5 Tips To Avoid Stay-At-Home Mom Burnout

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.

3) GET OUT OF THE HOUSE

I am SO guilty of not doing this. Left unchecked I will go a scary amount of time without going any further than the mailbox. 

THAT IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU. I’m shaking my head and laughing at myself while writing this because I simply don’t know how to express this point to you emphatically enough!

I understand that many people may not deal with this, howbeit I do–so I’ll make a bet that I’m not even close to being the only one.

Cabin fever is unquestionably a real issue, which can certainly deplete you and isolate you in ways that the devil must be thinking,  “Sweet, makes my job easy.”

Even if you just take your kids to the library, the park, or you have your hubby stay with them and go by yourself (perhaps with friends!) to the mall, or to Sephora for some samples (yasss!), get out of the house.

Try and do this at least once or twice a week, for your sanity. Because you work hard momma, and staying within the same four walls without a break for too long IS unhealthy.

4) MOVE YOUR BODY

Again, I’m laughing at myself because I can also be lousy with this one! Honestly, I can be extremely lazy. I became a couch potato with my last pregnancy and it did nothing but make me uncomfortable, MORE exhausted, and unhealthy.

Recently I started just doing 15 minutes of exercise every day. JUST 15 MINUTES! If I can do that, you can do it to trust me because I HATE exercise (until I’m actually done with it and then I feel amazing).

Now I’m currently out of shape so 15 minutes is all I can handle. I have been in shape before though and I know my stamina will increase. So 15 minutes is a starting point that I am totally comfortable with.

I like to put Noah in his swing (his favorite!) and put on a workout I enjoy on YouTube or Amazon Prime and just get it done! Sometimes I do it in the morning, sometimes in the evening, I don’t really care when I do it, as long as I get my 15 minutes in for the day.

Noah and I have also started going for 1-2 mile walks as the weather is getting nicer. He loves being out in his stroller, and honestly it’s a two-for-one because I get out of the house, AND get the benefit of the exercise. Winning!

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!

 

-Rachel

 

 

Advertisements

How To Know A Christian Girl When You See One… Seriously.

How do you know a christian girl when you see one?

Is it the girl/woman who goes to church every Sunday in her designer jeans and modest Banana Republic sweater and this seasons cutest booties (why do shoes get us every time!?)

She carries her custom tab-laden Bible with the custom designed case– you know that adorable blush pink one with golden letters engraved that say, “God is within her, she will not fall.”

The same bible you have seen and secretly thought, “okay sure, that’s pretty dang cute.”

She is either VERY happily married to Mr. Hunky man of God; we’ll call him Ben, or she’s (let’s call her Sara) rocking that single life with her copious amounts of coffee dates with her girl pals, and her singles groups at the Church on Wednesday evenings. (nothing wrong with these by the way, I’m personally all for copious amounts of coffee with anyone).

She’s happy. Like…always. She’s always smiling at everyone who is currently talking to her, which is usually quite a line of people anxiously waiting to hear her echoing her joy of life and perhaps to catch one of those incredibly infectious laughs she also has.

She is thin, maybe not rail thin, but she’s clearly taking care of that rockin’ temple God has given her (Youuuu know Sara too, don’t you? mmmhmmm).

Maybe Sara’s that mom who seems to have it all together. This momma meal plans, uses her insta pot, cleans with her all natural sprays, organizes Konmari style, and yes… Sara manages to do it while still looking fabulous, and I do mean FABULOUS–even you have to admit that through your slightly green shaded eyes.

Okay, hey I’m not picking on you I promise. If you’ve seen this woman around its OKAY to say out loud, “Yah…. she kinda bugs me.”

And you HATE admitting that… and that’s okay too. (Honesty is key, people!)

That woman (er um… Sara) is the epitome of what we think we should look like when we think of WHAT it actually looks like to LOOK like a christian woman.

Wait… did you catch that?

LOOK… like a christian woman.

WHAT…THAT… HECK.

Tell me friends…

Why do we do that? Why do we get so lost in presentation and comparison that we make something like the King of Heaven living within us, after saving us from eternal separation from Him… something about US.

Something about who can do it best? Who is doing it correctly? What do we need to have in order to LOOK the part. To be the best Christian we can be?

Again, right there. To be the best christian we can be…. that’s a load of garbage straight from the devil right there. Jesus never asked you to go and show everyone how wonderful it is to be a christian. He didn’t ask you to attract people to you. He didn’t say,

“Hey, Rachel… make sure you FEEL good while you’re out there being christian, like you totally should have an awesome life of comfort and joy and people are just going to LOVE you.”

In opposition of that I’d like to present to you something Jesus ACTUALLY said.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.  Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’

 If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 

Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’”

John 15:18-25

*MIC DROP* 

I really do feel like if Jesus had access to a microphone back then, he would have done a lot of mic drops, just saying!

So, here is the reality of what I’m saying, and an answer to the question I am asking you,

“How do you know a christian girl when you see one?”

Jesus said you will know her by her fruits.

Does she serve others? Is she humble? Is she meek (this is another topic I will be covering soon, MEEK should never be seen as a negative attribute). Is she GENUINELY kind towards others, and does she persevere through BAD STUFF with an unwavering faith in our Lord Jesus?

THAT’S how you’re going to tell if someone… and yourself… are a christian.

You’re going to know by the Spirit of God revealing itself through them.

Because ladies, it’s all about Jesus. Not you. Not Sara and Ben. Not me.

You’ll know a christian when you see one because you’ll see the Holy Spirit LIVING WITHIN them (and you, girlfriend!). You’ll see Him at work through them.

The Holy Spirit… the King of heaven and of earth…. lives within us.

Like… think about that for a minute. The LIVING God of the universe…. LIVES IN YOU.

Now that’s a mic drop.