March 25, 2017

How a Mom of Many Keeps Her Sanity

# one hundred and twenty

By Contributing Writer, Candace Sabo

As a mom of many, other moms are always curious as to how I keep my sanity with so many children.  But the truth is, whether you’re a mom to one, two, or ten, we will all face moments when we feel like we could very well lose our sanity!

As my friend Vicki says, “If you have two children, God gives you what you need to handle those two.  If you have ten children, God gives you what you need to handle ten.”

It may be that sometimes moms of many need to be a bit more creative in how we maintain our sanity, but I think overall, it’s important to maintain a routine and be consistent no matter how many children you have!

Here are some of the ways that have helped me keep my sanity in an ever-growing family!

Christ, My Help

If you’ve been following my blog long enough, you’ve heard me say this many times.  Honestly, without Christ in my life….the source of my strength, wisdom, and perseverance…I don’t know how I could possibly do this job!  My current season doesn’t allow much for a regular quiet time, but I continually go to Him throughout my day, asking Him for help and wisdom.  He is faithful!

Rest Time

Since my older girls were little, we have always required our kids to observe a two-hour rest time everyday!  From 1:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon, everyone must be napping, reading, or enjoying a hobby quietly!  The three younger ones take naps.  The rest of the kids must read for the first hour, and then they are free to draw, build with K’Nex, or play quietly in their beds with a few small toys.  I have a couple who will read the full two hours, and others who want to enjoy a hobby the second hour.  My 17-year-old usually continues school work, reads, has computer time, or paints.  I’m fine with whatever they choose as long as they’re QUIET!

If we’ve had a rough morning, quiet time saves my sanity for sure!  It frees me up to read, to write, to eat without vultures surrounding me, to finish up chores or begin prep for dinner…and sometimes I just sit and enjoy some rest myself!

There are many times throughout my life when I’ve had to forego rest time for myself due to a new baby who is on a different schedule than the older kids.  In fact, just in the last few months, my youngest has finally gone from two naps (10am and 3pm) to one nap from 1:00 to 3:00.  So when I am in that season, I just enjoy alone time with the baby and know that eventually she or he will adjust to the “family” schedule.

Bed Time

Bed time is just as important to me as rest time.  All of our kids, except for our 17-year-old (our oldest is married), go to bed at 8:00!  Not only am I tired and ready for quiet by 8:00, but this is a time for my husband and me to be together.  ALONE!  Since we’re usually both nodding off by 10:00pm, this gives us two hours of quality alone time.

Our 17-year-old usually has her computer time after the younger ones have gone to bed.  Other nights, she’ll stay with us to talk or enjoy a movie!

King of the Castle

image credit

Everyone Pitches In

This is self-explanatory, I think.  Mom does not do everything around here.  We all work together to run and manage our home.  Part of being a parent is knowing when to delegate responsibility.  Responsibility is good for children.  It teaches them much about team work, hard work, and service.  I certainly do a lot as a homeschooling mom of 10, but I don’t do it all!

A Sane Husband

Some days, when my husband walks through the door after work, I’m quite sure the heavens have opened up, the angels are singing, and the bright lights are shining upon him!

He is my hero, to say the least.  He is a big help and definitely keeps me sane!

I know there are moms out there who may have husbands that aren’t as helpful, or perhaps away a lot due to work, or not in the picture at all.  Don’t lose heart, Moms!  God promises to equip us for the task, and it is through our weakness that He is truly magnified!

Perspective

Perspective is two-fold.  First, how do we view staying at home to raise children?  Do we see it as a blessing and a privilege?  Or do we often think, “I could be doing so much more!”  Your answer to this question could make all the difference in how our days turn out.  If we find joy and purpose in raising our children, we are more likely to stay focused on our mission and keep our wits about us.  If we feel like what we’re doing doesn’t matter, or make a difference, we’re more likely to see this job as a burden to be survived.

Sometimes, on the really tough days, I remind myself that our kids are gone in a blink of an eye.  Just yesterday, I gave birth to my oldest daughter.  Now, she’s all grown up and married!  A blink of an eye!  Savor these little years, difficult as they may be!  You’ll never regret the precious hours spent with them!

Perspective is everything!

What helps you keep your sanity as a mom?

 


Comments

  1. Thank you for this! I’ve really been struggling with perspective at being a SAHM (even though I love it and my 4 miracles!), and this was definitely an encouragement I needed TODAY! 🙂

  2. I used to struggle almost daily with being a SAHM and think “I could be doing so much more with my time/degree/etc…” but I have learned to change my perspective and thank God (almost) daily that I am able to SAH with our 3 precious daughters. I also watch a little boy 3 days a week so I feel like I am blessing him and his parents too.

