July 26, 2017

On Not Getting Overwhelmed

Mountain Top in Clouds Blanket
Don’t get overwhelmed.

Easier said than done, isn’t it?

Some days recently, I’ve hung my head low and murmured to God, “Really?  What IS it that You see in me, God?  Because I obviously don’t see the same things You do.  You must know I can handle this.  But I need to know how You expect me to do it.”

It wasn’t the first day I’ve felt this way, and it certainly won’t be my last.  Raising any amount of children is challenging.

Raising a large number of children is even more challenging.

And some days I feel that one of the most difficult challenges of all could very well be raising a LOT of boys.

What overwhelms me?  Well, where do I start?

With cooking and cleaning and dishes and laundry and football and soccer and homeschooling and midwife appointments all mixed with the boys fighting and I can’t find my other black flip-flop and we have another stomach virus!?! and the Cheerios stuck to my shirt and we have ants again???  What’s a mom to do?

I have to remind myself of the answer quite frequently.

Be still and KNOW that He is God.

A lot of things happen when you still yourself.  When you shush yourself and your racing mind just enough to be able to draw yourself back in, towards Him, to lean into Him, pursuing HIM, because you know that you really just aren’t enough.

But….

HE IS.

It’s amazing the new perspective that He gives.  In an instant, your mind can be reset and transformed and you suddenly realize or remember just what you need to do.  Refocused, you:

Prioritize!

Don’t sweat the small stuff!

What’s important in life?  The season of motherhood that you’re in right now is different than the season you will experience in ten years.

What is that your family needs from you the most right now?  I can guess that for most of us, the answer will sound the same.  Our husbands and children need from us our time, our love, our affection, our desire to just be with them, and for us to enjoy this sweet season.  Next to our relationship with God, this is our most important work.  Choose reading to your toddler over re-organizing the closet.  Talk to your teenage son instead of watching Food Network re-runs.  Put down the phone and engage in what it is your family is busy doing without you.  You will never regret making these choices!  Never.

Minimize!

Get rid of time-wasters and distractions to your family life as much as possible.

Ward against becoming a slave to laundry or dishes by paring down on unnecessary items.  Less really is more sometimes.

Minimize distractions in your home that detract from quality family time by simply unplugging them.  Feel like there’s too much noise in your home?  Turn off the TV!  Can’t get the teenager to stay downstairs and hang out with the rest of the family?  Set boundaries for electronic privileges in his room!

Too many activities outside the home and you feel swamped?  Just say no!

Minimize the pull away from your first responsibility to your home and family life by keeping it simple, by keeping it focused on just that…..Family and Home.

Maximize!

It’s worth your energy to plan ahead.  Make the most of the hours in your day by having a game plan.

Set aside time for family clean-up once a day, and then a more thorough cleaning once a week.  Have everyone help. Sharing the load gets it done a lot faster and takes some of the load off of you!

I save myself extra trips to the grocery store by making a menu plan and grocery list each Friday, and then getting all my groceries on Saturday.  Because I have a menu plan, even if I forget what’s on it, I can quickly look and know exactly what it is I’m cooking that night.

The night before we have a class or church, I prepare clothes (or at least know where they are), ensure assignments are completed, and I know in advance what time we will need to leave to get to our destination on time.  In doing so, this reduces my stress level because I know what’s going on.  I’m prepared.

It takes a bit of effort, but planning ahead definitely maximizes my time and energy and helps keep me from getting overwhelmed with what would otherwise be a sometimes very hectic schedule!

See what the other High Five Moms have to say on this topic by visiting them at:

And be sure and leave your best tips on NOT becoming overwhelmed in the comments.


Comments

  1. Great encouragement for today! Thanks! 🙂

  2. I love this topic! I think your headings were great: prioritize, minimize, maximize. And I think a lot of it hits right in that very same order, too. Thanks much.

  3. This is so true and something that is often forgotten. I have three children, my boys are grown and one has left and the other is leaving, how ever my baby is 13 and she is still very much a part of everything that goes on. It is truely amazing how fast time flys and the moments that you wish would be over you now wish were back. When all our children were smaller we had a tv but no cable or tv shows so bonding was games or we would occasionally watch a movie.
    Taking the time to invest in your childrens life is always worth it.

    Also when you are less stressed you will find that you really enjoy your time with your family so much more without worrying about what to make for supper or running to the store for groceries everyday.

  4. 🙂 ♥

  5. Wow I so needed this. I feel overwhelmed most of the time. Raising 4 kids on my own, working full time on top of it, and just beginning to fit in sports activities. I often wonder what God sees in me. Thank you!

  6. Awesome!
    I am all about minimizing.. and I can usually keep it under control, but it’s a process. I feel like I spent a year going through to minimize “stuff”, and it’s time to do it again. You know how I feel about living in an organized house.. 😉 it makes life and every day to-dos so much easier.
    That being said, I started getting so overwhelmed thinking of the things I wanted to do, how to do them, when, where, etc.. So I just remind myself that it’s a process, and to not give up. I tend to get overwhelmed by tasks, but I try to always remind myself.. Slow and steady wins the race! That’s something my mom always said to me, and still does.. It’s not a race, but in the big picture, once it’s accomplished I’ve accomplished something, which i’m sure feels as invigorating as winning a race.. 🙂

  7. I really needed to hear this! I have been feeling so overwhelmed lately. I have two kids, 2 1/2 and 7 months and sometimes it feels like I’m drowning in everything that’s going wrong. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I think that grandparents should help out as much as possible. Not tell the parents what to do or how to raise the kids, but ask the parents how they can help make their family life more joyful and less stressful. I would rather be splashed with the tub water of my two year old grandchild than being on an exotic cruise any day.
    The Walton’s had it right!

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