What’s stressing you out today?
Were you late to morning drop-off AGAIN? Did the dog chew up your kid’s favorite (& expensive) shoe? Did you forget to start dinner early enough, and now it’s the “witching hour” and everyone is melting down (while you’re reading Facebook)? Maybe you’re a working mom who’s meeting deadlines and kicking butt on the job, but your kids keep getting sick.
There are so many stressful seasons in a mother’s life, and they may not be the same for all of us. Mom-Life begins at pregnancy, continues into the whirlwind infant stage, gains momentum once you have to get that precious preschooler (and her mama) on a school schedule. Add homework, sports schedule, then hormones and it’s no wonder why Moms are gladly joining the wine-o club.
Some of the stress triggers don’t just focus on the littles we are raising; sometimes, we have outside things putting a clamp of insanity on our lives. Finances are always being twisted by the unforeseen – houses, health, or job shifts. Relationships affected by all the aforementioned add even more to life’s spin cycle.
We lived ten of the last twenty years in earthquake land – Southern California. Buildings have to be able to withstand the shake and shimmy of whatever the underground faults bring. Likewise, if we stand rigid and immovable in the face of crazy, we will most certainly snap under the pressure. Instead, we have to give a little while still holding affixed to our foundation.
So how do we keep calm in this life of chaos? I’ve got some practical ways we can all stay centered in the seasons of chaos:
QUIET – I know, I know, mornings are the hardest for most of us. To quote Kat Lee of Hello Mornings, “Wake up FOR you day and not TO your day.” This really is more about a mindset than it is about the amount of time. Quiet time can also be at any point and in any place during your day where you intentionally find focus. My daily goal is to read my Bible and pray at various times, and it’s something I never regret. It gives me the most important thing to have in the midst of chaos: PERSPECTIVE.
CONNECT– Be with others, whether it’s your spouse, your best friend, or a group of others who enjoy the same activities you do. Get coffee/tea/a cupcake. Whatever stage your kids are at, plan something that works the easiest. But set aside the time that cultivates community CONNECTION and not just isolation.
SWEAT – Endorphins are the best way to get that re-centering. There are so many options – from home, at the gym or in the great outdoors! Walk, run, lift, jump, dance, or play your way to a better day! Instead of calling it the dreaded word “exercise” let’s just EXERT ourselves. If you can’t get to the gym, crank up the tunes and dance till you drop (or your kids beg you to stop). Your brain receptors will feel better able to handle whatever comes next!
REST – Be sure to take the time you need to be your best. Whether that takes the form of a nap, a bath, or a good book, just make sure you have some Mama time every week. Ask your husband, your parents, your best friend or a babysitter. One hour is worth the effort to RECHARGE.
Whatever you do, don’t give in or give up. We are all in this together. Tomorrow has a great chance of being a better day. And when the going is tough, always remember to ask for HELP!