Back to School time is in full swing at our home, and while it has been eagerly anticipated, it is rocking our calendar and zapping the energy out of my crew who were really loving lazy days of summer vibe we've had for the last few months. There are lots of things that I am good at, but juggling a schedule is not one of them. I feel like a wild beast is taking over my home with every email that arrives telling me that I (or one of my children) need to be somewhere. When you have a shift in routine, find yourself in a season where there are countless activities and orientations, how do you cultivate peace in your heart and in your home? More than anything I want to cling to hope and help my babes have a blast, not be the crazy mom yelling at everyone while we rush to tie shoes and brush our teeth as we jet out the door. So, sweet mamas, I present, 5 Ways to Find Hope When You are Overwhelmed, because don't we all need just a bit more sunshine?
1. Take Time to Look at the Big Picture
Carve out a few hours when you can open your calendar and see the big picture of what is happening in the coming weeks. Mentally prepare for what lies ahead and how you will manage the logistics. Pray for God to lead you by faith in all your commitments, and maybe even to help you say no to a few things that don't fit for you in this season. Can you enlist a friend to help with pick-up or drop-off, adjust the baby or toddler's nap to ensure that your homeschool time will flow a bit more smoothly, or prep any supplies in advance for an outing or event? Even small changes can make a big difference! There are certain days in my week that I need to rise an hour earlier, others where I know I'll need to schedule a quick meal that could be on the go and a few times where I need to be two places at once and need to reach out to ask for help from some girlfriends!
2. Prep Like a Mad Woman
Nothing makes my family crazier than to being on the go AND starving, and even though I've been a mom for over a dozen years, nothing sneaks up on me more than dinner time (or lunch...or breakfast!) I need a game plan! If you're stuck trying to meal plan, you can download the bi-weekly meal plan right here at The Better Mom- it is amazing! This month, I'm spending time grilling and freezing chicken and ground beef, slicing vegetables, and making sauces on the weekend when my husband can take a shift with the kiddos. Then on weeknights, my sous chef work is done and I'm able to put our meal together in a lot less time. Are there things you can do ahead? Laying out clothes the night before, packing backpacks for the next day at an hour that doesn't stress you out, putting together daily snack bags ahead of time so you're ready for life on the go or just for that child that is longing for something in the late afternoon at home? Take just a few moments to be ready and you'll feel like a warrior mom!
3. Laugh a Little!
When my older girls were little, a wise older mom shared her secret for breaking up sibling arguments and grumpy attitudes and we adopted her trick into our own family. Whenever my children are squabbling, I make them hold hands and jump up and down, swing in a circle together, or try to out do one another with a goofy face to "win" the argument. They can usually go about 15 seconds before bursting out in laughter with each other! A good laugh is truly the most wonderful of reset buttons, moms! If you find yourself with a huffy tone, feel tense or grumpy on the inside, take a minute to make goofy faces with your kids, twirl until you're dizzy or just google some knock-knock jokes together...I promise you will be ready to tackle what is before you afresh and your children will light up at the way you lead their hearts into a sweet connection with you!
4. Don't Be Afraid to Fail
At the end of the day, if you crawl into bed with a to-do list that isn't all crossed off, with ideas of lesson plans that didn't quite make it to life in your homeschool, with the realization that you completely forgot about soccer practice, ballet class, the PTA meeting or your mother-in-law's birthday....take heart! Sweet mama, you can take your burdens, concerns, heartache and even your schedule to the feet of Jesus every single day. Rest in him. Remember that you are lovely and that you will never get it all right or be perfect. There is grace and so so much to be learned when we stumble. Don't be afraid that you won't keep it all together!
5. Don't Neglect Your True Nourishment
It might just be the easiest thing to skip, forget, or let slide by when you are overwhelmed, but friends, you need time every single day in God's Word. Search for treasure, seek wisdom, bring your petitions to his feet and listen for his voice. There is nothing that will sustain you more than meditating on his word and joining your heart to his in prayer. Don't miss what God has made you for, don't miss enjoying his very real presence, because your days are too full. Make time and let him carry you through the rest of this season.
Share some of your ideas for making it through September in the comments? Wise women copy other wise women, and I'd love to copy all the wise things you do! Let's get a big list going to help each other in this community.