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 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.
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!