Bible says, or are you making the Bible conform to your lifestyle? Where in all your arguments can you back up your statements with scripture? Where in all your words is the love that you claim to have for God? Or your neighbor? No one was condemning you. If you read the blog carefully, you’ll see that. In fact, read the part she said, “…it is okay to take care of yourself. It is okay to stay at home and it is okay to go out. It is okay to exercise and okay to take a break. The thing you must always keep at the forefront of whatever it is you do is that this is NOT about YOU.”
      Please don’t take your frustrations out on a sister in Christ who is trying to help moms, not hurt them. If you don’t want her help, then why were you reading this blog? If you have it all together, then why get so upset? No one is making you read this or agree with it. Don’t take it so personally.

    • H Porter,

      I normally do not respond to comments, I just “lurk”. However, your response demanded me to come out of hiding and speak. I am deeply saddened by your remarks ( and I mean that honestly). I am a stay at mom of three. I homeschool. I am a pastors wife. And yes, I hold a four year college degree. ( not bragging, just giving perspective). By far my greastest achievement is that I have NOT “stepped into the 21st century” in my mothering…..and I also DO firmly hold the BIBLE as my rule book for parenting and being a wife. Perhaps you should schedule some time with your pastor and discuss the deeper issue here, as I believe your viewpoints are dangerous. ( I apologize for using such strong language, but I am passionate about restoring the family as a God-ordained institution, with clearly defined gender roles, being led by God, not the world’s standards).

    • Isn’t it interesting how those who are easily offended are usually those who often offend? …thank you Amy for being willing to share uplifting thoughts and positive reinforcement! I’m sorry that some feel the need to backlash against you because they don’t understand.

    • There’s a saying old timers use:

      When you throw a rock into a pack of dogs the one who yelps the loudest is the one who got hit.

      I’m not calling anyone a dog. But if the Bible is archaic to you, if you believe that Gods own word is wrong, or that your opinion is over Gods regarding the place He’s made for women as you say in your comments then I can see why this issue may be so confusing and I am sorry for you.

      Rather than being so disrespectful to Amy, and you have been very much with such a hateful response to such a carefully, lovingly written post, you need to be asking yourself why this bothered you so much. Its times like this we need to do some deep reflection and seeking the face of God for answers to find out why this so quickly became such a burr under your saddle.

      There is no place for the world in the church no matter how hard people try to bring it there. I believe this may be part of the problem. The two can not co-exsist in such a place. Gods word is clear we are not to be conformed to this world yet every argument you gave was a worldly one. What joy you will find when you reach a place where your heart can be fully open to the true Word and all its directions given through it! And what an unspeakable blessing you will be able to be to your husband and daughter when that finally does occur in a way you never could be now. If you think things are good now, you just wait. Gods gifts to us are far better than any we could give ourselves and He knows us far better than we think we do. I’m praying for you.

    • No one has said that you or your daughter cannot have both career and family or that raising children and keeping a home falls solely on the wife or mother. That’s between you, your husband, and God. My husband and I have children and up until I lost my job last month, I have always worked full-time. However, I have been overjoyed to have the opportunity to get to stay home with my kids. My mother always worked full-time while raising and homeschooling six kids along with my dad on our dairy farm. The point is to keep God at the center or your lives and to honor Him in what you do. This post was coming from a woman’s perspective, but I’m sure her husband spends as much time helping to raise thier children as she does, along with his responsibility to provide for thier family. I can’t know for sure because I do not personally know them, but it was coming from her as a mother and a wife who happens to be called to stay-at-home with thier children.

  63. Oh, how I love this post. I’ve shied away from this topic with others. Nobody understands why I don’t “go out for girl time” every chance I get. I don’t really know how to say it, but ME Time hasn’t been a priority for me. I have times when I just want to sit and be quiet, but feel that’s not a good use of time. But to put it all in perspective….to take that time to just sit with the Lord. THAT is a WONDERFUL use of time. It’s what I needed to hear. That it’s o.k. to sit quietly…..sit with God. I want to strive in every aspect of my life, to do everything – even drinking a cup of coffee – as unto the Lord. Thank you, Amy!!!!

