October 25, 2014

Open Letter from an Overwhelmed Reader

Dear Overwhelmed,

So, I’m a very real person with a very real family and a very real life of my own. I still get overwhelmed sometimes, too.

Sometimes when life seems to have piled too much on my plate, I am tempted to shut this little blog down so that I can have one less thing to do.  And when this happens, I usually pray and ask God for direction on the matter.

I began this blog to be a ministry to encourage mothers, and it’s grown, for sure.  And can I tell you?  Almost every time I feel tempted to stop writing here, I get an email just like this one.  Please read this open letter from an anonymous reader (we will call her Nikki) posted below with her permission.  I have emailed her back privately, but she would very much appreciate connecting with you and for you to encourage her in the comments, so please do so.

And…because of mommies just like her, this blog isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

 

Hello,

I came across your website today as a result of just being broken down by the life I chose to live.  I am a stay at home mom of 2 boys, 5 years and 19 months. After being angry, frustrated, crying, screaming at the kids, and feeling so alone, I just prayed to God to help me today. While I sat down to order pizza online, I googled “overwhelmed with kids and home” and you were the first person I came across. What a blessing!!!

I read your blog post letter “Dear Overwhelmed Mother of Little Ones” and just cried some more. The Lord needed me to find you. I was going to ask for your help in maybe helping me find someone in the same position as me. I am sure women write to you all the time. I am lonely because my husband works so much just so that I can be at home with the kids. I am actually jealous that he doesn’t have to be around them as much as me. I feel awful saying that but it is what it has come to. I am just looking for someone to encourage me and talk to and maybe I could do the same for them. Thanks for listening and thank you for writing that letter. It was meant for me to read.

Overwhelmed,

Nikki

Dear Nikki/Overwhelmed Mama,

Yeah, it’s tough sometimes…A lot of the time, when these kiddos are young, I know.  I’m sorry you feel alone, but don’t – for a single second – believe the lie that you are in this all alone!

Your feelings are just human.  God knows.  Let Him hear it all.  He can handle it.

God made you for this.  He has blessed you with these children, and he has equipped you to run specifically this race that He’s called you to run.  You CAN DO THIS!

This is sometimes hard to remember, though, so you are wise to look around for help, for partners for your journey.  Remember that our Heavenly Father is with you, every day.  Every single step.  He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Grab the hand of a friend, a trustworthy confidante, and just keep journeying on together.  Laugh some, okay?

And while the cyberworld doesn’t have all the answers, there is a huge community of moms right here that can cheer you on.  I am here for you.  WE are here for you!

You can do this.  Just keep at it, sweet mama!

Love,

Brandy

Will you encourage this mom and other moms just like Nikki in the comments here today?

I know she and other overwhelmed moms will appreciate reading your encouraging words!  Just leave her a note in the comments here!  Thanks, moms!

 

 

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Comments

  1. Oh ‘Nikki’ <3 I want to HUG you and buy you a coffee … that we can enjoy at a park while our boys (I am a mom of three boys: 8, 5, 4) run amok nearby! You are NOT alone!! You feelings are very much felt by many (myself included). <3

  2. Hi Nikki….please don’t believe the lie this is all for nothing! Winter is a challenging time-especially for a stay at home mom. Personal connections are so important this time of year. I would seek out any opportunity for getting a change of scenery-play area at the mall, indoor kids playscape, story time at the library (my favorite) local nature center (another favorite) heck, even McDonalds play land. You may leave thinking either “that was fun”, or “whew, glad we’re back home!”
    When my kids were under 5, I did those things because I didn’t have a huge circle of friends with kids. I wasn’t a big joiner (still not) either but it did help break up the blahs. Hope some of this helps & know you are not alone!

  3. Oh Nikki, {{{hugs}}}},
    I’m sure when you ‘signed up” to be a mom, you weren’t expecting the way life is for you right now. As I said “now.” Yes, every day seems like a year. Take some time to breathe, and open yourself to the perspective that one day when the kids are gone, you will actually wonder where the time went. Wild thought, huh?

    I hope you’ve been able to find places to connect with moms like you. Our church has a weekly playgroup, but it’s open to anyone. The moms take turns planning an activity every week so they can talk to other moms while their kids are making Valentines, playing at the playground etc.

    What helped me keep my sanity before I put my children in preschool (I wanted to wait until they were 3) was connecting with 2-3 other moms for a weekly group. One mom had the kids at her home for a few hours so the other moms could have mom time to shop or do whatever. Linda and Richard Eyre came up with a “joyschool” idea that was more structured. I “advertised” in one neighborhood newsletter to find another mom who stayed home, and our 2 boys became good buddies.

    You will make it through this; but with some support and “time away” it will be much easier!

