Tired Moms: When you can’t do it All

Any tired moms out there?

tired moms

No, we can’t do it all.

I wish I could do it all.

I mean, isn’t that what society has told us, moms? That we can do it all.  That we SHOULD be able to do it all.  That doing it all empowers us, makes us better.  I am woman, hear me roar and all that.

I don’t know about you, but many days my roar sounds more like a tiny meow.

Because, there are a million and one things to do and only one mom in this house.  There are meals to be made and schoolwork to get done, blogs to get written, and church commitments to be had.  Chickens and ducks to feed, and puppies to train, gardens to plant,  and extracurriculars to go to.

And mountains, I mean MOUNTAINS of laundry to be done.

I know you know what I’m talking about, moms.  This is why moms are so tired.

And if that wasn’t enough, I gotta try to fit in some exercise in there.  I mean, I’m not as young as I once was, and if I want this body to work well for a long time, I better make that a priority.  Last time the treadmill was a priority was  5 months ago.  And I feel the effects of not making that a priority.

And then “they” tell me I need some alone time to recharge myself in motherhood.  That’s a good one.  What is alone time? And tell me when should I pencil that in on my calendar?  And has anyone seen a mother trying to “recharge” while a long to-do list sits in the back of her mind?  No recharging is happening in this moments, I promise you.

And who are “they” anyway??

And if all that wasn’t enough,  all it takes is one sick child through the night to bring us tired moms to the brink of exhaustion.  You know, that point of tiredness where you find yourself in tears without really being able to explain why.

The truth is, for me, personally I am in one of the most joyful, but BUSIEST times of my life.  It is a simple life out here, but still a full, busy one when young kids are involved.  And many people will tell me to stop piling so much on my plate.

But dear tired moms, do you ever have times in your life that you look at your plate, and you just can’t find anything you can let go?  It’s a season of life where almost everything on your plate is necessary.

But notice, I did say “almost”.

Because guess what? I can’t do everything.  and neither can you.  It doesn’t matter what those Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest posts tell you – NO ONE is doing it all.  And even on my very full plate, I can find at least SOMETHING small to let go of in this season.  And sometimes I need to do that, because I can feel too tired to be a good mom.

What I’ve learned when I’ve looked a little closer is that we all have areas we just can’t get to.  I’ve come across quite a few bloggers who I thought had this amazing ability to do it all, only for them to share that no, they aren’t doing it all – they have a cleaning lady come in weekly to clean their house.  Can we just say, thank you blogging moms for your honesty?!  You make us feel normal!

Or maybe it isn’t a blogger who you feel does it all, but maybe it is a mom who is rocking it in the housekeeping area, but actually has kids old enough to take themselves to their extra-curriculars alleviating the stress of one thing on their plate.  Or there might be the mom who has managed to keep her health as a priority, but hasn’t sent out a cute family picture christmas card in years.  Or forgets birthdays.  Or hasn’t figured out how to commit to even one area to volunteer with their child’s school or church or soccer team or Brownies club.

Point being, no one – I promise you, no one is doing it all.  So let’s stop trying to be that one person who can.

Yes, I am blogging, and schooling, and gardening, and caring for animals.  You know what I am not doing?

Well, for starters, the mountain of laundry.  At least, not enough of it.

And sleeping.  Definitely not enough sleeping happening over here.

And doing my hair.  It gets done once a week for church.  The rest of the week it is usually pulled back in a messy ponytail, which matches my yoga pants I live in while at home.  Ain’t nobody got time for much else here.

our grass often grows to the size of a small jungle before we get to it.

Sometimes I miss church functions, bringing the kids to their soccer night, and parties we get invited to.

And I guarantee a few of those balls I actually have up in the air just aren’t getting the quality attention they need.  Because there are too many balls in my juggling hand to pay attention to.

And let’s just talk for a moment about the mental exhaustion that adds to us being tired moms.  You know what I’m talking about.  the part of your brain that remembers that kid 1 likes mayo on their sandwich but only a very small amount, kid 2 likes butter, and kid 3 likes mayo and mustard, never together on the same side of bread.