  64. Amy, I read your first “me time” post – and it really resonated with me, because of one sentence: Me Time, by its very name, suggests that who we are during the daily grind is not who we truly are. SO TRUE! And I think that’s the only reason “me time” is not the way to encourage moms to fill themselves up…it’s suggesting we be someone else with our family than we are with God & our inner selves. We should call it “God time” or “worship time” or “Spirit time” or something else that truly reflects what we’re doing – praying for help! :) Thank you for an honest blog, and always thought-provoking posts. :) I enjoy them!

  65. You will never know just how timely your words are for me. Thank you. This is the first I’ve heard of the Mom’s Sacrifice List… it is what I needed to hear. Thank you Thank you Thank you.

    A Former Guilty Mom

  66. Thank you for your article. I am just beginning the homeschool journey and one of y biggest concerns has been about ‘me time’ etc. So this has come at the right time and gives me lots of food for thought. I like ‘This is worship’.

  67. Well said.
    If I wasn’t running out the door I’d say more, but for now I say Amen!
    Thank you for trusting that the Lord has your back as you share… He is forever faithful. May your words encourage and strengthen your readers…

  68. Amy, this is so right on. I just had a conversation with 2 other moms of little ones about how deceptive it is, this whole attitude ” If I don’t take care of me no one else will.” There is not one bit of that in scripture! There is a movement of moms REALLY starting to get it, that what God has laid out in His word is the actual way to peace, joy, fulfillment – because you’re living for Him, by dying daily to you! And that includes church activities, that we can somehow justify as “ministry”, while neglecting our biblically outlined ministry to our family. I know, i’ve done it for far too long, and am now seeing the freedom that He has offered in submitting to His plan. Thank you for stepping out in the face of criticism to preach the truth of His word.

  69. I think the key is to not expect or demand time to yourself, but if it’s given to you as a blessing from God every once in a while through a friend inviting you to coffee, or getting to fellowship at church knowing your kids are enjoying their fellowship outside on the grass with their friends…don’t shove these gifts away either!

  70. This is a subject I have thought about a lot. I think what you said was very beautifully expressed, and I agree with it. And I really appreciate that God provides times of refreshment for moms, although there are also times with little to persevere through. But I appreciate you pointing out worship as the missing element in this topic. I will have to think about that more.

  71. I love what you have written! So very to the point of the TRUTH! I know all about those “off days”, “off weeks”, “off months”, “off years”! I alway though get brought back around some how and realized that I have been out of true fellowship with the Lord. My “Me Time” is Bible Study with the women at our church, where most the time my smallest child is with me and they are all close by in their classes. My other “Me Time” is fellowshiping with the other mamas of our church while we watch our children play at the park. This is the greatest blessing to my heart and to our family. I love to dewell where God is! Thanks for writing this, so many women need to read this with an open heart from the Lord! :)

  72. Yup…

    And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by him.
    Colossians 3:17

  73. Wait a second, Amy…YOU wrote that article?? Seriously? I copied and pasted that on my blog over a year ago when I found the article at ( I had no idea that was you! I contacted crosswalk asking if I could please somehow contact the author so I could tell her what a blessing that article had been to me and my readers, and they never responded. So now you know! You can go to my link and read the comments from my readers. And one of my readers reposted at her blog. Wonderful article–thank you!!!

  74. Amy, I read your original post and it rocked my world! It changed my frame of reference for mothering- for the vastly better!
    If I “NEED” me-time and I CAN’T get it, then according to this world (and my previous unconsciuos mindset), I am entitled to feel resentful, angry, frustrated, all things which make me miserable! But if God promises to meet my needs, even in the midst of this time with all young children whose needs must come before mine, then I can rest in his peace and provision, knowing that right in the midst of that moment, when things threaten to overwhelm me, there is provision… provision for peace IN that moment, not AFTER it. Provision for TIME when I feel like there isn’t enough. Provision for strength and energy that in the world’s eyes (and my own!) I haven’t had enough sleep to have! And as I’ve rested in his promises and released myself from unrealistic and not-from-God expectations, I have seen this come true many, many times!!
    The people who insist they NEED me-time in the ways and times they expect to have it are actually missing out on seeing God move in amazing and wonderful ways in their lives! Be encouraged Amy, there are so many women grateful for your challenges and encouragement, me among them!
    I so often praise God for your timely and wise words xxxx

  75. Amy, this is one of your best posts! God has been teaching me these same things as I continue with homeschooling and being with my children most of each day. I am also working on how to gently share these ideas with others. The culture we live in makes daily “me-time” a prevalent, expected activity even for Christian moms.

