As I type these words, I’m nestled deep into the couch. The room is dark around me, as the sun has yet to poke her head above the surface of the horizon. This is my moment of quiet, before those tiny people who belong to me come bounding out, all pent up with feisty energy, and I’m clinging to this one moment in time.
It’s hard, this motherhood gig. Just when we think we’ve got everything figured out, those kids of ours throw a kink in the plan, a wrench in our already thought-out out days. And we start to feel like we’re losing our minds in the chaos of it all.
So what do we do? How do we keep our heads when the days all melt into one another, and our brief moments of silence are stolen by those little blessings? Here are a few tips for staying sane amidst the craziness of motherhood.
1.) Plan Ahead
A little bit of planning can go a long way towards sanity. When we wake up without a plan it can leave us, and our children, feeling insecure and restless. A few minutes at night before bed is all it takes to give the coming day a sense of purpose. You don’t have to write out every little thing you hope to accomplish, although I know some of you do that already.
I’m talking to you, Type A’s…
A short list of the main things you hope to finish can often be all it takes to give you a sense of purpose when morning comes. If your list says nothing more than “Brush my teeth and shower”, then I say good job!
Whatever it takes, man.
Oh, this is a hard one, isn’t it? We finally get our little ones in bed at night, and the obvious smart choice would be to go to bed ourselves, but first…
There’s always so much to do, isn’t there? There’s the simple pleasure of watching Netflix, or reading a good book. And of course, the husband is hoping for a little attention of his own, if you know what I’m sayin’…
There’s nothing wrong with a little down time at night after the kids go to bed, and there’s certainly something to be said about stoking the marriage flames. But there’s also a lot of wisdom in shutting your eyes and giving in to slumber.
So make time for the important things (*wink*). Enjoy the non-essentials now and again (that’s you, Netflix!), and make sure you’re sleeping enough to function well in chaos.
3.) Find Purpose
All of us have something that makes our heart beat just a little faster – something that gives us a sense of purpose in this vast, chaotic world.
Perhaps that thing is right there inside your home. Maybe it’s handcrafting invitations for birthday parties, or decorating for the upcoming season. Maybe your passion is the written word, or you find your sense of purpose when you pick up a paint brush and stand before an empty canvas.
Perhaps you feel your heartbeat quicken when your children come to the table, ready for another day of homeschooling. Or maybe some of you feel a sense of purpose as you head to the office.
Whatever the case may be, embrace the unique gifts that you bring to this world, and chisel out time to develop those gifts, even if it’s only for a few stolen moments a day.
4.) Kick Guilt to the Curb
There’s simply no freedom in guilt. We weren’t meant to function beneath its weight. So when you feel it begin to sneak in, reminding you of all the many ways you dropped the ball in the last week…or day…or hour…speak truth aloud.
Recognize all the many ways in which you’re succeeding, and send guilt to the curb.
5.) Enlist Your Small People
We moms are notorious for trying to do it all alone. Granted, sometimes it’s easier to just do the hard work, because we know it will be done to our own (usually impossible) standards. But more often than not, we can pull our small people into the fold and enlist their help in taming the chaos.
Make helping a game. Let them dance and sing while cleaning the bathroom. Given them a mop, put on the soundtrack to Annie, and let them pretend they’re being forced to clean a wicked orphanage.
Whatever you need to do to involve those around you, do it. Because chaos is much better tolerated in numbers, am I right?
You, dear mom, are an amazing, extraordinary being. You do the impossible every single day, and the weight of that can sometimes feel overbearing.
The coming year brings with it new beginnings, fresh hope, and the potential for a whole new batch of crazy. What are you doing to prepare yourself for the days to come?