Have you ever felt this? After a morning filled with:
- kids squabbling
- some semblance of chores and house cleaning
- schooling done (even if imperfectly!)
- toddler meltdowns
- bottoms wiped
- bellies filled
it is easy to get to mid-afternoon and to SIMPLY. FEEL. DONE. I have most definitely felt like this before, and yes, sometimes daily, especially when all my kids were younger.
Being a mom is hard work. There’s no two ways about it: simply put, it’s really very challenging work. Heart, body, mind, soul– these kids demand it all. They are worth it, but let’s not minimize the cost: motherhood is tiring work.
We all have limits, and it’s OK to be dust. Frail. Feeble. Weak. Needy. That’s part of what it means to be human.
At the same time, it helps me to find little ways to tank up and restore joy and sanity, purposefully, in hard seasons.
#1- DO SOMETHING FOR SHORT-TERM SANITY & JOY
For me at various times that has looked like:
- epsom salt baths while my husband does bedtime,
- heading up to my room for Bible study and journaling time when he gets home,
- sit on the sunny porch with a tall glass of iced tea and a good book (no devices!),
- telling the kids to all go get a “quiet toy” (pattern blocks, potato heads, individual game, coloring, etc… something NOT messy and NOT noisy) while I do something like listen to an audiobook, or put on an audio Bible.
- “EVERYONE GO POTTY & GET YOUR SHOES ON!!” (and go for a walk!)
- occasionally having “break weeks” (like a Spring Break) where we pull out some random toyset (for us that is our massive Thomas train bin) that they’ll play with for a good few days or a week while I veg out, tank up, do restorative things, work outside in the garden… whatever it is that refuels me.
#2- DO SOMETHING FOR LONG-TERM SANITY & JOY
Even in the most difficult seasons of life, God has helped me find ways to make things cheerier, or to make things work better, long-term, in our home and life–
- chalkboards with needed verse reminders on them;
- contemplate a big-picture strategy like productive free time and decide how to implement it
- embroidered banners with a word or phrase like “REJOICE” or “SMILE” or “Love One Another; (or longer ones, like the 1 Corinthians 13 love passage),
- hanging up some lavender to dry so the smell can bring some instant relaxation,
- listen to a sermon on an issue or area of life that’s been plaguing me. No one is going to zap me & it’s worthwhile to put effort into working through real challenges. Even though it takes humility and hard work, it’s valuable to process through areas like bitterness, forgiveness, trusting God, or seeking someone else’s forgiveness. Sometimes, the reason why we feel overwhelmed is because we’re emotionally over-tired and need to put in the effort to biblically work through an area of sin or hurt.
We can work– even in the heaviest and hardest seasons of motherhood– to find the ways that God has given us grace enough to rejoice, to rest, to honor Him with our minds and hearts and attitudes.
IN THE COMMENTS, PLEASE SHARE: How do YOU reclaim joy and sanity at times when you are tempted toward DAILY burnout?