  76. Ok, I just want to say that if this method of life works for all of you, then great. Go for it. If you feel properly loved and cherished for all the sacrifices you all make and you need nothing beyond your faith, that’s wonderful. Im not passing any judgment. I was a little harsher than I normally would have been because of some grief I was dealing with. I honestly meant no disrespect. Here is my problem I suppose. I took the article as saying that that way was the only correct way to do things and that any other way is wrong. I don’t like being told what to do in my own life. I sacrificed everything for my family. I have no self left. I was happy to make those sacrifices because I loved my family. However, my sacrifices have been taken for granted by my husband who is supposed to cherish me. Instead, I’m treated like a maid and nanny so I hope you will forgive me if I no longer appreciate the view of giving of yourself till the end. I have no self left to give, and God hasn’t been overly helpful in making my husband a better husband. Don’t misunderstand me, he is a good man and a wonderful daddy, but he doesn’t treat me as partner or equal. And because of all that I do need more than just a little devotional time to recharge. I do need to start putting myself first sometimes because I want my daughter to see me happy with life and with myself. So I don’t want to be told that I’m wrong to want these things. Im not. I don’t want to be judged or called bad mother for wanting these things because I’m not. I refuse to listen to anyone who asserts these facts. Every life is different. Don’t tell me what kind of “me time” is proper for my life until you’ve lived it. I don’t judge any of you for how you choose to live your lives and raise your families, and I am sorry if I sounded like I do. If you’re content enough in your lives that this works for you then great. It doesn’t work for me and I felt as though such an article should have been stated as more of an opinion or an option for women to try. I’m sorry for my offense yesterday. Truely. If I hadn’t been dealing with a family loss I probably wouldn’t have commented at all. Its not like me to put my foot into things like this. Normally I’m a live and let live kind of person. I respect t anyone who can live only for their God and family but I cant, not anymore. I need to find some of myself. If you think that makes me a bad mommy or wife, we’ll please keep that to yourself. You cant truely know that unless you come see my life. I’m a good wife and great mother. My family is well loved and looked after. I do my duties well, so yes I feel that entitles me to a little self rediscovery. I’m sorry if any of you disagree.

    • Dear H Porter,

      I am glad you came back to re-post. It sounds as if your dealing with a lot, but please don’t shut yourself off from God. I do believe you have a love for Him, just as I believe you are doing your best to be the best mom and wife you know how to be. Please do not give up on God. I know its hard at times when we can’t see God working in our lives but that doesn’t mean He’s stopped and left us all alone. He is still there working, we just don’t always get to see that work until later on down the road. I believe He has some wonderful things for you if you can just hold on.

      This may sound funny but I’ve been thinking about boot straps a lot today. A weird thing to think about, hm? I just couldn’t get them out of my head earlier and now I know why. We are often told to pull ourselves up by our boot straps when things get tough. And sometimes we do it til our hands are just raw for all the pulling and still it doesn’t feel like we’re getting anywhere. But I want you to remember there is a thread that is stronger than any boot strap you will ever get a hold of. Its that last thread hanging from our Saviors garment. Just keep hanging on to that thread when you feel like you are ready to let go and don’t give up. Because He’s not giving up on you.

      When you feel trampled on, taken for granted, forgotten, or left behind just remember there is one who see’s all that your doing and knows your heart and He’s not forgotten you. He is being glorified through all that you do for others because of Him. If you faint not you will be exhalted in due time.

      Hang in there!! I’m still praying for you! :)

      • I am so glad to see this response to you, H Porter … it is one of love. I, too, have been praying for you and hope you find encouragement by the above response, as I did.

    • I have to say, the one thing we seem to miss in all the back and forth is that laying down your life for your family is the EXACT representation of how Christ laid down his life for you and me . To try to escape it, to swing to any of the extremes Amy mentioned , or to belittle and dismiss this awesome gift – is saying that what Christ did wasn’t a worthwhile endeavor. He was tired from ministering ; he was hungry because he gave his food to the hungry ; he was heart-broken when his friends abandoned him ; he was betrayed by a kiss of a friend ; his prayer time was interrupted by the needy ; he was alone in a way we can’t even begin to imagine – can any of us say we’ve laid down our lives for our brothers to that extent? And all that he did while we were his enemies! He is asking no more from us that what he has gone through himself. If we want to know him, to be like him , this is what it will take. All I can control by his grace is myself, and today I will choose to die to myself, because he died for me.
      2 Corinthians 5:15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. Amen!
      Phillipians 2:3-5 Do NOTHING out of selfish ambition of vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look NOT ONLY TO YOUR OWN INTERESTS, but to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. (emph mine)

    • H Porter,

      As I read your thoughts, I hear a heart that is horribly wounded, and I’m very sorry for that. Please know that there are loving, kind people who would love to share their hearts with you and help you heal. Please know that the God you serve is good. He is love. His very essence is love. He loves you. I hurt for you. (No, I’m not generally much of an empath, but your words made me long to hug you.)

