We all know that mothering is definitely hard work sometimes, but it seems that everywhere you turn in our culture today, downright defeatist messages prevail. T-shirts, articles, memes, and books all claim that you lose yourself in motherhood, end up living for nap time, are just trying to hold on until bedtime and a glass of wine, and that the only option for moms is to live a life of dry shampoo, interrupted conversations, lack of identity, no time to oneself, and misery all the livelong day.
This is serious – moms everywhere are doing themselves in with this kind of depressing talk, and young women are being discouraged from ever wanting to be moms because of the horrible way motherhood is portrayed. It is true that motherhood is hard (my two littles are 22 months apart – I know exhaustion!). But it is untrue that we have to believe the discouraging stereotypes of motherhood. Here are 5 practical ways to rise above mommy exhaustion (HINT: You can do it!):
Spend time in God’s presence – your relationship with Christ is the anchor for your soul!
Busy mamas regularly say they have no time to spend in God’s Word. But we need to realize that we are too busy with the various roles and responsibilities of our lives not to be in God’s Word. It is God’s Word which equips us for the work of motherhood! Without it, we are ill-prepared to mother well.
I spent a lot of time in Lies Moms Believe talking about the importance of being in the Word and sharing practical tips for how we can do so in the midst of busyness. Then I shared this admonition: do not buy into the lie that you have to wait for the perfect quiet atmosphere in order to spend time with God! The power is not in the atmosphere surrounding your reading, but rather in the alive, active Word of God itself! And don’t wait until your children aren’t present to be in the Word, either – they need to see you prioritizing it! Put on a twenty minute show for your kids if you need to, and get yourself filled up and rejuvenated by the Word!
Get moving – one of the best ways to clear your mind is through exercise!
By nature, I do not like exercising. Prioritizing exercise doesn’t come naturally to me, but I have found that when I do take the time to hop on the treadmill or when I enjoy a dance party with my kiddos to praise and worship music, it makes a huge difference! Those endorphins start flowing, and I feel refreshed!
Dress nicely – motherhood is a God-given position, so treat it with the dignity and respect it deserves.
On days when I stay in my PJs for most (if not all!) of the day, I feel far more sluggish and worn down (emotionally, mentally, and physically!). When, however, I take a couple minutes to put on a favorite outfit, it makes such a difference! Don’t legalistically take this to mean you have to be dressed to the nines every single day, but do try it out and see if it doesn’t make you feel better!
Listen to truth – filling our minds with truth is energizing!
With audio Bibles, podcasts, music, sermons, and audiobooks available on our phones, there is no limit to the encouraging, uplifting, energizing content we can access at any time of the day or night! The YouVersion Bible app, Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday audiobook, and Risen Motherhood podcast are some of my top recommendations.
Be in community and enlist the help of others – we weren’t meant to do life alone!
Hebrews 10:24-25 encourages us to not forsake assembling together, but to instead spur one another on to love and good works. Though this likely can refer to church attendance, I also believe it is speaking to the importance of doing daily life together side-by-side, in community. Whether it is having your mom babysit, having a teenage girl from church be a mother’s helper, having mom friends over for a playdate or book club, or being the shoulder to cry on when the going gets tough, we need each other! And doing life together lightens the load for all of us, energizing us in the process!
While motherhood is indeed hard work made up of some particularly tiring days, it is good and worthwhile, life-changing and important work. And there are easy, daily tips and tricks we can put into practice to help us rise above the exhaustion! We don’t have to be victims – we can be more than overcomers instead!