Happy [LATE] Labor Day! That’s right, Monday, we US citizens celebrated a holiday that honors its workers. The New York Times described it as, “In the late 1800s, many Americans toiled 12 hours a day, seven days a week, often in physically demanding, low-paying jobs. Children worked too, on farms and in factories and mines. Conditions were often harsh and unsafe. It was in this context that American workers held the first Labor Day parade, marching from New York’s City Hall to a giant picnic at an uptown park on Sept. 5, 1882.” (Source)
The Labor Day holiday was essentially born after workers in the 1800s demanded shorter workdays, days off, and more pay. Another article simply puts it, “Labor Day is observed on the first Monday in September to pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of everyday working families.” (Source) Labor Day is now a day where we should be honoring hard workers and there is nobody on earth that is a harder worker than a MOM! I also find it terribly ironic that the term “labor” or work is also the term to describe the pain, work, and time it takes to bring a child into this world. Thus, solidifying my point that no one is a harder worker than a mom.
Labor Day: Time For A Break
I am sure you didn’t get any time off on actual Labor Day. I’m sure you were at the pool for the last time, or doing laundry, or cleaning up some type of bodily mess. But I am here to remind you that rest and self-care are so important. I do not choose to homeschool, but I have found myself at home, with three kids aiding in virtual learning and playing “cruise director” for the past six months. COVID-19 and mandatory stay-at-home orders and quarantines have turned our worlds upside down.
And for moms (and dads) it means we have had very little breaks. If you are a stay-at-home mom you have had very little alone time or breaks from your kids. If you are a working mom that is now working from home, while teaching your kids and entertaining them without childcare…my hat goes off to you. That is not how it is meant to be and you are spread incredibly thin.
We all need breaks during normal circumstances. And especially during a global pandemic where we find ourselves cooped up with our families day in and day out. You are not a bad mom for wanting space and alone time. You are a smart mom because you realize that a sabbath, a re-boot, a break helps you re-charge. It gives you a change of scenery, a mental break, a physical break, and a renewed spirit. It is true we can not pour from an empty cup. We need to fill ourselves up spiritually and emotionally so we can fill our kids and families up.
The Gift Of Silence
For myself, I am a completely different person when I find time away to rest. When I do my daily devotional and spend time in prayer it is an instant battery charge. Even a trip to the store to roam the aisles mindlessly in silence, or a walk just myself and some music is all I need.
I am a true believer in “distance makes the heart grow fonder”. My husband and I were recently blessed recipients of 2.5 days alone in our home while the grandparents took our kids on a getaway. It was just enough for us to reconnect, to finish home projects and tasks uninterrupted, and to really miss our kids. Instead of feeling annoyed by their loud bickering and obnoxious noises we truly missed a home filled with rambunctious kids. our reunion was so, so sweet.
Jesus Wants You To Rest
Jesus tells us our rest is found in Him. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Maybe you don’t have family nearby or babysitters at the ready. But ask your spouse for a break to sit in silence, to fill-up on God’s word, and for a soul refresher.
“And He said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest awhile.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.‘” (Mark 6:31) Jesus wants you to rest, He calls you to rest. Find a moment, no matter how brief, and give yourself the gift of rest. You won’t regret it.