Womans sandals by the ocean

Last Updated on June 9, 2024

Rest is such a hard thing. It seems odd to say that, but resting causes me such guilt.

As a parent, there are so many demands for attention and time, issues to deal with, decisions to make, and things to do. Sometimes it’s terribly hard to set boundaries so that I can rest, even for just a moment.

My youngest daughter is an athlete who’d like to compete daily in a sport of some sort. This past basketball season about did me in. She’s not the only child and there are many other demands on my time and budget.

I had to ask her to skip a sports season. She was so sweet, even though she was disappointed. Honestly, I was disappointed that I needed a break and it cost her participating in something she loves. I just desperately needed a minute more to breathe deeply, take care of my home, make some home-cooked meals, catch up on a bunch of other life responsibilities, and get out of the car.

All my kids have missed out on things because of time or money constraints. Oh, the mom guilt!

Although I wish I could “do it all”, I’ve discovered quite definitively over the past 15 years of single parenting, that I cannot… not even close. And if I don’t take the time to set some boundaries and rest, I’ll become exhausted, weary, and grumpy.

Although boundaries are hard, setting some has given me much needed peace… and, practically speaking, things are getting back to a more manageable level. Maybe I’m even helping my children recognize that we all have limits.

We all have things we need to do, but we also need realistic expectations. And, we all need rest.

Our Father modeled rest after creation. (Genesis 2:2-3) Jesus spent time alone with His Father to rest and recharge. (Mark 1:35) Our Savior understands weary and tired.

My problem is that I want to do it all, I think I should be able to do it all, and I feel that if I just set my mind to it, I can do it all. So not true!

I want to do it all because I’m a people-pleaser and a bit of control freak who needs constant affirmation. I think I should be able to do it all because… well… I just should. And on some crazy level, I believe that if I just set my mind to it, I can do anything, because I’m woman hear me roar, right?

God doesn’t call me to exhaustion and weariness…to constant doing. Sometimes it might seem that way, after all He has given me so many responsibilities. But He says He will give us rest (Matthew 11:28).

Jesus even called His disciples to go to a quiet place and get some rest after they returned from teaching and working (Mark 6:30-32). When you just want to keep getting things done, resting and stillness can be challenging.

But setting boundaries doesn’t necessarily mean that I stop doing, it might mean only focusing on the most important things.

For me, resting and setting boundaries means slowing down a bit so life feels less hectic and overwhelming, and my family can reconnect with each other beyond car rides and quick dinners on the go. I know it’s good for our family and definitely for me, but resting is still a hard, necessary thing.

Thankfully, once we trust that God can handle the things we stop or the things we let go of, we can rest guilt-free in His presence.