  4. Please find a local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). It will be a blessing to you.

  5. Nikki, you are certainly NOT alone! I am not a stay-at-home mom, I am a working mom, but I think all moms get overwhelmed no matter whether they work or stay at home. Kids and parenthood are just draining, you are required to give so much of yourself 24/7 without expecting anything in return. Satan knows that and tries to use that against us. When I am feeling overwhelmed, I first pray and then try to connect with other moms. Since I do work, I don’t have much spare time to do play dates, but I have several on-line connections: The Marathon Mom, Good Morning Girls (on-line bible study group I connect with through Facebook) and a few other on-line sources. The on-line sources are great for that moment when you need some immediate encouragement, but I also go to church and serve there which connects me with other people. My husband works third-shift, so at times I feel like a single-mom and know what it feels like to be lonely. I hope you found some encouragement in my ramblings, I’ll be praying you find the encouragement and connection your heart desires. Blessings!

  6. Nikki-
    I have been in your shoes many many days and I wanted to cry reading your letter to Brandy because I can so relate. I too, have 2 boys one 3 1/2 and the other 14 months-there are days I don’t even get a chance to brush my teeth :( but know that you are loved and there lots of us mom’s out there just like you! I really want to encourage you to find a group of mom’s in your area, who are in the exact same spot as you, who have the craziness and the messiness of life with little ones. I participate in MOPS, Mothers of Pre-schoolers and it is my SAVING GRACE! I love it so much and it is my breath of fresh air each week we meet or any activity that is going on. You can go to http://www.MOPS.org and easily find a group in your area (here is the direct link to finding a group in your area: http://www.mops.org/groupsearch/ ) there is also another blog under the menu bar where other blogging moms post encouraging posts and tips and advice and anything you might be looking for. Brandy’s blog, marathon mom, is another good one to follow too. Hang in there, we’re really all in this together and you are not alone!

  7. Oh beloved one…please embrace the love & acceptance these ladies are actively giving. The seasons of life come & we feel so weighted down in the moment. We are human, born selfish & petty at times. There is NOTHING you expressed that every mom (that is honest anyways) has not felt, or mourned over too. WE ARE ALL INSUFFICENCT TO OUR TASKS! We may only find sufficiency in Jesus Christ alone. It is actually His calling on your life that you are being obedient to. Find rest in Him, take time to draw near to Him and there will be Peace. He is refining you, molding you, making you. Remember feelings can be misleading, stand on Christ’s truth: He will never leave you nor forsake you! Humble prayers for you & your family!

  8. As a mother of two kiddos under two, I really don’t think I could make it through the week without our play dates with our local MOMS Club. It is a great way to get out of the house and connect with people who feel just the same as you do. We’ve been home 4 out of the last 5 days this week due to sickness and I can’t believe how lonely I’ve felt. It just proves that the moms groups are a huge support!

  9. Nikki, I very much second the suggestion of finding a MOPS or other mom’s group near you! You can go to MOPS.org and search for a group near you using your zip code. It has been a huge blessing to me! Winter is such a hard time. Everyone is low on vit D, sick of being cooped up and that contributes to feeling alone. Reach out to someone at your church, an older women to mentor you. I have a friend that is my mentor and I can go to her with anything. I am not sure if you are comfortable but maybe allowing Brandy to post the city you live in your could find a reader in your area that you can connect with too. You are NOT alone. Satan tells us this lie. He also is good at telling us to keep our feelings bottled up from our husbands. Get a sitter and go out on a date. Have some time with your husband to tell him how you are feeling. I think having him understand how you feel will help you feel better! Also, Crystal Paine just released a new book called “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode”. It is excellent! I will be praying for you sister!

  10. Oh dear Nikki, how I remember this season of my life. I’m a grandma now, but my years when I was a young mom were awful for me. Not to tell to long a story, I was dealing with abuse issues and was really wrapped up in myself. There was so much anger from all of that that came out at my poor children. God is giving me a 2nd chance with my grandchildren and I thank Him for that, but my children are all damaged and we are still working through many things. I would also encourage you to be involved with onlline blogs….there are so many that encourage young moms. Young mothers are a burden to me and I think aways will be. another good blog beside the Marathon Mom is called Our Family for His Glory. Sweet Jessica writes the words you need to hear. I will be praying for you….I agree about getting into mops and also trying to go to story time or a morning out at your church. you will make new friends and your children will also. You are doing a good job….the very fact that you are willing to be so transparent proves what a caring devoted mom you are. I also agree that if you would be willing to share your city, you might find a real person to walk along side that you could give and actual hug. Please let us know how you are doing. Much love

  11. Nikki, I am right there with you and have been for about 3 years. My daughter is almost 3 1/2 and I am due with our second child in 2 weeks. I agree online communities and blogs help because you can read encouraging stories and hear from moms just like you, but to me it only fills that gap momentarily. We moved over the summer which took me away from my neighbors that I would chat with often. So last summer I finally decided to attend a story time and playgroup that was one day a week at the library. That helped a lot. Plus I took my daughter to the YMCA for swim class once a week which also got me out and socializing. I have not made any close friends from either, but at least I was talking to someone other than a preschooler. My fear is now that the baby will be here very soon, it will be much harder to get out and do those activities once again for awhile. I dont want to go back where I was a year ago. I was always a very social person and loved being the center of attention, but once I became a mom, I lost many friends because they were not married with kids and we slowly grew apart. I feel now that I stay at home, people will think I am no longer important nor have anything interesting to say, which I know is untrue, but it is hard to convince myself of such when I am around others. Sorry I don’t have much advice, except that most of these ladies are right…follow blogs and find some sort of group to get involved in because it does help. I just wanted you to know you truly are not alone and I wish we could meet up for a play date and chat! Hang in there because I’ll be hanging in there too!

