I know a post on hope for overwhelmed mamas isn’t my normal content, but over the past few weeks I’ve had some messages over on Instagram from moms, asking questions like “how do you get so much done?” And “how do you keep your house so clean with little kids?”
I ended up having wonderful conversions with these women and I hope that I was able to encourage them, but it really got me thinking. So, I decided to write a blog post! I have written posts on motherhood before, but it has been a while and my hope is that this post will encourage many more.
Moms today have something in their lives that no generation before them has ever had – social media. I can’t help but think about my own mom and what her life was like with young babies.
My Dad accepted a job as a youth pastor in Connecticut, 900 miles away from home. There was no texting, no calling Mommy every day (long distance calls were expensive). My Mom was completely isolated and really all alone. They didn’t even have cable tv, so evenings were spent playing board games and shocker – actually talking to one another. Can you imagine?
I’m being a little silly, but my Mom tells me all the time that the run down apartment that her and my Dad shared was far from perfect. But she made the best of it, and it was enough.
Today, young moms carry something with them 24/7 that we can’t even imagine living life without – our phones. And while I love to be able to text my Mom who lives right down the street, or my Grandma who lives hundreds of miles away, phones can quickly rob us of our joy if we aren’t careful.
It is so easy to look at someone on social media and assume that their life is better than ours, and I honestly think it’s making life so much harder for young moms because we *think* we have it so much worse, we *think* we will never be as good as her, we *think* we must be failing because our homes don’t look a certain way.
So today I want to share some encouragement with you as well as a few tips I have for how I do get things done and keep my house SOMEwhat tidy but definitely not perfect. First, let me encourage you with these thoughts –
1. There are Different Seasons of Motherhood
So many times young moms reach out and say “how do you get so much done with three? I only have one and I can barely keep it together!”
There are different seasons of motherhood.
Every single year that you are a mom, life will look different. Some years will be extremely hard. Other years will be easier.
I remember how overwhelmed I was when I had Ethan, my first born. I was a bit of a perfectionist, a type A personality. Having a new baby was HARD for me. My life had completely changed, and getting used to that was difficult for me to say the least.
I remember saying things like “I’ll never sleep again!” And being so frustrated that I could “never get stuff done.”
But as you have more children (at least this was true for me) the expectation is different. You know there will be hard times, but you also know how quickly those times fly by. You know there will be sleepless nights, but you also know that “this too shall pass.”
And as your older kids get older, they become less dependent on Mommy.
SO young mama…if you have one or two and you’re comparing your life to a Mom with 4, 5 or 6 and wondering how she makes it look so easy, please remember that you are in a completely different stage than she is in.
You can read more about this topic here.
2. Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Moms
So…what if there IS another Mom in your life (or on social media) who DOES have the same number of kids that you do and somehow she STILL makes it look easy?
Don’t even go there!
The Bible tells us that comparing ourselves to others is not wise. You have NO idea what her life is like. Her kids could be different, her schedule could look different, she may even have outside help!
You really have no idea. Comparison will only rob you of your joy and make you question everyone and everything around you.
3. NO ONE is Perfect
I know we all know this, but it’s important to remind ourselves of it daily. My life is NOT perfect! No one’s is! My Instagram or Facebook “feed” might be pretty but if you really want to see the mess, start watching my stories.
Kitchens get messy. Boys get dirty. And toilets get so, so gross.
The last thing I ever want to do on my blog is make anyone feel less then or not good enough. I want to encourage and lift up and love other women, not make them feel discouraged.
So please know that everyone you see on social media has issues. Marital issues, parenting issues, mental issues….haha honestly though. It’s true. You may never know the battles and struggles that some face.
Some Tips for Overwhelmed Moms
So now that I’ve done my best to encourage you, I want to leave you with some tips that have helped me over the years as a work-at-home mom with three young boys.
1. Focus on Keeping the Main Rooms Tidy
For my own sanity, my “domain” aka the living room, dining room and kitchen have to remain tidy. That means every night before bed we do a quick cleanup and the boys help.
I keep an ottoman in the living room where we can chuck toys and it makes cleanup fast and easy.
If the main rooms of our home stay clean, I can breath at night even though the boys’ bedrooms look like a bomb went off, hah!
Then, every couple of weeks, I will tackle their rooms. I have them help me, and we go through each area together and organize toys as well as declutter. Obviously I have them clean their room more often, but their version of clean isn’t always the same as mine, and that’s okay.
There’s no way I can spend hours every day cleaning up their bedroom and trying to make them perfect. My boys are little and toys are meant to be played with. As they grow older, I will expect more of them but for now, it will be okay.
I wrote a whole post about keeping a tidy house with toddlers if you’d like to check it out here!
2. Develop a Rhythm
Kids really thrive when they know what to expect. I’m not saying life will always be perfectly scheduled, but do your best to develop a rhythm so that life is easier for you.
I really try to rise early and have coffee before my boys ever wake up. It doesn’t always happen, believe me. Especially when they are babies.
But do your best to create a rhythm for your kids so that you aren’t frustrated and they aren’t upset when you explain what’s happening next.
We have something called “quiet time” every afternoon where my youngest naps and my older boys read and write quietly in their bedrooms. It gives Mommy time to get some work done, and my boys expect it daily.
If you’re looking for different ways to keep your kids busy (other than screen time) I have a whole post about that here.
3. Rest in Knowing that God Sees You
This is the last point I want to leave you with that I hope will give you hope as overwhelmed mamas. You may feel alone, exhausted, and defeated. But God sees, and He knows. Rest in knowing that He is there to meet you where you are. When we are weak, He is made strong.
Do your very best, but trust Him with the rest. Give your days to Him. Tell Him how exhausted you are and ask for His strength and power to help you. He loves you so much, and He wants you to call His name.
There is no way on earth I could get through motherhood without the Lord. He has carried me through the hardest of days (and nights) and I’m so thankful for His constant love and comfort.
Sweet mamas, I hope and pray this post was an encouragement to you. If it was, will you let me know in the comments below? Thanks for reading and please know that I’m praying for you today!