There is no such thing as a superhero mother. No Supermom. No Wonder Woman. But there are ways to still be a super mom — the best mom you can be for your particular children. Here are eight ways to stop trying to do it all and start learning to be you. After all, we are human beings, not human doings. Maybe if we focused less on what we do and more on who — and whose — we are, we can find that super mom status we are really longing for.
Relax, mom. Don’t be so uptight. Stop stressing as you look around at what other mothers are doing and how many things they seem to be accomplishing in their twenty-four hours each day. You don’t have to keep frantically racing to replicate someone else’s life. Instead, learn to seek and embrace the unique life God has for you at this age and stage of motherhood.
Take a deep breath. Pause. Stop stressing. Quit running. Just relax.
Now might be a good time to really reevaluate your schedule to see just where you are overcommitted or where you might be able to carve out some moments of white space. Get alone with a notebook and sketch out your typical week. What commitments do you have inside your home? At work? At church or other civic organizations? Now go back over them and ask yourself if there are any you are participating in that really aren’t the best fit for your life right now. If you identify such activities, come up with a plan of action for how you will release yourself from these commitments in order to free more time for your family or for yourself.
Let go of your desire to be everywhere at once. Or your tendency to schedule yourself too thin both inside and outside of your home. Accept the fact that you have limitations. That you cannot clone yourself and be two places at one time. The sooner you let go of the notion that you can have it all, all at once, the better. So relinquish.
Resolve that from now on you will not take on more than you were meant to do. When asked to take on a new responsibility outside of your home, learn to ask yourself a few questions: Is this really my call? Realize that every need is not necessarily your call. Can you also take on the added responsibility of praying for all the details and people that this new project will bring you in contact with? Ask yourself if five years from now you will be glad you took on this responsibility or if you will regret it. And most of all, ask yourself if you are saying yes to the responsibility just to please someone else. You should only be doing it to please God and because you feel that it is his plan for you right now.
Take on a task because you feel called, not just because you feel capable.
Learn to build in periods of rest in your week. God’s pattern at creation was for us to take one day each week to cease working and really rest. While many of us who are employed do not work on Sundays (or at least have one day off per week we can use as a Sabbath), sometimes we are just as busy on Sundays as we are any other day of the week. Getting caught up on housework. Or shopping. Spending time on the Internet or social media. Consider making Sundays a set-apart day to cease from any type of work and to instead focus on worship and rest.
Beyond just taking one day a week to rest and worship, build some time in for renewal. Renewal of your mind happens when you are involved in studying God’s Word both alone and with a group. If you can’t find a group to study with at your local church, consider joining our online Bible studies at Proverbs 31 Ministries (proverbs31.org). There,
Also renew your body. Make sure you are taking time to eat healthy. Build in time to exercise and enjoy fresh air when you can. Also be intentional to renew relationships that encourage and strengthen you and build you up in your mothering.
Make sure you have a sounding board of other people in your life who will help you work through the various options and set your schedule accordingly. A trusted friend or two, along with your husband if you have one, can help you see where you are stretched too thin when you can’t seem to notice it. Make sure your relationships include such people. Those who will be honest and open and have your best interests at heart. A mom should not be an island. She needs to surround herself with support and life-giving, rather than life-draining, relationships.
Be sure to revisit your commitments at least once, if not twice, per year. Hold them up to the Lord. Ask him if there is anything you currently have on your plate that you should remove. Also ask your family. Enlist the opinions of your husband — and your children, if they are old enough — when it comes to how you are spending your time. Perhaps you can’t see that an outside commitment is stressing you and messing with family life, but perhaps others who live in your home will notice it. Be open to their feedback. Take their thoughts into account. Make adjustments as needed.
No More One-Mom Band
I simply love the harp. I once attended a church where a teenager played it beautifully during the Sunday morning service. I could listen to it for hours! It was soothing and serene, peaceful and precise. The glorious sound that emitted from this single instrument was completely mesmerizing to me.
If I had the choice, I would much prefer to listen to one person play the harp rather than to hear the sounds that emerge from a one-man band. True, it might take a lot of coordination to be a one-man band. And certainly it can be comical at first and quite entertaining. However, over the long haul, I would much rather listen to one skilled harp player strumming a beautiful song on their single instrument than hear the clashing and honking of the side-show character and his clanging contraption.
When we learn to hone in on our calling and clear our too-full plate, we can begin to focus on making beautiful music in our life.
This includes how we spend our time both inside the home and with outside commitments. We each have a song to strum. We do not need to simply copy the score that others around us are following. As we take our concerns prayerfully to the Lord, along with our schedules, he will certainly help us to strike the unique balance that is best for us. He can help us to say so long to the striving to be Supermom and help us discover how to mother in our own distinctive way.
Watch the Video for Hoodwinked
Excerpted with permission from Hoodwinked: Ten Myths Moms Believe & Why We All Need to Knock It Off by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk, copyright Zondervan.
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Myth: A good mother can do it all, all at once. Mom, you cannot do it all! What has happened when you’ve tried? What has happened when you’ve given yourself grace to be imperfect, non-supermom? Come join the conversation on our blog! We want to hear from you!