Being a wife and mother at home is HARD…can I get a witness? I’ll never pretend it’s not. Some days seem to flow rather seamlessly into the next, and other days are full of those “you’ve got to be kidding me” moments.
You know the days…
You’re changing the baby’s poopy diaper when you hear glass shatter on the floor. You must run because you know the other children are barefooted. “Get out of the kitchen everybody!” while you go get the broom. The phone rings. You let it ring this time, but make a mental note to check the number and call back. Another child screams from downstairs–not a “help, I’m dying” scream, but a “he took my baby” scream, so you know it needs dealt with but has to wait in light of this glass emergency. “Here, can you finish sweeping?”, you hand the broom to the oldest.
The scream downstairs was actually, “He threw my baby in the toilet” scream, so you begin to fish. “Where’s the baby?” You ask. Not THE baby, but the next baby up 😉
“Oh, she’s playing in her room“. Oh good…you can relax a bit and take care of business. Oh my word, the other baby’s on the bed without a diaper! (You know what that means.)
You remember that the seven-year old needed help with her math problem, so you hurry to diaper the baby…the other baby, the one playing sweetly in her room? Well she was, except she decided to dress her baby doll…with all the clothes out of her dresser.
Maybe it’s a bit of exaggeration, maybe not. But I didn’t even mention the gourmet meal you must prepare, the shower and sprucing up you’ll do for your husband (c’mon ladies), the phone calls, the appointments, the music lessons….
Now that I think about it, it takes nerves of steel to do this job! Last night, sitting in our living room, I heard the faint sound of the 2-year old dragging the kitchen chair up to the counter to retrieve a cookie. My husband was completely unaware. Now this is not an insult to men…but God gave them a special ability to tune things out, I think. He asked her, “Where did you get that cookie?” And I said, “You didn’t hear her dragging the chair?” He grinned and shook his head. I said, “That’s it…I have sensory overload. I hear everything, I see everything, I smell everything…”
But I said all that to say this... yes, motherhood is stressful. But in the midst of the chaos that can be LIFE, we simply MUST nurture the relationships in our home. How we relate to our children and our husbands is paramount! It is so easy to let the frustrations, the “overload” squelch our daily joy, but with a little concerted effort, we can demonstrate to our families the peace of God that transcends understanding.
Do what you have to do…deep breath, a walk outside, whatever you need to keep the right perspective, do it. Relationships are not built in the scheduled “family time” you lay aside; they’re made in the small moments all throughout the day. How you answer each other, whether you stop to listen and look each other in the eyes, a tender touch on the back or face or arm, all those reassurances that tell them, “I’m on your side, and I love being with you”.
Satan is roaming the earth, seeking whom he may devour. He would like nothing else than to destroy our families through the little subtle ways we can neglect our relationships. Remember the song? “It’s a slow fade.” Families don’t crumble in a day. But “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world“.
A few of my simple stress busters…what are yours?
- Smile. Whether you feel like it or not. Force yourself to wear a big smile for a few minutes and it will change your countenance.
- Sing. A silly song if you have to 😉
- Tickle. This works well especially if the children are grumpy too.
- A funny video. I have been known to look up our favorite comedians on youtube for a quick stress relief–we all gather around and laugh.
- A walk.
- Prayer. Pray specifically for those around you who are suffering. That will bring things back to perspective in a hurry.
Jesus had to get away and rest every now and then, from all the people pulling on him. But he returned quickly, with a renewed vigor to serve.