How To Find Quiet

It’s tempting to see a moment of quiet as a waste of time.

As moms we’re given an impossible job description, whether we work outside of the home or not. The training for this job is a jumble of fantasy, others’ expectations, competition, and role models like June Clever and Claire Huxtable.

We’re told- in fact we tell ourselves- that there is always work to be done. Crumbs to swept off kitchen floors. Little faces that need to be wiped. Meals to be made, to be delivered to neighbors in need.

If we find ourselves with 5 minutes of quiet we’re not doing our jobs.

There are countless tasks to be done in a day. It’s always a race- to get food on the table, to get the homework done, to baths, to bed, to another day of more of the same.

When things go well, it’s often unnoticed. When things go badly- when there are tantrums and time-outs and the dinner is burned- we bear the blame (at least in our own minds).

Is it any wonder that playdates these days often feature juice boxes AND boxes of wine? It seems as if mommy culture tells us that keeping up with our responsibilities requires some degree of anesthesia.

Is anyone else bothered by all this? Do you sometimes wonder why it has to be this hard?

I do, and I’ve come to this conclusion: it doesn’t.

This is why we need quiet. Pauses of calm. There is peace to be found in even the most hectic of days, the kind of peace that doesn’t come in a bottle.

Today I’m sharing with you the ways I’ve searched for the quiet in each day, and found it waiting for me like a long-ago friend.

1. Schedule quiet time. Not just for the kids, but for you. Remember when you had a new baby and people urged you to Sleep when the baby sleeps? This is the same principle. Insist that for some period of time each day, your children play in their rooms. Even ten minutes can be enough to recharge your mommy battery.

2. Spend 15 minutes outsideA fabulous blogger I’ve recently “met” shared her practice of spending 15 minutes in the yard each day as a way to find the quiet. This idea originated from the book God in the Yard by L.L. Barkat. I love this idea because of its simplicity. When we look for quiet, for God, for calm- we are likely to find it.

3. Be realistic. The year following the birth of my 3rd child was a difficult time. Most days, I would have given anything for a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. I longed for time away, time to myself, time to relax. And while it was unrealistic to expect those things to happen on a regular basis, I learned a trick that helped. I arrived 20 minutes early to the elementary school for pick-up. My younger kids were happy in the backseat and I used that time to read magazines, make lists, or just listen to the radio. I called it Minivan Time and it helped me transition into the next part of my hectic day. Is there Minivan Time in your day, too?

4. Think of what’s really important. I’m not talking about clean baseboards. I’m talking about kids who know they are loved. Getting enough sleep. Providing food that is healthy. Think of all of the really important things you accomplish each day– and give yourself credit.

Quiet is the sleep of daytime. Quiet gives us the fuel we need to face stress with a sense of perspective.

Look for the quiet today- you might be surprised where you find it.

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