This is the final post in the series How to Beat Motherhood Overwhelm in 7 Easy Steps.
I have had small kids in my home for 10 years! My oldest just had her tenth birthday and my youngest is one and a half. Maybe that makes me an expert? Not really, an expert on my own kids, sure – but kids, families, people are all so different! This whole series has been written about what works for me! Take what you love, leave the rest – that’s my blog/reading/life motto lol
The biggest thing these ten years have taught me: no matter how grand your plans are, you can’t do it all! Some days it doesn’t feel like you did anything, let alone all! And that’s the big point. How to be successful with small kids: go easy on yourself, Mama!
Make today a win!
If I’ve done all the things I mentioned earlier in this series – I’m already winning! But, some days I’ve got other things weighing heavily on my mind that need doing, or I’m sick or I’ve been up all night with kids. At some point in my day, the overwhelm comes heavy, and I realize all the things I should be doing that aren’t happening today.
So where do I start?
I look at the hours I’ve got left and figure out what would make today feel successful. It can be tons of things. Some days we do a minimum school day so we can spend the afternoon at the park and that’s winning. Some days I park myself at the dining room table with my bible, barely holding onto my sanity while the kids play in their rooms and that’s winning. Some days we snuggle up on the couch and watch movies all afternoon and that’s winning. Some days we clean the whole house, run errands and have take out for dinner and that’s winning. Some days every single thing is checked off my lists, the house is clean, kids are happy and dinner is a made from scratch feast with home made dessert and that’s winning.
Success doesn’t mean the same thing every day, especially with a house full of growing little people that seem to change moment by moment. Get into the habit of stepping back a little and asking yourself what’s the best thing we could be doing right now?
In other words, what am I nurturing today? What are you nurturing today?
Nurture – to care for and encourage the growth or development of.
Nurture is a simple word, one often associated with instilling habits and beliefs, or encouraging plants to grow. The nuance of the word, to me, suggests the whole picture view of parenting and care taking. The thing about this word nurture, that gets to me is that it requires consistent re-evaluation. Nurturing is bigger than taking care, than raising, than disciplining, than bringing up. In my mind, ‘to nurture’ gets to the heart of the intuition we Mama’s feel.
Often parenting is approached with a symptom/cause point of view. Which leaves no room for just a plain old bad day. No room for a simple draw toward an activity that encourages closeness in an otherwise work orientated time. Or vise versa! But nurturing looks at the whole picture. Sure, there’s laundry that needs to be done – but this little guy has been grumpy for a few days. Or, wow they’ve been fighting a lot, time to amp up our routines and give them something else to think about! Everything we do should be serving our biggest priorities. Success happens when we know those priorities, and then do the best thing for them, no matter what box they may or may not be in!
- Sit back, look at your life today, just as it is. Knowing, it isn’t always going to be here. These children will grow. The circumstances you find yourself in will change. What priorities do you have right now?
- In a year’s time, what will be the thing you’ll want to look back on? You could say you probably won’t remember today in a year, but you will remember things you set in motion today. Coming at your difficult, overwhelmed life with a commitment to being intentional – whatever intentional looks like for you today! – will set you up for huge rewards in the future!
- What would be the best thing to do today? If you’re sick, maybe it’s a slow day. If you’re grumpy, maybe get outside. If you feel crazy because the house is a mess, take an hour to clean something. The possibilities are endless! But, have a little chat with yourself about what could really help today. Channel your inner optimism and just start somewhere.
This is where the series ends! I would love to pray with you or hear how you implement some of the ideas from these 7 steps.
My next series will be on self-care, quieting down our lives and soaking in. Focusing on minimalism and encouraging our quieting with aromatherapy. Click here to follow along with me in the month of June on 30 Days to Quiet Down and Soak In. Hope to see you there!