There is never enough rest in motherhood. Radical rest in motherhood is a new wave concept, believing that “rest” comes before doing, which makes it a radical act.
There is no one route to radical rest in motherhood, instead it is as malleable as your life with kids has to be.
Rest comes in different forms.
Do you know what “Radical Rest” means?
The “radical” part of radical rest is not about the type of rest or the nature of the rest.
It is about the ‘radical” idea of putting rest before doing. That’s what radical.
What does radical rest in motherhood look like for me?
For me, this means keeping my day simple. My children occupy my time day and night so I make sure not to over do on anything else.
I keep my chore list small and alternate tasks during the week.
I regularly question what’s most important for me in the moment and it comes down to spending quality focussed time with my children, nursing my daughter on demand, giving myself enough time to care for my personal hygiene, and making nutritious meals. If I can I will try to read a few pages of a book (which is naturally an interrupted time).
Once all children are asleep, and my day is done. I give myself the time and grace to reflect and check in on myself and my well-being, as well as spend some quality time with my husband.
Mama, can you practice radical rest?
Radical rest is just your way of putting yourself first in terms of what you want to achieve in a day and making it realistic.
3 ways to incorporate radical rest in motherhood
1. Clear your day
Everyone needs rest, and so many of us as mothers take on the burden of the home and errands.
Each evening make a short list of the essentials that you have to achieve, and the extras that the day can still function without.
Of course, you have to feed yourself and your children, but do you have to run that errand, or clean that bathroom today?
Pick and choose what is important. You will feel less stressed, and feel like you have achieved your basic goals for the day.
2. Be realistic about radical rest in motherhood
For so long when I imagined myself resting during motherhood, it looked eerily similar to life before motherhood.
Let’s face it, that’s all we have known and been taught about the image of rest.
The sooner you change your expectations of rest, the more radical rest in motherhood can be.
What little things can you add to your day to make you happy? Is it eating uninterrupted? Is it reading a page of a book that you started months ago and haven’t been able to pick up again?
Radical rest in motherhood is giving a little back to yourself, even if it’s fleeting.
3. Allocate time each day
Each day make a plan to set aside 5-15 minutes (or more, if it’s realistically achievable) for your radical rest time. As a parent you cannot function if you are running from one activity to the next, and
I know from experience that having 5 minutes that I allocated for myself can help me function for the rest of the day.
Maybe your radical rest will be the first 5 minutes when you’re children go down for a nap, maybe it will be in the evening after they go to sleep, or perhaps your radical rest time is having a hot bath, being able to brush your hair and get dressed.
In other words, radical rest is just giving yourself time and grace to not feel rushed. To give you a moment to do something for you, anything! Anything is better than nothing.
I have had days when I fly from the bed in the morning, and before I’ve even been able to take a sip of water or get dressed a child is screaming at me to wipe their bum, make their breakfast, take them outside, and BOOM the day is already in full swing.
Come 4pm I’m still not dressed, my hair is messier than when I woke up in the morning, and I feel dragged through the day instead of moving slowly with control.
It is on these days that it is so important to take those 5 minutes. Trust me, they exist somewhere in your day!