Sticky floors, piles of laundry, emotional meltdowns, food battles, dirty diapers, frequent illnesses, limited outside activities, bedtime squabbles and marital strain all point to one thing —-
an overwhelmed mom.
Did I just describe you? How did I do it? I’ve been there. I remember the days of wondering
- If I would ever eat a hot meal again.
- If I would ever be able to sit through a whole church service,
- If I would ever have any time for myself except for the night hours.
- If I would ever go to the grocery store and be able to casually make my way down the aisles.
- If I would ever go out to a restaurant without having to take someone to the bathroom…multiple times.
At the time, it truly seemed light years away that the reprieve would come. But here I am sitting at my desk and not one person has tapped my arm, asked for a drink or demanded for my attention! Sometimes I still revel in the joy of going to the grocery store alone!
The years have passed, and they happened much faster than all my advisers had warned me they would. I survived and you will too, but I’m writing this post to remind you of more than that fact (although that’s good to know on one of those extremely tiring days!). I’m writing to let you know how you can thrive and even enjoy those busy mommy days! How can you make the most of the days when you just wish you could go to the bathroom alone and not have someone knocking at the door and calling, “Moooommy!?”
Here are six suggestions to help:
- Minimize your extra activities.
Ask yourself if you’re doing something you should stop for now. When you have young children at home, just caring for their needs is a full-time job. Think and pray about what you could let go of that would free you up a little. Right now is not the best time to start new things. Taking classes, starting up a blog, finding a job or taking a leadership position in your ladies’ ministry can happen later.
Years ago I remember a young mom telling me she wished she could travel and speak to women. She had two little children right at her feet, talking, scrambling about as we chatted. I pointed to those little ones and reminded her that they were her audience right now. What impact she could have if she focused on them right now, and an outside ministry later in life.
You know how much time your daily responsibilities demand. Make it easier by not adding extra things at this time and eliminating things you can wait to do later.
- Make the most of times to get refreshed.
Schedule time away – If your husband could stay with the children once a week or you could get Grandma or a friend to babysit, schedule time to do something you enjoy for an hour or two. Maybe it is the grocery shopping. Or have coffee with a friend. Go to Starbucks and have some alone time in God’s Word. The anticipation of those scheduled times will give you something to look forward to and will help you endure those long days.
Make use of your church nursery. I know it’s hard to let babies out of our care, but you’ll be able to focus and have an hour where you can get your spiritual batteries charged and encouraged.
- Keep your marriage relationship strong.
Seek to have weekly dates with your spouse. Those won’t all be nights out on the town, though one night a month could be! Think outside the box for dates you could have that would keep you home, yet provide the time you need to be together. Start by making sure the children are in bed early! They need it and so do you!! Here are some free, at home date ideas:
- Sit outside on the porch or deck (with the monitor on so you can hear). Get cups of coffee and have some adult conversation! Use a conversation starter, if needed.
- Bake together.
- Pop popcorn and play a board game
- Look through old photos – or photos on your phone.
- Work on a home project together.
- Watch the video of your wedding
- Read a book together on parenting or marriage topics.
- Research places for your next vacation – or your “dream vacation!”
- Create gift wish lists on Amazon.
- Cuddle up. Read a Psalm. Watch a movie. Just enjoy the quiet and each other.
- Change the way you do the normal routines.
- You feed your children lunch every day. If they’re old enough, lay a blanket down in the yard or even in the living room and have a picnic at home.
- Have your Bible reading in a different place. Try to rise early, grab your Bible and coffee and go outside while it’s still dark and cool…and QUIET! Friend, you need God’s Word – even if it’s only a few verses. Read it and tuck it into your heart and think about it throughout the day. Write a verse on a card each day and set it out where you’ll see it.
- Go to a different Grocery store and shop for just a few items they have on sale, or items that your normal store doesn’t have. You won’t be in there long, so maybe everyone will survive!
- Buy flowers at the grocery store and make an arrangement for the kitchen table.
- Fold the laundry in a place with a view. If you’re normally staring at a wall in the basement, bring it up to your bed and fold it while listening to uplifting music.
- Instead of just playing at home every day, once a week do something fun.
Go to Chick-Fil-A mid-afternoon so the children can play. It’s less crowded and you won’t have to order a whole meal. Just buy a snack.
Take them to story time at the library.
Use the play area at the mall or go to the park and invite another friend so you can chat while the children play.
- Use your phone to listen to podcasts that will encourage you while you clean or cook. Revive our Hearts, Love Worth Finding, and Focus on the Family are three I would recommend!
- Focus on the blessings of the day.
Keep a Thankful journal or list. Write down short phrases listing things for which you’re thankful. Keep the journal/pad on the counter so you can add to it through the day. Be sure to add the funny things your kids do so you won’t forget!!
- Pray. Pray. Pray.
Ask the Lord all through the day to keep your heart right with Him, your husband and your children. He loves them more than you do! He will help you to know how to serve, how to keep your heart sweet, and He will speak peace to your soul that no one else can do!
These are things that truly helped me when I was in your shoes, dear friend. This season will pass…all too quickly, really. Enjoy each day while it’s here.
Are you feeling overwhelmed with motherhood? Do any of these ideas seem feasible? If not, read #6 again. =)
With a prayer for you,