I’ll be honest. A week ago, I was crying as I unpacked my closet. I had been putting it off since we got in the house. As I hung piece after piece, I wrestled with different emotions. I was so tired that evening. Physically and emotionally I was carrying the weight of trying to do everything at once. Looking back, I am laughable. I have more clothes than I know what to do with…and there I was crying about it all.
A few Mommy Mondays ago, I shared my top 5 tips when motherhood is hard and the season just hasn’t seemed to change yet. As we settle into our home, I am more or less in the same place. However, things never feel exactly the same as God reminds me of unchanging truths and conforms me to His image.
Getting ourselves out of the apartment and into this house was harder than we would have preferred. We dropped balls on major things, like remembering to turn on the water and electricity. God continued to test our grace and patience for every member in our family. A few nights we focused on just praying together as we bounced back to the apartment and even into a hotel.
A few weeks later, there are still a lot of boxes to be unpacked and babies running under my feet. Most of last week my hormones were on a rollercoaster and several times I was admitting and confessing a great sense of being overwhelmed. I have been staring at some of these bins for nearly 5 months. I just wanted everything to have a place and to get there fast. The stress of moving and striving for useless goals took a toll on my body, to the point of completing delaying my cycle. By the end of the week I was sleepless over a less than ideal situation regarding an extremely large purchase from an unethical business. All that to say, the past few weeks have seemed to weigh heavier than normal.
I have been praying for balance each day. As I fought through the last weeks relying on tips 1-5, I thought it would be a perfect time to share my next 5 tips when motherhood is HARD and the season just hasn’t seemed to change yet. I suggest reading #1-5 again, because I recommend they stay in order. Additionally, these 5 are nowhere near as important as #1-5. Here ya go…
#6. Be thankful. An attitude of gratitude can spiritually, physically and mentally get you moving in the right direction. Don’t just count your blessings, literally choose to be thankful for them. Start with your salvation — that’s a big one if you’re a follower of Christ. Then go on down the list of all the gifts you have been given. Likely more than a lot of people.
#7. Get sleep. I didn’t get a lot of sleep this past week and that has huge negative effects on me both physically and mentally. Thankfully as I felt the stress starting to wear on me, I set aside whatever I hoped to do that night and crawled into bed early.
#8. Get exercise. Before we moved out of the apartment I was in the gym every morning. We all know that feels good. But when you don’t have an hour, be content with taking the kids for a walk or chasing them at the park. I promise you, it makes a difference so just do something.
#9. Be content with less. I know, we all strive for MORE. More lists, more activities, more this, more that. But being content with less transcends every area of our lives. One or two things a day. One friend a week. You will be surprised how much you actually appreciate this approach. As soon as I stopped worrying about getting my whole house organized in ONE week, I was able to slowly work through different rooms each day and feel a lot more productive.
#10. Open up your house/focus on people. When motherhood is hard, we don’t want people to see us like that. We want to stay on the couch or hide in a closet. But this is exactly where you shouldn’t be. Instead, welcome people into your home. It is amazing how many people we have had over during these first two weeks in this house. Several years ago, I probably would have freaked at last minute invites and drop-ins. Most evenings, I was still in my gym clothes and high pony-tail. My hostess supplies are not on point, nothing is hanging on our walls, and all the food I have been serving is sub-par. However, the time has been rich and amazing to watch God work while I set aside my preferences. We have built relationships that matter more than my desire to finish decorating. The “focus on people” can be more directed at your children. When motherhood feels hard, we want to take what little energy we have and somehow redirect it. At least that’s what I do. It makes me feel a little more human if I have accomplished a good task or redefined success for the day. The box becomes more important than the baby. Don’t get me wrong, these things are important so I am not saying be a slacker. But I am saying, when you are in a hard season of motherhood (newborn, major life stressors, potty training, the list goes on)…take what little energy you have and focus it on the people around you. That husband of yours, he still needs you. That oldest kid wants to hold your hand. If you think of your friend, follow up. I continuously remind myself of this as I walk past another box to soothe a fussy baby or read one of my boys their book.
I have definitely been focusing on these tips over the past few weeks! I am thankful for clarity as I start a new week and continue to make this house a home. Thank you for following along as we get settled!
With All My Love,