  12. Lisa Thomas says:

    I agree with what the other women have said. I would add that you should pay attention to what “you” really want. I wanted quiet time….time to hear myself think, because I am an introvert! I worked with my husband to find time that I could do something by myself. It’s actually how I started running. Yes, I am often overwhelmed by my responsibilities as a mom. But they are usually easier to handle if I’ve taken care of myself. I find ways to make time for myself – even if it means getting up 30 min earlier – so that I’m in a better place to take on the rest of the day. Yes, it will get easier as the kids get older, but like you, I want to enjoy my time now. You have to figure out how to make each day enjoyable.

  13. Oh how I have been there!!! One of the most important things I did was join a MOMS club and MOPS group. (MOMS club stands for moms offering moms support and is centered around stay at home moms.) Almost every day of the week our MOMS club has some activity going on. Almost all of the activities are free or less than a few dollars to help pay for the supplies. I usually look at their calendar, choose an activity I want to attend that week and get out the door. We have tons of play groups, cooking with kids, and home centered activities which give us all a chance to decompress and visit. When I first became a stay at home mom not only was I lonely but really needed to get out of the house, just talk to other moms and get a chance to have an adult conversation. Saved my sanity and my kiddos had a ball playing with other kids. MOMS is a international group, so there should be one in your area. As a mom of 5 kids, with another due in March, I don’t know what I would have done without my group. We also took advantage of our local church AWANA group that met on Tuesday evenings. Kids got to have fun there and hubby and I got a chance to actually sit down and talk without interruptions once a week. On really hard weeks, just going to church, decompressing while the kids were in Sunday school was also really nice. I hope that you get a chance to spend a little “me” time on the weekends. Just going grocery shopping ALONE would recharge my batteries.

  14. Hey there gal,
    I want to salute you for being honest enough to say you are overwhelmed and brave enough to reach out and ask for help. I believe one of the first lies Satan told me when I became a mom was “you are the only one who..fill in blank here” I have and do struggle with feeling overwhelmed, stressed, hormonal, etc. I’ve also struggled with resentment, jealousy and anger, “I used to do…or have time for…” , especially toward my husband. He looks like none of this bothers him! But it does, remember he is your team mate he really wants to help, let him. Moms aren’t meant to do this alone, that’s why God create marriage so you have a partner.

    Being Mom IS hard and juggling all the other roles; wife (especially this role can be tough at times), sister, daughter, friend can make you feel schizophrenic! what role do I play and when? You play you! You as a mom is EXACTLY what your children need, a mom that knows when it’s time to take a time out, ask for help and do something for you. You can’t be good at anything if you aren’t ‘filled up for it”, so schedule in quiet time and exercise most days. The quiet time will help you to refocus with Jesus and the exercise (ten minute walk or something) will help to energize you and relieve the stress. The other thing these two things do is model to your little ones how important you value yourself. Also, I bet that hubby of yours would love to help too, ten minutes of Dad time while you walk around the block is time well spent!
    I hope these suggestions help and that you feel encouraged. you are doing a GREAT job!
    Take care, I’ll be thinking and praying for you!

  15. Nikki, I have been right there where you are ! One day at a time and be sure to start each day praying and reading your bible for strength and wisdom. Walk away to count to 15 before you yell…. that’s what I had to do and no it wont always work but it will help you feel better . Being a mom is the hardest job there is but truly will end up being the most fulfilling job as well. lots of hugs !!!!

  16. Andrea Adams says:

    Dear sister,
    Oh, how I’ve been in your shoes and still am. I have 5 children between the ages of 17 and 3.I remember when I started my mom journey and sometimes how overwhelmed and lonely I felt. Now, I’m still on that journey but have learned how to embrace the good, bad, and the ugly lol (4 of my children are boys)!!! Sometimes we look at others and think how in the world do they do it. They look put together, their children behave perfectly, they look happy and at ease with life. Then we think there is no one that feels the way we do or has walked in our shoes. I believe that’s an attack of the enemy to make us feel inadequate. I know this is true God’s word and prayer are key through our journey’s. It brings strength to the weak, comfort to the morning, rest to the way and relief to the sressed.I will lift you up dear sister in prayer because I know our heavenly Father will pick you up and help you through.
    Love and prayers, Andrea

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