    I keep my sanity but having the kids have nap/quiet time EVERY day. And yes, early bedtime also, typically by 7:30 the lights are out. I also keep sanity with PRAYER – although, I admit, I need to find the times to be on my knees more b/c some days I feel like I’m barely getting by. I also am so blessed to have a WONDERFUL hubby who loves spending time with our daughters. And I have at least one Moms night out once a month, sometimes more often. And sometimes I just save my grocery shopping for nighttime so I have shop with out little hands and hundreds of questions 🙂 .

    • Amen, Brooke! 🙂 Every once in a while, I go grocery shopping alone….for the same reason. They are so precious, but sometimes I just want to get the grocery shopping down quickly. 🙂

      • Brooke, I’m so glad you mentioned Moms Night Out. One of my favortie things to do is meet a friend somewhere for fellowship and refreshment! I’m more of a one-on-one gal, but I do also enjoy an occasional MNO with a group of moms. 🙂

  3. This is wonderful! Thanks Candace for sharing your tips. They are so helpful for those hard days. Lisa~

  4. This was a great article! I was nodding my head in agreement as I read it, as we follow a lot of the same principles. Mandatory quiet/rest time in the early afternoon and 8:00 bedtimes do a lot for my sanity. Oh, and a great husband!

  5. Thank you, Lisa. You’re always an encouragement. Would love to read a similar post from you! 🙂

  6. Emmy Gallodoro says:

    When I was growing up I knew I was made to be a SAHM. When my husband and I were dating about a month into our relationship I told him I wanted to be a SAHM he loved the idea and that’s when I knew he was made for me. I didn’t however realize how much work it can be I guess my young self only saw rainbows and butterflies. I didn’t think about the potty training or the days the kids are getting along or not feeling well or don’t take naps. I tell my husband all the time moms cant afford to get sick. We cant call in sick when we don’t feel well diapers still have to be changed, meals still have to be made, a house still needs to be clean. But at the end of the day I still go to bed Thankful that I am able to be home with my kids and watch them grow up to be respectable men of the Lord. I love my job even when I have to sneak into the bathroom to read a book in quite even it only for 10 minutes. My kids have rest from 1 to 3 daily my youngest sleeps my oldest either sleeps or gets to watch a movie until his brother wakes up. We have alo implicated a bedtime of 8:30weekdays 9:00 weekends. This way we get some one on one time together.

  7. I never thought I’d be a stay at home mom let along have 9 kids and counting! I have felt this both as a curse and a blessing. It’s taken time and prayer to see where God has me, as a blessing but I’m getting there. My biggest time of struggle is when I’m overly stressed and struggling with my bi polar. However, looking back I can see where God has guided me every step of the way. I now love to be home, love homeschooling my kids, and through God find peace in the chaos of life.

  8. This is just what I needed! Stumbled upon this website through pinterest and am so Thankful! I’ve been enjoying reading all the things from Christian moms who love their job of staying at home! Even though there are some hard times. Instead of looking at the facebook world of the “perfect” moms who always have there ducks in a row! I have an almost 2 year old(wow scary to say!) and 3 year old. And my husband is a ups driver and works LONG days. and some days i feel like they will never end! When your first few kids were at the young age, how did you enforce the quiet time? My 3yo has quiet time but bugs me the hole time, and just tries to do everything to annoy me on purpose. my youngest naps. And how do you do bedtime? Our nights are very stressful, and we can’t figure that one out!! No matter what, i will keep in touch with this sight for encouragement!

    • Niki,

      Thank you for your encouraging words. Brandy has an incredible site, doesn’t she? I’m honored to write for her on occasion! And hooray for Pinterest! ; )

      As far as rest time, I’m assuming your 3 yr old isn’t napping anymore? I have a 3 yr old who naps *sometimes*. This is what I do….I lay down with her (in my bed) for about 30 minutes to see if she will nap. If she doesn’t, I send her up to her room to play or look at books quietly in her bed. I’m a fairly strict disciplinarian, so if my kids are misbehaving during rest time, or not obeying when it’s time for bed at night, there are consequences. Whatever discipline measure works best for your 3 yr old, I would enforce that at rest time and bed time. The training you do in the early years will really pay off later. Set a bed time, let her know before hand what is expected and what the consequences will be if she does not obey, and then follow through (she will test you!). This applies at rest time too. If you think staying in her bed during rest time is too much, then maybe just staying in her room is reasonable. The goal is to get her to stay there and not come out to disrupt you. Sometimes it is down-right exhausting, but if we get lax, or don’t follow through, we won’t see results. No results equals a tired, frustrated momma! 🙂

      Raising little ones is a tough job, but it’s refreshing to hear that you have a great perspective on it! 🙂

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