      You speak some truth, and you know that when you’re broken, it’s very hard to be anyone’s everything. Yes, you need to be full before you can pour yourself out. Amy is right, as I believe you agree, that only God can fill you.

      I don’t know you. I don’t know where you are or what kind of community surrounds you, but I long for your healing and restoration. God is good. Seek Him. He’ll provide that for you.

      Much love,

  77. Amy, this was a very thought-provoking post and well-written too. I don’t homeschool, but I have to say that I agree with you. I’ve been a mom for 21 years, and I quit my job when my 2nd daughter was born. I’ve been a SAHM for 19 1/2 years. I’m not sure where I fit in here but from day one I did the whole “its not about me” thing. I went without so my children could have…still do… a single income can only provide so much!

    Funny though…as much as I felt alienated from the ‘outside world’, it still influenced me and there were many times in the past that I know my sacrifices were not given with the right heart but a sort of sense of duty…this is what I should be doing, its what’s the right thing to do, but I was resentful. Believe it or not my husband did angrily throw at me that word once…’martyr’. Looking back, I can see that I was very much like those ‘Me Time Martyrs’ and I wanted him to appreciate my sacrifices…he didn’t get it.

    Thank God that wisdom comes with age and for the past few years, its been better..I always have to be on guard though for those little bitter thoughts that try to surface…you know the enemy always stirs up the things that are thorns in our sides! God has given me the chance to do it all over with my last daughter and I’m working hard to keep the right attitude and spirit this time around.

    Thank you for a very encouraging article. The world will always try to tell us otherwise, but its “NOT about me”!
    God bless!

  78. Amen! I love your focus. I am an introvert and I covet time to think deeply and be by myself. But really, when I am “by myself” and don’t invite God into that equation, the time I spend is selfish and unproductive. I do need times to refuel and recharge, but God is my battery! I pray that moms will be able to see that “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men (or yourself)” Colossians 3:23

  79. Amy, thank you.

    I am a childless homesteader. I just came in from outside after crying my heart out to God about life, my choices, the feeling of being overwhelmed and just frustrated with life. My life has been so me-centric and this was a timely reminder.

  80. Dear Friend,
    I love this post. I’m sorry if you receive backlash for it, but remember, they hated Jesus first. I believe your ideas are spot on. I too am a homeschooler with a hectic schedule opposite of my husbands. It requires us to be unselfish, team players who trust each other to be doing our job. When we come together we make it the very best quality we can. Your words are beautiful. Keep writing. Don’t let others get you down. There’s lots of us saying, “Wow! Thanks for writing this!”

  81. This is SPOT on! I have to admit, I headed over here thanks to Bethany at Apple Cider Mill, and I was expecting just another mommy blog with a Mommy judging, judging, judging me for those little snippets of time I carve out to worship, to think, to enjoy the life I’ve been blessed with. If that’s working out quick with one of my Firm videos, it might be spending some time baking a treat for my family while my husband runs crowd control.

    Too long I took the advice of those judgmental Mommy bloggers who espoused the ridiculousness that taking any amount of Me time is selfish. I followed this advice, thinking I was a good mommy for completely being unselfish. Instead, I grew contemptuous of those who love me the most. I became depressed, anxious, and my walk with God suffered. it really and truly sucked. Majorly.

    Now, my husband and I recognize the time as time for us to be ourselves – not mommy, not a wife, not a husband…just us. I might go for a run, and inevitably, my thoughts turn to thankful thoughts. Prayer isn’t anything formal in my world…just a running conversation with a good friend. :)

    And that’s how it’s going to stay.

  82. Thanks for this. I’ve often thought this, but was afraid to say anything for the reasons you said. It is nice to know I’m not alone in this.

