Being a stay-at-home mom is a big time blessing–we get to be with the little beings we brought into this world all day every day. We get to be there every step of the way through the beautiful journey of their growth and exploration into adulthood.
Being a stay-at-home mom also comes with some (yah–no, more like MANY) challenges that we may or may not realize are even in store for us before we dive in head first.
As a mom and step-mom of 4 from ages 6 months to 11-years-old I am not estranged to all sorts of mom-type challenges. Our situation offers extra challenges at times because well… we’re a big ol’ blended family (and blessed for it!)
I’ve done a lot of exploration and spent a lot of time in prayer over my own mom burnout and depression that can pop up because of it.
Without FURTHER rambling, I want to share with you the TOP 5 things that I’ve found that for me have made a WORLD of difference in avoiding stay-at-home mom burnout.
1) Girl, Get Some Sleep
I can almost hear many of you mumbling under your breath, “Well Obviously, Rachel. It’s not that easy.”
I hear you, especially when you have a newborn, you can’t really control the amount of sleep you’re getting because baby will set that schedule for you (ugh).
However during the hours of daylight you CAN decide to let the dishes wait, or wait on helping the older kids with their homework and you can choose to lay down and rest when baby IS sleeping. I know that’s hard, because even if it’s not the dishes you need to get done, maybe you were hoping to actually have some you time and catch up on that show on Netflix, or maybe you know… write a blog post!
Take it from someone who struggles with this herself–YOU NEED TO MAKE THE TIME TO REST.
Noah, our youngest goes to bed extremely early–like 5:30 or 6:00pm. Which means he also wakes up by 5 am… many times earlier.
In the early days after he was born I would try and stay up until 11pm as I had always done. I craved that time by myself, or with my husband, and it was really hard to admit that I would have to compromise somewhere or my health would continue to suffer.
My body was READY for bed at 8pm, my mind wanted 11pm. Therefore a compromise for me was to shoot for a 9:30 bedtime, which makes that 5am wake-up a lot easier to handle. This still gave me plenty of time to use the evenings after he went to bed to clean, spend time with my husband or to just do whatever I wanted to do.
2) Find A Tribe Of Other Like-Minded Moms
This one was in truth really hard for me because I just don’t get out of the house all that much (we’ll get to that!) and I didn’t really have any friends after coming out of my addiction. For me, it’s not that I didn’t have very loving and supportive people in my life (my family!) … I just didn’t have any friends period other than my hubs. I felt really isolated, and at the time I just didn’t know how to meet people.
If you’re struggling with that same scenario, or even close to it–I really want to encourage you to pray about it! Pour your heart out to God. He cares SO much about every detail of your life, and he wants us to live and thrive in community with others.
After praying for a couple months over the whole issue of wanting girl friends (and community in general), the Lord being true to His faithfulness, answered me.
The answer came through Instagram at first. Haha!
Total truth, though! I connected with several christian moms and wives through instagram. Furthermore I was then introduced to and fell in love with Young Living, which connected me to MORE amazing women.
Now I have several women in my life that I talk to on a daily basis whom I feel tremendously comfortable going to for encouragement, advice, as well as prayer. This space and interaction made for a gentle transition out of my isolation, and gave me back my confidence and drive to go out and connect with other people.
COMMUNITY IS SO IMPORTANT. Being selective in who you chose to bed in your “inner circle” is likewise very important, so keep that in mind.
Again–my advice? PRAY OVER IT. Pray over EVERYTHING.
5) DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHER MOMS
Holy-moly this one is SO IMPORTANT, you guys! I am 100% guilty of doing this and it is another thing I continue to bring before Jesus every single day.
Comparison is something humans do. We just do. Mastering how to take control over that is… well it’s something to master!
Which means it takes effort on your part, it takes being AWARE of when you’re doing it, and challenging those thoughts.
“Why am I comparing myself to this person right now?”
“Why do I feel like she is doing things better than I am?”
“What do I do that is different, and why is IT amazing.”
These are just a few quick examples, but hopefully you get the idea. REMIND yourself that everyone is always on their best behavior in what they put out there. They show their highlight reel. You have ABSOLUTELY no idea what’s going on in anyone else’s life, or why they do the things they do, what it takes to look or be the way they do, not to mention the struggles they have (because we ALL have them).
What you can start doing is when you catch yourself comparing your “anything” to anybody else’s “anything”, FLIP IT around and focus on what YOU do or have that is amazing. Get out a piece of paper and write 5 reasons why what you are/have/do is totally awesome, and why.
I practice verbally (or in my head) telling myself, “Stop comparing yourself, Rachel.”
“Comparison is the thief of joy”, (not my quote, but totally on point!) and you don’t have to do that to yourself.
My hope is that this gives encouragement and helpful ideas to even just ONE lady out there. If you’re reading this today, know that I am praying SPECIFICALLY for you. I pray over everyone who reads these words, that God will reveal himself and his GIGANTIC love for you (He loves to do it!)
Bless you, and bless this journey you’re on, momma!
MOM BURNOUT: The mother of children who is dead tired, worn out, overwhelmed and has no time for herself. She sleeps with one ear on listening for awake children; wears materials made of stretch or spandex only; eats standing up or in the front seat of her car in less than 30 seconds; makes multiple meals and snacks eery day, cleans, picks-up, entertains, plays, comforts, cuddles, nurses, folds, washes, rocks a child every waking moment of each and every single day. Selfishly takes care of everyone around her, but herself. She’s superwoman, but she’s dog tired and having mommy burnout means that this wonder woman has hit the threshold where she needs help and changes have to be made because the hamster wheel has to stop.