“ Hi… I’m Jamie… and I have six kids.” Excuse me while I practice up for my “mothers of many children” support group. I’m just joking, but that statement pretty much sums up my time in almost every respect. During this season of my life, my children affect everything that I do. Whether it’s work, managing my home, homeschooling, date night, and even “me” time… my children are an integral aspect of the decisions that I make. Sometimes so much so that I feel completely overwhelmed.
Ever feel that way? I’m sure you do… even friends of mine with only one child feel the same way. So, what is the deal? Are we just selfish, or is this a natural part of parenting?
Well, maybe a bit of both… LOL… (I know I sure can be!) but really it is what many mothers feel on a regular basis. The fact that you feel overwhelmed at the immense daily task of caring for a large family is no reflection on whether or not you love your children. It does show that you take your responsibilities seriously, and credits you with caring. All good things… so don’t feel bad. A few years ago I let the weight of these cares this crush me. I literally lived “overwhelmed.” A dear friend once realized this in my life, and took the time to encourage me to take inventory of my life and trash everything that I really didn’t “have to” include. I know it sounds simple, but after I made this a conscious part of my daily thought processes… it really helped. It’s changed how I live. Sure, I still have to consider my kids when I plan “me” time… and date night… and everything else but I regularly get rid of anything that isn’t necessary or doesn’t encourage and build me and my family up.
A few tips to getting it done…
1) When someone asks you for help, and you are already overwhelmed… just say “No, I’m sorry.” and then smile.
2) When your children want to play every sport and do every extra curriculum activity imaginable, sit them down and explain that they need to focus on one thing and then maybe next year they can try something else.
3) Schedule time for breaks. Whenever I begin to feel like everything is piling up, and I have nothing else to give… I schedule time for me to get refreshed. There is no way you can keep giving out to your children without being filled. Making sure to spend quiet time with the Lord can be life changing.
4) Schedule time for fun activities in your homeschool day. Laughter truly can be the best medicine. Take time to smell the roses with your kiddos. You’re making memories that will last alot longer than the to do list on your fridge.
5) Don’t be afraid to keep it simple. Make simple suppers, ask the kids to use the towels more than once to limit laundry, use homeschooling helps like online curriculum or even video lessons. No one ever said you had to be Wonder Woman… just “mom!”