  83. Excellent, excellent, excellent. Thank you so much for your concise, well thought out evaluation of this. I really appreciate both the original article and this one. As a newlywed seeking to clarify some thought processes before we have a home full of children, I find your insights to be invaluable to helping me understand the heart of God. Thank you for taking the time to write.

    Much love.

  84. Lovely post, but I think that sometimes the reason why moms feel that “me time” is necessary is somewhat ignored. At least among most of my friends, none of us were really taught how to take care of a home and family. Sure, I cleaned my room and helped my mom make meals growing up, but I never learned how to run a household, plan meals for the week and make grocery lists, etc. I am certainly not trying to blame my mother (or other mothers who didn’t impart those homekeeping skills to their daughters) but I think this could play a big role in the need for “escape” that some women experience. If you have never been taught how to run a household, care for a husband or children and then all of a sudden you a thrown in it is likely that you will have a reaction that may include pulling away. That’s not to say that women who are trained to keep a home don’t experience feeling overwhelmed, but I assume that they are able to cope with it a little better because they have those skills to rely on. That’s why it is so important that as women we impart those skills to our daughters!!!!

  85. Wonderful post. Wonderfully written and expressed! I have been the mom that tried to give it all away, said I didn’t need me time, etc. I ended up being a very bitter mom that wasn’t helping anyone. So I tired different avenues, put my kids is a great school, got a job at this great school….. six months later God showed up big that this was not his will! A year and a half later I am back at home, and so are my kids, we are looking up constantly for His mighty guidance and we are doing awesome. God is so good to show us our mistakes in a gentle way and to help us get back on the path that He wants us on. If it wasn’t for all the Him and I prayer times, shower times, or late night wish I were sleeping but God wants me listening times I might still have myself and my family in a not so great rut. But with these “Him and I” times we are a thriving family! Thank you for this article! Many Blessings

  86. All things were given to us to be richly enjoyed :) If my husband is free to watch our son and I have the opportunity to take my camera out for a walk by myself when all urgent duties are done- I don’t feel guilty at all. And if I only think a couple of things to the Lord as I walk rather than spending the time intentionally in prayer or scripture memory- I don’t feel guilty at all. And when I walk by the coffee house and have a minute to sit by myself and think- I still don’t feel guilty :) The coffee, the trees, the flowers, the walk were all given to be enjoyed and God is glorified in our enjoyment of his creation. I think sometimes we’re so hard on ourselves. There’s so little time and so much to do- It feels like every second must be “used”. We forget that our joy is a worthy use! I understand why it’s good to talk about things like this. Some moms are so overwhelmed/stressed by their families that it truly seems they are a burden and not blessing. This is so sad and I totally get how you end up there. It is truly a worship issue. If I worship myself I will fall into these camps you talked about- either chasing after time for myself or pridefully rejecting any. Jesus doesn’t want us to preform- he knows our hearts. We will not make him happier with us by staying rather than going out. When he looks at us he sees Christ and not just when we’re behaving ourselves. This is so beautiful.

  87. I, too, have noticed that if I start to view any opportunity to get out for a break as an ‘escape’ from my life, then I start to want more escapes. When, in reality, why should I want to escape from the beautiful life God has given me that is a fulfillment of everything I have ever dreamed of? That is silly. However, the truth is, life with little ones DOES get tough at times. As with anything else in life we do, we need a break every now and then. If I view them as “Breaks” and not “Escapes”, for the purpose of rebooting, then I find I come back refreshed and ready to embrace my family. I am not sure I completely agree with you on the subject of using every break we get for prayer or spiritual things. Like what you said about using a bubble bath for the purpose of prayer. Sometimes it is okay just to not ‘think’ or ‘pray’ or ‘plan’. Sometimes it is okay just to relax. I think, like that other lady said in her comment, ladies begin to feel guilty because they think they are sinning if every moment of their day is not ‘used’ somehow. I grew up with that concept and have had to work very hard to realize that relaxing and enjoying the life God gave me is okay too. :)

  88. A sister from a homemakers ministry I attend emailed the first article you wrote about “me time” to our group. I must confess I am way out of the audience for this group. I don’t home school, don’t have a large family, and I have only been a stay-at-home mom for 2.5 years. When I first began staying at home, one of my children attended school and the other two children, an infant and a 3 year old were at home with me.

