This morning, my 4-year-old daughter came into the bathroom in tears. She said she didn’t feel well and begged to stay at the house with me while I worked instead of heading up the road to her Gram’s.
I protested, listing off the fun things she had to look forward to today. She protested back, and began incessant begging to stay put. “Mommy, I just want to stay here with you so you can take care of me. You always make me feel better.” I considered the full-force weekend we’d had and recalled my own childhood where mom would give me a “mental health day” every now and then for rest, recovery, or a much needed break.
I decided to extend the same grace to Bella, reinforcing that she would have to stay in bed while I worked in the next room.
Some might critique my parenting style, calling it too accommodating — even enabling. But I’ve been giving a lot of thought to seasons of life — some full of rest, others intense work and perpetual strain. There will come a day for Bella when rest is hard to come by. In her impressionable season, I want my daughter to know she can take a break when she needs it.
I will certainly encourage work ethic and stamina when it’s appropriate. But I know I’m called to rest and abide, I want her to embrace the same mentality. In our family, we rest first — spiritually, emotionally and physically — before we work, learn, grow and serve. The fruits of our labor are just better that way.
I encouraged naps, piles of books and a Disney movie, and I still managed an incredibly productive work day. I took a leap of faith, and God helped me create margin for both work and motherhood. It was miraculous — and a mark of being faithful to the rhythms of life.