Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The other night, my police officer husband came home from work. He shared with me some recent training they had received as police officers. They talked about the importance of having time, after work, to relax and be "off duty." They talked about the increase in depression, suicides and other challenges among officers. Those doing the training, encouraged the officers to take time after work, to do nothing. To enjoy being "off duty." To not only let their bodies rest, but their minds enjoy a slower pace of relaxation, that comes, when the badge is taken off, even if just for a moment. With a big family, games, programs, events and obligations, our "off duty" can be crazy, and sometimes, it seems, we are in the middle of a Hold-Up of sorts. As a single mom, I was constantly "on duty". Now, as a mother and step-mother, I seem to always be at least, "on call," for something or someone. So, each evening after work, he has a Quiet Moment. Sometimes I would just go in and quietly lay by him, and soon, I would begin listing off the goings on of the day, so fast that I might have needed a citation to slow things down. A while ago, I made my way next to him, during his Quiet Moment. Within in seconds, I was rambling again, and rather than reach for his radar gun for speed control, he patted me tenderly and said, "Shhh.....take a little rest, ok?" That "Shhh" gave me permission to slow down, and in a Quiet Moment, take a 30 minute power nap. I woke up rejuvenated! I don't think I had slept that well in years. After that nap, I realized, that as mothers, we are truly officers constantly on call, attempting to control the peace of small and large quarrels. We are solving mysteries within the home, writing citations for back-talking and disrespect, or for speeding out the door without permission or proper identification of a date. We are performing search and rescues on toddlers who have climbed too far up the slide in the ball pit, and teenagers who have been out too far past curfew. And, each time we attempt to park our minds and write a report, another call comes in and we are immediately dispatched on a projectile throw-up call, delivering a forgotten lunch or paper, or better yet, a "Missing Mommy" crisis.
Among Mothers on duty, comparison of one's strengths to another's weakness is at an all time high, while self-esteem is at an all time low. And, the number of spiritual and emotional suicides among mothers is almost pandemic in number. Mothers are facing challenges unique to our day, clinging to our higher power for strength and guidance. With this post, may I declare, "Mothers, it's ok to take off your badge, and take a Quiet Moment for yourself!!!" It's ok to Shhh.....yourself, and take a little rest! I have realized that blending families means more than just getting along. It means blending one another's schedules, likes and dislikes, habits and quarks, strengths and weaknesses. It means compromise, cooperate, and capitalize! Compromise with your favorite date-night activity and his. Cooperate and be a new team, empowered with the past and ready to conquer the future, together. And, capitalize, on those unexpected Quiet Moments, when everyone is fed, clean and entertained, to sneak another Quiet Moment or two....together! So, I decided, if you can't beat em', join em', and I started taking a Quiet Moment for myself, each evening. Sometimes we chat a bit, other times we sleep. Then, there are those moments when no words are spoken, but volumes communicated and understood! I have also realized that when I slow down a bit, the noise from the day quiets a bit too. And, in the quiet, He speaks to me. In those Quiet Moments He inspires me with additional strength and courage for my next "shift". He enlightens me with understanding to solve those mysteries, to search and even rescue a lost child or friend.
Take off your badge. Take a Quiet Moment. We deserve it!! Quiet Moments!