Why Women Won’t Go
It all began when my husband returned from his annual mountain biking trip.
During a reunion dinner of storytelling, rehashed crash descriptions and a declaration of lost manhood found after a Heli (helicopter) drop with bikes and man, one of the husbands asked why we wives wouldn’t take a weekend away for ourselves.
Silence rang its loudest bell around the table as we stared at each other grasping for something intelligent to say. We all knew the answer ran much deeper than: “I have a lot of laundry to get done.” There were many other profounder resounding reasons why we didn’t want to leave our children, husbands, and home for a weekend get-a-way.
Knowing this, my only witty comeback at the time was: “I don’t need to go because I am not looking to re-claim my manhood.”
But what am I trying to re-claim?
Inner freedom, peace, purpose, meaning in life, authentic friendship. These are things I long for, strive for, and believe in…in-between the piles of laundry and endless to-do list.
As I pondered this dinner conversation, I decided the best thing to do was to ask some of my mom friends their opinion about this dilemma. I asked: What holds you back from taking time for yourself? And the opposing question: If you feel comfortable planning care-time for yourself, what motivates you to go and how do you plan it?
The number one reason why women don’t go: Guilt.
First, moms are responsible and competent people. If you are a mom, you know what I am talking about. Nobody can organize, clean, get kids to school and activities on the right day and at the right time, all while balancing dinner plates on her head. Second, moms do not like to ask for help. It would be a sign of weakness, or incompetence as a mother. (You thought men were bad about asking for directions.)
The second reason women don’t go: Identity.
If our worth is only shaped by our ability to perform as a mother or wife, we will never understand that the greatest gift we give others is to know ourselves through the eyes of God. If we understand our identity in Christ, we will desire to mimic his behavior. Simply put: Jesus got way!(See Luke 4:42 & 5:16 for examples.)
As a mother, I feel I was created for caring and serving others. But a mother without a time to recharge becomes a dead battery. Have you ever tested a battery by touching it to your tongue? If it is dead, it has a real bitter taste. I don’t want to be a bitter-dead battery to my family, friends, and community. I want to be a women who is filled with passion for life, love, kindness, and grace. Those are traits of a woman who takes care of herself and takes care of her soul.
If you haven’t taken time for yourself, take the leap.
It will feel awkward. There is no way around it. You have selflessly served without a break and it will not feel natural to take a break. You will be like a train jumping the tracks, but I promise the road is a good one!