We see you trying to work like you don’t have little kids and trying to parent like you don’t have an outside job. Just when you thought your schedule couldn’t get any more complicated, you started the summer camp juggling act, trying to figure out how everyone was going to get everywhere and which programs have lunch and aftercare and WHEN DID IT GET SO HOT OUTSIDE? Sigh. Iced coffee and adrenaline just aren’t enough anymore, and You. Are. Tired. Your entire home seems to need restocking every other day, and you don’t even have time to stop and make a to-do list. Should you order takeout tonight or quickly scrawl out the week’s meal plan and hit Costco on your lunch break for some meat, two hundred rolls of toilet paper and a case of La Croix?
Take a hot minute and a deep breath and remember who you are and why you’re doing all this in the first place. We know that moms who have commitments outside the house need a special kind of assurance and strength.
Pay attention to the right people.
The way you feel like you need to both tend to your family and tend to something else is not an accident. God created you uniquely with your gifts, desires and hopes. The more you can ask yourself, What works for me and my family? instead of, What am I supposed to be doing? the better aligned with your purpose you’ll be, and the more peace you’ll feel in your heart and home. Let go of the standards set by social media, other moms with different circumstances or whatever your auntie says when she shakes her head at holiday dinners, and stay dialed into the way God designed you, and what you and your family need to keep thriving.
Tap into the power of partnership.
We are saturated by the “supermom” myth. We moms are literally expected to be able to do it all, and let’s be honest, we kind of are doing it all. But we want you to be OK admitting you need help. It would be fabulous if every mom, working outside the home or not, had an intuitive and helpful husband to equally shoulder the household and parenting responsibilities, but we know that just isn’t the case for everyone. If your person doesn’t bring you uplifting companionship and workload balance, continue to calmly and confidently communicate your needs.
If your spouse or partner isn’t in the picture at all anymore, you can still join forces with others. Mothering (and adulting!) is tough business, and no one can do it without a little help, so finding your people is your new priority. Connect yourself with other women who will pray for you, help you identify your needs and find support where you need it. There are probably moms at your kids’ school, girl scout troop, soccer practice, aftercare program and even at your gym who get it and would love to step in and fill the gaps in your life if you were willing to share them. If you’re in a MOPS group, talk about whatever is pressing in on you, making you feel stretched too thin or unsupported. See what the group can come up with in terms of tangible ways to get you what you need to start thriving again.
Pursue peace with all you’ve got.
Even women who think they’ve always known just what they wanted in their parenting and career are often surprised by the way they change, or the challenges they face in their journey and the anxiety that ensues. Finding contentment and peace of mind is essential to moving forward with strength. There is no magic formula for banishing anxiety or stress, but constantly prioritizing positive efforts will help you stay ahead of the stress or anxiety. Take care of your physical and emotional self. Eat well and move your body. Breath. Make calendar appointments for 90 second prayer or meditations if that’s all the time you have. Stay in tune to your needs and emotions and try to tend to them while they are still pressing but before they turn urgent.
The secret sauce of being women of faith is that we have a source for our emotional and spiritual strength, which means it’s absolutely OK to be weak. In fact, it’s human, and God delights in being near you to give you his assurance and strength. He knows you are overworked and wants you to find life-giving rest whenever you need it. Here’s a prayer to use if it helps you find your footing today.
Lord, when I think I’m alone — the only one responsible for every need and want of my children — help me feel your presence. When my work is piling up, help me focus only on the most important tasks. Multiply my productivity in my work hours and my peace in my off hours. When I wake up in the night and I can’t fall back asleep, and I’m afraid I won’t be able to get through the next day, let me feel your strength. And when I doubt all my decisions, make new paths clear, or give me your peace that passes my understanding and makes my life make sense again. Amen.
You got this, Mama. You were made for your family and the job you feel called to vocationally. You are good at both of them, and when you are having a day that is a little more superhuman than superhero, we got you, and he’s got all of us. So go do the dang dishes, watch your favorite show and rest easy on that pillow when your head finally hits it. You did it all today, and you’ll do it again tomorrow like no one else can.
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