Moms, we get pulled in a thousand different directions.  It is okay to not be “fine” in your season of motherhood.  It is okay to admit to being overwhelmed.  Because the truth is, many, many other tired moms find themselves in the same boat.  It is part of raising children.  It is full of joy, full of adventure, and very full of sleepless nights and insanely busy days.

Just because we confess to being worn out, tired moms doesn’t mean we love our children and our families any less.  It doesn’t mean we don’t love the life we lead. It just means we are tired from giving it our all to these amazing little human beings God has entrusted to us.  And thankfully, it is just for a season.  Sometimes a REALLY, REALLY long season, but still, just a season.

Sometimes we have to admit we can’t do it all so we can start re-evaluating what is important to us, and what we want to keep and what we can let go.  In 5 years, what will we look back on and wish we spent more time on? What will we wish we spent less time on?

If your plate is like mine, where you can’t find many things to remove, start out small.  Find something that might weaken your membership, even just a little,  to the tired moms club.  Something that might provide a little more rest in your life.

And no, I don’t mean letting go of the laundry.  That will come back to haunt you eventually if you ignore it forever. 🙂

But what if you can just remove something small.  On this blog you will see that sometimes I post recipes that are a little bit time consuming, (but also delicious!)  Like,  homemade hamburger buns and burgers. And some seasons I make a lot of that food.  But some seasons involve simple meals like rice and chicken, tacos, and a LOT of spaghetti.  Because that’s all I have the time or energy for some weeks.  Other weeks involve missing one of our two soccer nights for the boys.  And other days mean choosing to say no to an event invite so that I can spend one-on-one time with my daughter when it has just been too long since we’ve done that.

Because while I can’t let go of schooling or caring for animals on the homestead, or the mountain of laundry as much as I’d like to, I can let go of elaborate meals for the time being.  I can be okay with missing soccer night once in awhile when there are two per week.  I don’t have to go to every single event we get invited.

And don’t forget, it’s okay to say no to another commitment being asked of you.  It’s okay to say “I just can’t sign up for that right now.”  Whether it be for your child’s school, extra-curriculars, or even church.  Yes, be involved, serve where and when you can, but also be okay with taking a breather and putting a limit to what you say yes to or sign up for.  You don’t have to say yes to everything that is asked of you to volunteer for.

Sure, sometimes people will be upset when you say no.  They may not understand.  They might give you reasons why you need to make THIS PARTY, EVENT, or ACTIVITY a priority.  Their feelings might be hurt.

But more than likely they will get over it.

We need to be okay with saying no sometimes, because here’s the thing: you and I, we aren’t invincible. We get tired.  Our bodies and our minds need rest.  It makes us better moms, better wives, better friends when we aren’t tired moms running on an empty tank.  I am convinced tired mom syndrome is very real!

What if we gave ourselves permission?  Permission to push aside the to-do list and just play with the kids for a day.  Permission to ignore the dishes for another few hours so we could go for a walk in nature?  Permission to say no to another outside commitment so we can just “be” with our spouses and our children?

When it come to being busy, when it comes to feeling overwhelmed we often have this habit of saying yes to a new commitment if we just happen to not have any other outside commitment scheduled into that block of time.  We don’t feel like we can say no, even though the thought of adding one more thing causes anxiety.  We should be able to do all that is asked of us, we think.  If that block of time is “free” we feel like the right thing to do is say yes.  Except that, do you know you are allowed to say no, that you are busy during that time for other reasons besides outside commitments?  Do you know that you are allowed to be “busy” playing with your children, walking with your husband, or just reading a good book while you take a much needed rest?

What if we lowered our expectations of ourselves, just a little? What if we didn’t demand we do it all.  What if we stopped telling ourselves that everyone else on social media is doing it all?  Because it JUST IS NOT TRUE.

Some people just hide the balls they are dropping better than others. 🙂

There is no such thing as perfection when it comes to motherhood.  There IS such thing as good days and bad days, easy times and hard times, tiring seasons and restful seasons.

And if we let go of trying to do it all, we will see those restful seasons sooner rather than later.  We don’t have to feel too tired to be a good mom.

But for the time being, just hang on, tired moms.  Say no when you need to, and when there just isn’t enough you can take off your plate, take one moment at a time, allowing yourself some slack to how well things get completed.

Remind yourself that you CAN do this stage of motherhood, but you don’t have to do it all.

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