When Supermom Has To Say No

Do you feel overwhelmed and stressed? Sometimes supermom has to just say no, and take more time to stay home with her family!

Weary, stressed, and overwhelmed. Wanting to sit down and have a good cry or just give up altogether. I see these exhausted looks on mothers faces. When I look in the mirror I see them in my own face at times.

Why do we allow ourselves to become so stressed? We are pulled in so many directions, while many needful, good things are left undone. Unfortunately, many of us try to put on a good face and act like we’re ok, when inside we’re falling apart.

There is no quitting option when it comes to motherhood. There are ways to pause, take a breath, and be refreshed, but sometimes that isn’t enough. Sometimes what we really need is a drastic change in our lives that frees us to do the things we know we need to be doing.

I recently listened to a podcast with Sally Clarkson talking about what it looks like to own your life. Every mother should listen to it. I found it so inspiring and refreshing as we start a new year.

I'm looking forward to reading the Own Your Life Book!
I’m looking forward to reading this new book by Sally Clarkson!

Do we feel like we have to fill our lives up with a busy schedule, saying yes to everything that is asked of us, simply to please everyone but ourselves? 

As a mom I’m pulled in hundreds of different directions. There are so many things out there to do. But I’ve had to be strict about saying no to a lot of activities. Here are just a few that we have said no to:

Sports – my boys are really enjoying baseball right now, and while we’ve talked about putting them on a little league team, for now Sean just goes outside with them a lot (when it is warm!) and throws the ball with them. Occasionally they get together with some friends at a ball park and play together. Joining a team is still a possibility in the future, but for now we don’t have the weekly commitment and the expense of being on a team.

Playing Ball as a Family

Homeschool Co-op – There is a local Co-op I would love to join, but I’ve just had to say no. I’ve been involved in a few co-op’s before and I’m still debating if the benefits of them are worth the time away. I’m normally exhausted after being gone all morning long, and the afternoon is just wasted. Life is rushing by, and I need to make sure and get all the essentials in before we add extras.

Weekly Club Meetings – Our daughter was involved in a girl’s program last year with our church. It was a great program, we had no problems with it, but she didn’t want to go back this year (she was super clingy when I was going through my morning sickness), and it was honestly such a relief to free up Monday evenings and know we could stay home.

We have committed to weekly music lessons for two of our children, plus we have Wednesday night church we attend, and every other Friday we have a Family night at our church. As far as outside activities go, that is all I can say yes to at this time and still be able to function as a mom.

Your to do list will look different based on who you are. But please – shake off the guilt that comes with saying no to unnecessary activities and just accept your limitations. You can’t do it all and still be a healthy, happy mama.

I don’t feel bad that we try to keep our evenings free. Instead of running all over town, my husband plays legos with the children, he takes the older ones running with him (yes, even in the winter he has been running!), we read books out loud, or practice instruments.

There is freedom found in saying no to busyness. There is simplicity found in staying home more. I look back at my childhood and remember hours upon hours of freedom – playing outside, creating play houses in the attic out of boxes, exploring the horse barns next door, going on hikes with my siblings and reading lots of books. We were not involved in many outside activities, and I never felt like I was missing out because of that.

The supermom title can only last so long. If you feel like you are about ready to burn out and your health is suffering, just say no to it all and have a season of quietness. You might be surprised how much your family has missed you!






  1. Amen to this! Very timely post for me. I am reminded of a quote from Corrie Ten Boom, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he will make you busy!”

  2. Thanks, Caroline, for your words of wisdom. It was what I needed to read this morning. Blessings to you and your family.

  3. Christine says:

    Very timely for me as well. Thank you! I only have one child though we are praying for more, but I appreciate your comments because I am struggling with loneliness and I am looking for a few regular activities to add in. 🙂 I have never liked being super busy, probably because I grew up in another country where all the options weren’t available, but snice having Joshua I have noticed a need to get out more than I did before. Our church was just planted last summer so we are small and there is only one other woman so far. I have just found a couple options while we wait for the weather to warm up for regular walks down to the lake. Your comment about a short break not making a difference really encouraged me by reminding me I am not crazy or alone. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love this and so agree. We’ve cut out our homeschool group. I was like you. I liked the interaction with other moms but the whole day was wasted and I felt so behind. And getting 9 kids out the door and gone is such a hassle sometimes! We would love to have music lessons for our kids but can’t find a local teacher. Our kids are musical and want piano, violin, guitar, and harp! I’d love for them to get this foundation!

  5. It’s good to know that other families do it without so many outside activities. We have 3 kids under 3 so this isn’t really an issue yet. I have plenty enough at home to keep me busy but I am at the point where I WANT to add a low-key regular activity to make the kids (and myself) some friends. I have always looked at the frazzled “soccer moms” and said that I never want to be that busy but worry how I will implement it when the time comes.

  6. I recently said no to altering a wedding dress, which I knew would be a big job. I simply referred my friend to a wonderful alterations lady I knew and didn’t sweat it. My plate is full with my family and growing my small sewing business (which has a very focused area of expertise) Wedding sewing I may do for my siblings, but not likely anyone else! Way too much time invested in it.

  7. Amen! Spend more quality time with each other its not about quanity.

  8. I’m with you about the homeschool co-ops. We used to attend 2 8 week co-ops a year, and the kids loved them, but I began to realize that the price we paid in time and energy was too high. I stopped signing up and immediately felt a difference in our household. My kids miss it. I miss it. Co-ops are really fun! But sometimes a co-op isn’t the BEST use of our time.

  9. Yes! You are so right. I hate to see how families have become so busy there’s no actual time for family! Your suggestions are great and thank you for the podcast link. I will be checking that out!

    I’m a new blogger and am so glad to have come across your blog!

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