I recently read a book entitled, “How to Really Love Your Child” by Dr. Ross Campbell. In this book Dr. Campbell talks about making sure that our children’s love tanks are full. These tanks are filled by spending time with our children, telling them that we love and appreciate them, and encouraging them in life. Dr. Campbell hypothesizes that if our children’s love tanks are full, then they are less likely to act out in negative ways, in order to get our attention.
I struggle, as a mom of 5, to have one-on-one time with our girls each day, in order to keep their love tanks full and help them to know that I value them. If you are anything like me, making meals, cleaning, homeschooling, kids’ sports, laundry, and drama control and consume most of your time. When I come to the end of the day, I usually just want to read a book or watch a show on television and relax.
What I am coming to realize is that I have a mom tank that needs to be filled as well! I get so caught up in taking care of everyone else that I don’t take time for myself. When my mom tank is on empty, I am frustrated, easily irritated, and unkind.
How do we fill up our mom tanks, you may wonder? The most important thing we need to do to fill up our mom tanks is to spend time with God! If I am not spending time reading God’s Word, meditating upon it, applying it to my life, praying, and being still before Him, I am a wreck! I am a wreck as a mom, as a wife, and as a friend. I am this way, because I have nothing to pour out to others when I haven’t taken the time to be filled myself! It is God who fills my mom tank. It is God who gives me the ability to clean up one more spill, wipe another bottom, do another load of laundry, and respond in kindness when my daughter loses it over not getting her way, again. I can’t do this mom thing alone, I actually can’t do it at all; without divine intervention on a daily basis!
Some other ways to fill our mom tanks are by spending one-on-one time with other mom friends, going out for coffee, getting a pedicure, getting a haircut, going out with a group or friends, taking a trip by yourself to visit friends or just to regroup, and even grocery shopping by yourself. These things can bring much needed laughter, rest, and joy back to your life!
There is something about being with other moms and being able to share your burdens that comforts you and makes you laugh. There is something about being able to hear how other moms are struggling too, that makes you feel connected, makes you feel like you are not alone on the journey. It is a blessing to be able to glean wisdom from mothers who have older children and have been through the season that you are in. It is equally a blessing to be able to share your heart and stories with another mom who is currently in the season that you have been through. The Bible says that we are to “…encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV
We need to take time out of our busy schedules to be with other moms and to encourage eachother. We need to take time to make sure our mom tanks are full in order to fill up the love tanks of our family members. So spend some time in God’s Word and prayer each day and schedule some time to spend with your mom friends! Get your mom tanks filled, so you can pour that love out to your family and to all of those people around you!