Our last several posts in this series we have focused on things that the enemy of our soul uses to tempt us to come down off of our great work as mothers. There is one that many of you may wonder why I have not mentioned yet.
Lets face it, we get exhausted. Whether we are up in the middle of the night with newborns or sick children, or whether it is the drain mentally in answering the next “mama” that comes our way. I have found that even the teaching of homeschooling drains me. It may be as simple as learning their numbers and letters, but mentally I still find it takes it out of me. As the children get older, they can tie their own shoes and cut their own food up, but now there is heart to heart talks. Weighty questions and issues of life are matters of everyday discussion. Often the busyness and noise around me tends to mentally fatigue me as well. So whether you are fatigued physically, mentally or both here are a few tips…
1. Get to bed at a decent time. Whoa, those who know me will be saying, “Did she just say that?” I am the queen of night owls. I mean, this is really strange, but I don’t like going to sleep. And it doesn’t help matters when the children get in bed later and I need that quiet time with my man at night. So the temptation is to stay up too late. I am preaching to the choir, people. If I ever master this one it will be amazing. But, they say it is true. I should try it some time.
2. Exercise/Vitamins. Oh boy, maybe I should stop writing this now. I really need to get back exercising. I do take vitamins though, and for women the B’s are especially important. One simple thing I have found amazingly helpful lately has been to lay out all my pills for a couple of weeks ahead of time in those little boxes (what are those things called anyways?). It is so much easier to pop them all in my mouth quickly, then opening up each bottle every time. Simple, I know, but so helpful to me.
3. Make sure your hormones and thyroid is regulated. As women, we are very prone to imbalances and it is crucial we address these things.
4. Make your time with the Lord priority. It may not be that you can take time immediately in the morning. Sometimes our little ones are up and going at such a speed first thing in the morning that nap time or another time in the day is easier for us to search his word. But seek to carve out some time that fits for you. Seek prayer from your husband and another like-minded friend as well.
5. Take time for yourself. Ok, for years I thought this was selfish. A committed mom would never need a break! But, I have learned over time that it is helping our families to take care of ourselves. We will do better when we take some recharge time. So find a bit of time for a hobby, whether that be reading, taking a walk, make a scrapbook, blogging, etc. All for the purpose of being a fresh mommy and wife.
6. Enlist your children to help. With many of our lifestyles, being home all day, schooling our children, having a large family, this equates to messy homes. But, with a large family also come many hands. And many hands make light work. Have everyone pitch in to return an appearance of order. Even a toddlers can use a toilet brush or take a washcloth and wash baseboards.
7. Don’t hesitate to get outside help. I have had different “mother’s helpers” often over the last many years. What a blessing it has been! My pride will sometimes make me feel like I shouldn’t need the help. But you know what? I am doing several full times jobs at once. Just teaching school can keep you busy. Let alone taking care of a newborn, cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. In times gone by, when communities were more tight-knit there were often older ladies that would help young moms. Even the Prov.31 woman rises to give meat to her maidens. I also have a great burden for those young ladies that are waiting to marry and how they fall through the cracks in our society. They are encouraged to go out and get a career, when they could be learning and preparing to be their own keepers at home, by helping others. I was a mother’s helper as a young girl and it was such a good experience for me. Now I am on the other side and see what a great blessing it is. But, that is probably another post.
8. Lower your expectations. We have already had a post on this one.
9. Learn how to play. Speaking to the choir again, here! I am a task oriented person and have my mental checklist that drives me. I hardly ever stop to enjoy life. My dh on the other hand, being the hardest working man you have ever seen, still finds time to enjoy life. His quote? “You’ve got to live.” So maybe today, put the cleaning on the back burner, tell the children to put their workbooks away and play with them.
10. Realize this is a season. I know this is so over-used nowadays…but it is still true. My oldest will be out of the house probably in 5 or 6 years. That hits home. They are growing up so fast. They only will be this needy for a time. And then we will miss it. We will get all the sleep we want and have free time…but we will long for these days again.
Next post …the telephone and social media.