Making Space

Most days my home feels pretty chaotic. It’s loud, covered in food crumbs, and rarely looks put together. I guess that’s to be expected since we have three girls all under the age of eight. It’s not uncommon that every hour of the day involves someone crying, sometimes multiple people crying at the same time and in those moments I often turn to my husband and half jokingly say, “Well, we did this to ourselves.” Many days I can barely keep it together. I find myself frustrated that the dishes have piled up or that every room in my house has toys and clothes on the floor. I somehow think that I should be able to do better than this. Clutter in my home creates clutter in my brain and it’s easy for me to feel overwhelmed with it all.

Early in my motherhood experience I somehow thought I should be able to do it all. I like to think I can juggle everything and never let anything drop. With only one child this mentality was mostly manageable. But when baby girl number two arrived I quickly realized that I could not juggle everything like I wanted to. I learned that if I wanted to be a sane mommy I needed to create some space for myself. I needed some time to be Heather.

Along with baby number two also came the realization, through marriage counseling, that I had allowed our first child to consume me. She became my world and while some of that is natural, it affected my marriage without me realizing it. I didn’t make the time for my husband. We didn’t go on dates. We barely made time to talk about our dreams and encourage one another, something that was, and still is, so much a part of our relationship. Our marriage suffered.

Feeling frazzled and overwhelmed daily is not how I like to live. I don’t function well. I’ve learned over time that in order to be the best version of myself I need to make space for myself. For me, this looks like a date night with my husband enjoying live music and eating delicious food, because Nashville has no shortage of amazing restaurants and music. Or, it may look like a coffee date with one of my girl friends. And, if I’m totally honest it even includes a solo trip to Target to conquer my “to do” list but at a much slower and enjoyable pace than normal. Now, with a third little girl in the mix it can often take much more planning to make any of this happen, but I know that it’s important. My husband is very much onboard as well. He will often be the one pushing me out the door and I’m always thankful when he does. He’s a keeper y’all!

When I make the time to break away I come back a better mommy. I am able to handle the constant crying and fighting and even control my own emotions better. I’m also a more loving wife when I’ve made the time to connect with my husband. When we come back from a date night we feel much more connected and ready to take on this world together.

The reality is that I don’t always get to break away as much as I would like. Sometimes we have weeks that are just too busy with work and school. I’ve realized with the craziness in our home I need at least one moment every day to take a breath and soak in a moment of peace…and quiet. Each morning I try to sit and take a moment to read and pray. It may only last five minutes, because I have a two year old who loves to eat constantly, but at least its five minutes. I will often walk outside to pray. I breathe in fresh air and remember that I’m thankful for my little piece of this world no matter how crazy it is. My husband and my girls are a beautiful reminder of how my Father is so loving and absolutely adores me. He is so good to my little family and in my moments outside I tell Him I’m thankful.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Come to me; you’ll recover your life. Walk with me; learn unforced rhythms of grace.” Matthew 11:28

In Matthew Jesus invites us to come to Him. To be a better mom, wife, or friend, we need these moments of “unforced rhythms of grace” and we find them with Him, in Him.

So, what about you? Does your daily life feel a tad crazy? Are you making space for yourself? Are you taking a moment each day to connect with others and breathe? If not, what can you do to make this happen? Maybe schedule that date night with your husband or meet a friend for lunch. You could even break away for a couple of days to rest and replenish. Make the time because I promise you, you need it and you won’t regret it.

Heather Williamson, a native Texan resides in Franklin, TN with her husband Steven and her three girls Kayley, Kaidence, and Kaitlyn. Heather and Steven celebrate that God rescued them from a broken marriage and redeemed their relationship with one another and their Savior. They have a passion for walking along-side couples who are struggling in their own marriages praying God will use their broken story to be a testament of hope. Heather also loves sharing life around a table with other women as they enjoy the God given pleasure of a good meal. Speaking of food, she loves the gift of a good taco, queso, or guacamole…really she just loves Tex Mex.