This is a post from Rachael DeBruin of Diamonds in the Rough
~Maybe it’s just me here talking, but I’ve never found life super-duper easy, especially when you’re involving a LOT of children~
Each & every one of our children is a treasure. A blessing AND we’re truly thankful for each & every one of them.
That doesn’t mean there haven’t been times of extreme stress and negative circumstances in our lives since the children came along…it isn’t that the children cause the stress necessarily, but having so many other lil people to care for can exacerbate it.
In fact, the more children you have, the more you may feel stressed when unfavorable situations arise.
Whether it’s your:
Finances, marriage, sickness, in-laws, other extended family, job, or even something to do with the children themselves; there really are some practical steps that you can take to preserve YOUR sanity!
Trust me…been there, done that
AND very sure, that I will have do it over & over again until the end of my life 🙂
Here are my TOP ten tips that have helped preserve my sanity whenever I’ve felt overwhelmed:
1. Stay Focused!
Often those of us with bigger families are good at ‘doing’ lots of things (activities both for us, and the kids). In times of stress, it is always wise to cut out & prune anything that is non-essential. That way energy is focused on dealing with the problem at hand.
2. Consider Taking a Break From Commitments!
If there is a commitment you made prior to the crisis, I’m sure that people would understand if you tried to find someone else to help you out. Of course, I’m not advocating letting ‘the ball drop’, but short-term periods of rest from extra-curriculars may be in order.
3. Stay Well Rested!
I don’t know about you, but I can keep up (somewhat) well when I’m rested. However, when I’m tired, I get very, very irritable. And often make poor decisions. Depending on the circumstance, you may have some sleepless nights, but don’t make them the norm. Aim for 7-8 hours per night. Even 6 will have to suffice in some seasons.
4. Take Care of Your Health!
Eat as healthy as possible (which may be difficult if you are extremely busy, but in the long run will keep you going) and try to keep up your physical (albeit light) activity. Healthy Mama is best for everyone involved. Well chosen vitamins may also help to make up any lack.
5. Stay In The Word!
The Word is our food and our sustenance. Without it, we starve spiritually. I aim to take extra time in the Word during seasons of hardship. Because I HAVE to. Because I may NOT make it if I don’t.
6. Stay In Prayer!
Goes hand in hand with number 4, but honestly, prayer does WORK! Don’t believe me?? I have seen God move mountains of: debt (student loans), sickness (son sick with life-threatening asthma), relationships (rifts that looked like they would never heal), and in my personal love life (from a single mother to now a married wife!). I know He can move mountains, and we should seek Him, surrendering our will to His.
7. Stay Well Connected With Trusted Friends!
I’m not talking about gossip ‘queens’, or nosy neighbors, or even church members who are not mature yet in the Lord. I’m talking about bona fide confidants that can be trusted to: keep your issue in confidence (unless it is necessary to pass along), pray & encourage you, give you balanced feed back and not simply say what you want to hear.
8. Stay Connected With Your Spouse!
This reminder comes from personal experience. At times I’ve felt the crisis was ‘my own’ and not ‘his’. It may not even have involved him at all, but if it touches my life, then TRUST me, it will touch his in some capacity! He is supposed to have your back. He is your ally and should be standing in this alongside you. Together you are stronger and you will both persevere through this difficulty. Stand strong…together!
9. Stay Connected With Your Church Family!
Don’t allow the issue to keep you from getting together with fellow members. Perhaps you will have to miss some services, depending on the severity of the situation, but keep in touch. Calls, texts, messaging apps, whatever it takes. Trust me, many of them want to help. You don’t have to tell everyone everything, but let them know you are going through something so they can be there to support you in whatever way is appropriate (meals, prayer, a listening ear, tea time together, etc.)
10. Keep Positive!
For me, this has been the most difficult aspect during some of those ‘overwhelming times’. It is FAR easier to become negative, and think nothing is ever going to change. It may be a long road. Perhaps your family will never be the same. You may feel like your heart has been broken in a million pieces. But whatever the issues is, there is always HOPE on the other side. Things can be better one day.
I leave you with the words of Jesus, “I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” ~ John 16: 33