    I got caught up in “me time” because many other women told me my husband had to give me time to myself. These were Christian women telling me this but they were in another dynamic of working outside of the home with kids. This created an attitude of entitlement in my heart. When my husband was not consistent in giving me “me time” it created tension in our home. One day I went to another Christian parenting group and I complained about my “me time,” a sister told me to find time and don’t expect my husband to give it to me. I was offended and upset but I thought about it. What did she mean? I thought about it for weeks, I, Monica, complained to my husband for months about “me time” and he never consistently gave it to me and it created so much tension between us even if we weren’t talking about “me time.” I abandoned “me time.” I use every ounce of little time slots the Lord gave me to myself and prayed or read my bible. Sure enough I did have time, nap time during the day a whole 1.5 hours; putting the kids to bed between 8 pm – 8:30 pm, nice quiet bath (not every night lol). When I pick up the kids from school I get to the school 45 minutes early. I laid off on my husband about me time and it’s no stress in the home and yet he willingly will just keep the kids all day and tell me to take time off without me asking. Not often but I don’t burden him with that expectation either. I am so used to how God has given me the time to worship him and to have rest in Him that I feel uncomfortable spending time without my family. Tomorrow night I am going to a concert without the family. Not that I planned on going, my husband paid for a ticket for me and urged me to do it without me asking him.

  89. I realize I’m a little late in the conversation but I just had to leave a message. I’ve been a lurker around here for a bit now and have enjoyed many of your posts. This one speaks directly to where I am at. I am an introvert who loves people. What I’ve come to understand about myself is that I love to be with people but I need alone time to refresh and recollect myself. I’m with my kids 24/7 and am learning that, though I do need quiet time for prayer and Bible study, if I want to “know myself” my hubby and children are one of the best places to start. I know that I am more than “just” a wife and mother. God has put many dreams in my heart, but my two biggest dreams have always been marriage and children. I am learning how to incorporate this into our lives, but it makes me happy. I don’t feel such a struggle between needing the Me Time in order to breathe and feeling guilty for taking a few minutes to be alone. Anyways, thank you.

  90. What a wonderful job explaining yourself. I could see what you meant in your original blog, but this did a wonderful job of adding depth to your original points. It is easy for me, however, because my children are grown & I have reached a point where I do know it is about HIM, although I can’t say I still always put Him first. So , I will join in praying for all those moms who are still in the battle of exhaustion & daily grind & pray that their eyes may be opened to the glorious freedom of putting Him first and finding peace & rest in Him. God bless you on your walk. Thank you for sharing your journey to help others with theirs.

  91. I stumbled on your old post and was thinking, “Oh no, she didn’t just say I should feel guilty for recharging my batteries once in awhile! Chasing after 4 children under the age of 10 is HARD!” and was gratified to see your change of heart, or maybe at least being able to see things a different way or phrase them more lovingly. Thank you for being humble enough to revisit the topic and give us hard-working moms one less thing to be guilty about.

  92. It’s timely that I came across this blog today. I’ve just recently put my finger on this same issue in my own mothering. I’ve long believed that if I could just find some time away, have a little “me time”, I’d re-enter my life with a smile for my children and energy for my tasks. But I’ve found that when I get that time that I think I need, I return to my “real life” even more irritable and impatient. Because the truth is, what my flesh wants is endless “me time”. She doesn’t want to come back at all. She wants to run away and never look back. Rom. 5:8 says, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh disires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” My flesh desires complete autonomy, an uninterrupted life, nothing and no one draining my time and energy. But the Spirit desires that I love God with all my heart, and love my neighbor, my husband, my children, as myself. That I give unconditionally and sacrificially of my time and energy. I will strive to set my mind on that, asking God to make His desires MY desires. And where the opportunity for some time alone does come along, I pray that I will use that time for worship and fellowship. Thank you for speaking your heart with such clarity. It’s always amazing to me when God seems to speak the same word to me through many sources all at once- a sure sign He’s trying to teach me something. :)


  1. […] So this article really ate at me for a while. I had the author’s voice in my head and the voice of my Grad Psych Director too. Who was right? I decided to do what I always do in these situations, google it. Sure enough, a lot of people had things to say about this subject. A Christian Mom Blogger wrote a very interesting article about the importance of taking-care of ourselves. However, she also spoke of many women whom she has seen pursue “Me Time” as a type of mirage. It seems so beautiful and fulfilling but it just never satisfies. If you are a believer, it’s worth it to read her thoughts. […]