I first heard this term when I read the book Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist.
And while that may have been the first time I heard the coined phrase “fake resting,” I have been unknowingly doing my own version of it my whole adult life.
You see, I’ve always been a total Martha (the bible one…I think I’ve mentioned this before here).
If you don’t have a point of reference for this Martha, let me quickly explain…
Martha and her sis Mary had the opportunity to hang with Jesus at their house. Martha was the ideal hostess…rushing around making sure everything was perfect, excited to entertain such a guest…
And while she was busy putting finishing touches on everything and doing what she thought she needed to do to make the day great, her dear sis, Mary, was hanging with Jesus having a great time.
So when I say I’m a Martha, what I mean is that I’m good at hustle.
And I know, I know…When you read that story, the goal is to be like Mary.
But I’m not.
When my family is resting, I am busy seeing all the things that need to be done…
And though I pride myself on my hustle, it can also be a mighty weakness.
I kick butt at hustle, but I struggle with heart.
It probably does.
Moms are really good Marthas. We’re masters at FAKE RESTING.
It Goes Like This…
Everyone in your house is way chill.
They’re lounging in jammies…watching a movie or reading leisurely.
Your husband is playing a game with the kids…
They’re REAL RESTING.
And you may look the part…
You’ve got on your #momboss tee, you’re wearing yoga pants, you’re rocking the mom bun.
But while the rest of your family is REAL RESTING, you are quietly moving from one task to another, marking things off your ever-growing to-do list.
And by the end of the day, you look a little like this.
Because instead of REAL RESTING, you run around and…
–>fold the towels
–>load the dishwasher
–>clean up lunch
–>wipe the counters and table
–>make the grocery list
You know what I mean. You’ve been there.What is that thing in us…that thing that makes us never be able to sit still without undone things screaming at us for attention?
Well, according to one of my favorite teachers, Alison Armstrong, it goes way back to our ancestors.
She says that women are wired with diffused awareness, which basically means that we can focus on more than one thing at a time.
She explains that when we lived in a hunting & gathering society, women needed diffused awareness for survival. Not only could they hunt and gather berries, but they could also monitor their surroundings, look after the children, and make sure everything got done efficiently and safely.
THAT is diffused awareness….it’s our awareness spread out over a wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide area.
This is in sharp contrast to men.
Men get a bad rap for being terrible listeners due to their focused awareness. (Totally not true, by the way…If you get a man’s focus, he will be the best listener you could ask for. You can read more about that here.)
Anyway, back to women…
Remember those arrows above with the list of chores? Well, when women sit down to rest, our diffused awareness makes it NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE to relax. That’s because those dang arrows keep talking to us.
That pillow needs straightened…
Man, that shelf is dusty…
Ugh, there are crumbs on the floor again…
Oh man, this carpet could use a good shampooing…
Speaking of shampoo, I could use one of those, too…
And while this is part of our hardware…something that we were programmed with for survival…In today’s world, diffused awareness often leads to an overwhelming feeling of UGH…When will it ever end???
Unfortunately, we can’t fully change our operating system, but there are some things that we can do to override our programming and minimize the effects of diffused awareness.
So here are 3 secrets you can use to balance heart and hustle.
#1-Build REAL REST time into your schedule…
Okay, so I’m not delusional…
I know how busy you are, and I know how long your list is.
I live in that world, too.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that when I take care of myself…when I’m well-rested, well-fed, and when my cup is full…I’m a better person.
And when I’m a better person, I can better take care of my family.
Part of self-care means scheduling some REAL REST time.
So right now, take out your planner. Take 30 seconds to write down the words REAL REST TIME in one of the squares, or set a reminder on your phone.
These 30 seconds will set the foundation for an entirely better week.
But here’s the catch…when your REAL REST time comes around, you have to honor it.
Prepare yourself by putting on your rest uniform. Then watch the movie, read the book, play the game…and do it without folding towels or catching up on email.
#2-Ask for HELP…
I know, I know…
You’re sitting on your side of the screen with your arms folded and your face scrunched into some sort of easier-said-than-done emoji…
And I get it. It IS easier said than done. I mean, how in the world are you actually supposed to override your operating system?
How do you press mute on all the things yelling at you?
Well, let me tell ya.
YOU ASK FOR HELP.
I’m not sure why, but we’d rather drown trying to do everything ourselves than to simply ask for help…we wear our busyness and our worn-outedness as a badge of honor.
Think about your job as a mom like this: You are a leader of a “company.”
Imagine a CEO never delegating tasks to his or her employees…
I bet you’d agree that the company would likely fall apart.
At the very least the company would not grow.
Well, start thinking of yourself as CEO. It’s your job to start assigning tasks to your team.
And remember, if you want your plan to be successful, you’ll need to let your team in on it.
That could look something like this:
Hey family, momma is going to start something new…I’m going to chill like you guys do. So, on Sunday at 2:00, I’ve scheduled a time of rest. I know, I know…I never REAL REST, but I’m going to change that. And to do that, this is what I need from each of you.
Then you do the revolutionary thing of telling them what you need.
Think about it now…make a list of what you need help with.
Maybe the help you need is paying someone to clean your house once a week…
Or maybe it looks like assigning daily/weekly chores to your family…
It could simply look like asking your husband to rescue you by being in charge of the garbage…or bathtime…or dinner duty on Wednesdays.
Maybe for you, it’s getting someone to keep your kids for a couple of hours one day a week so you can decompress alone.
Bottom line, momma, you don’t have to do everything yourself, and there is no shame in asking for help so that you can settle into some yummy REAL REST.
#3-When all else fails, EMBRACE THE CHAOS…
Okay, so again…totally not delusional.
I live in a fairly small house with 5 other people (4 of whom are kids), so I know a thing or two about chaos.
I understand just how quickly things can go from nice to nasty in somewhere around 7 seconds.
So let’s say life happens on Sunday at 2:00 when you’ve scheduled your REAL REST time, and your list is yelling at you like crazy.
Your house looks less like the “after” on Fixer Upper and more like a monstrosity on an episode of Hoarders.
Well, embracing the chaos may be the only thing you can to quiet your internal Martha.
If that’s where you are, here’s what you can do:
- Find the most relaxing room in your house. Take a stack of books or the iPad, grab a blanket and your babies, and get some snuggles in a space where the chaos can’t reach you. That may mean group snuggles on the floor of your closet…and that’s okay. Your heart (and your babies) will thank you.
But maybe things are crazy and there are literally no sources of solace in your house. If that’s the case, let these two words save your sanity…
- Blanket Fort. Pull out the sheets and chairs and start building. There isn’t much that a blanket fort doesn’t cure, so construct a masterpiece and climb inside with your kids. They’ll love it and, let’s be honest, you will too.
It turns out that the hardest part about balancing the heart and the hustle is making it a priority to balance the heart and hustle.
Once you bring a little intention to it, you’ll find that you can make it happen fairly easily.
So get started and make it a HABIT.
And guess what I’ve learned? When you make it a priority to spend more time in the heart, it makes you even better at the hustle.
See the original article below and come on over to join the conversation. See you there!
Originally published at loveyoumoreblog.com