Dear Tired Mama…

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I’ve had a rough winter. It has rained more here in Texas this winter than I ever remember it raining. There’s also two things you need to know about me: 1) I hate the rain. 2) I hate the cold. Needless to say, it’s been a long winter. As a mom, it’s tough when it rains. You have to get out in the rain to drop off and pick up kids from all sorts of activities, and you also have to get all of your littles out in the rain. Plus, they can’t go outside and get any energy out, so my house has been a mess full of forts, wrestling matches, and just general dumping out of toys everywhere.

I was running on fumes already with two of my boys playing basketball, and then I got sick. I have now had a cough and congestion for three straight weeks. Just as I was beginning to feel better, one of the kids got sick. Then, my little man got the flu. I am reminded just how high maintenance he can be. The nights are long. He’ll fuss and want a sip of juice. Then he’ll change his mind and want milk. Then he’ll want me to pat his belly. Ya’ll, I can’t make this stuff up. I feel like a zombie. I probably look like one too. My oldest gave me a hard time yesterday because I almost passed our house when I was bringing him home from baseball practice. I told him it had been a long day. What I really thought was, it’s been a long month. A long winter. A long couple years without his dad. Without help coming in the door at 5:30. Or ever. It’s been a long few years trying to balance all of my typical duties like dishes, laundry, homeschooling, and meal planning plus all of the things he took care of like finances, running boys to practices, and generally running the family. Can you relate?

Do you ever get tired of being tired? I have good news for you. Spring is coming. Today is the second straight day we’ve had sun here in Texas. Today, we will be going to our first baseball game, compliments of my oldest son. I’m still tired, but there’s hope. Maybe you need to hear that too. Maybe you can’t remember the last time you didn’t feel exhausted. The last time you had a break. God wants you to know that his mercies are new every morning. It may have been a long winter, but spring is coming. I can’t tell you when your life will get easier, but I want you to know that God will not abandon you in this season he’s placed you in. Someday, you will be able to look back and see how far God has brought you. Your life doesn’t look like you anticipated, but whose does? Everyone has struggles, your’s are just different than you expected.

What do you do in the meantime? How do you keep going when you’re exhausted? Concentrate on the important things, and let the other stuff go. Find ways, even little ones, to simplify your days. Give yourself grace and space to breathe. It’s OK to occasionally take a break. You can’t keep going nonstop; you must take care of yourself so that your train doesn’t come screeching to a halt. When time is at a minimum, it’s easy to neglect yourself. Believe me, I’ve skipped plenty of meals to save time. I end up tired, cranky, and not feeling well. Believe it or not, coffee is not a meal. I know. I’ve tried that too.

Focus on your accomplishments. It’s usually not good to toot our own horn, but as moms, I think we focus on our failures all too often. Make a list of things you’ve accomplished – even the seemingly insignificant ones. Have your kids bathed in the last week? Congratulations. Have you bathed in the last week? Good job. Do you feed your kids? Keep up the good work. Celebrate all of your accomplishments.

Take a moment to look around you. It’s easy to see only the negative when you look around, but if you take some time, I’m sure you’ll find plenty of things to be grateful for too. If they’re like mine, your kids probably like to complain and whine. They may have trouble getting along sometimes. However, when push comes to shove, my kids can be pretty great. On one of the days when I felt my worst, my ten-year-old, who usually tries his hardest to get out of work, actually offered to do the dishes for me. On another day, when I wasn’t feeling that great, and little guy’s fever came up crazy high despite Motrin, I had to cut out of dinner prep to take him to an urgent care clinic. My oldest got off of Fortnite without even complaining and finished up dinner. When I returned home two hours later, with a sickly, flu-ridden toddler, my oldest had cleaned the entire kitchen, done the dishes, and left dinner on the stove for me. Our kids can be pretty great when they want to be.

When you’re struggling with exhaustion, don’t allow Satan to steal your hope. The dark days of winter can sometimes leave us floundering to find the light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s hope that keeps our souls tethered to the Lord. It’s hope that gives us the strength we need to keep going, to keep trusting. Don’t give up, sweet friend. Spring is coming.

 

Side note: Sometimes, you just need a good laugh. Ask your kids to do a dance or put on a skit for you. If that fails, watch stupid videos on Facebook. I found one the other day of a mom who was trying her hardest to recreate supermodel commercials. I laughed so hard I cried.

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