If I had to choose one word to describe the past 35 years of parenting our eight children, I would choose the word EXHAUSTING. Don’t get me wrong. I think motherhood is WONDERFUL, and I love it. But it is also emotionally, mentally, and physically draining at times.
At some point between the birth of my oldest and youngest, I found that by having some priorities in place, I was less worn out. That in turn made me a happier and better mom.
It is hard to focus on what matters and meet the needs of your family when you are constantly worn out. I know there are times when that can’t be helped — like when you have a new baby, when there are sick kids to be taken care of, or when you’re just caught up in an extra busy time temporarily. However, you don’t want to let it be the norm to live in an exhausted state continually.
It’s important to focus on these priorities, so you can be your best as a (tired) mom.
1. Make time for self-renewal a priority.
It isn’t selfish to put yourself at the top of the priority list. If you don’t take time to nourish yourself spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically you will burn out.
You will no longer enjoy your kids, and normal activities will seem like a chore to you. I knew I was at that point when I found myself sighing about every little thing the kids needed help with, or asked me to do for them.
You can’t give water from an empty well, and you can’t serve and care for your family when you are burned out.
Plan time weekly for self-renewal. Put it in your schedule, and make sure it happens regularly! If you don’t plan for it, it won’t happen.
This time can be as simple as having your husband keep the kids for a couple hours while you go out with a friend, Another option is having a set time weekly just to do something you enjoy, whether that is reading a good book, working on a hobby, or going shopping. Find what is relaxing and refreshing for YOU.
2. Make getting enough sleep a priority.
When you are younger you may be able to get away with burning the candle at both ends, and not getting as much sleep as you should. However, it WILL CATCH UP TO YOU, and your health will suffer in the long run. God designed our bodies to need rest, and it’s important that we are good stewards of our bodies.
Don’t fall into the trap of staying up late because that’s the only time you can get things done! It’s easy to do, but it’s not a healthy habit. When you’re not getting enough sleep, it tends to change your perspective. Everything seems worse than it would normally, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you are suffering from lack of sleep.
If you have a little one that gets or keeps you up at night, take advantage of nap time. Sleep while they sleep!
3. Make time for God’s Word a priority.
When we are tired, it’s extra important to stay in God’s Word. We are more prone to listen to the lies of the devil when we are struggling with fatigue, and we need the Bible to fill our minds with God’s truth.
Also, when we forget to take time for God and His Word, we then struggle to handle things in our own strength, which leads to more fatigue and then discouragement.
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
Go to God’s Word and get His wisdom and guidance for the day. Don’t try to parent in your own strength, when God’s Word is there to give you direction and guidance. Find a promise to claim and carry with you through out the day. It will help renew your weary spirit when you mediate on God’s Word and His promises.
Do you feel exhausted constantly, and like you’re running on empty? Make sure to keep these priorities before you! Take care of yourself physically and spiritually, and let God give you the strength you need.
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