Have you found yourself struggling to bring calm to the chaos of your home recently? Mom-life can sure get messy and managing your family can seem futile when you’re beyond exhausted from the moment you get up.
Kids Home with Nothing to Do!
Your home may be similar and it doesn’t take long before the messes take over and you are experiencing chaos when you want calm!
Has any of your kids ever said, “I’m so bored!”
Even if they haven’t actually expressed boredom by putting it into words, their actions can say it loud and clear. Bickering with siblings, making messes by scribbling on the wall with permanent markers or fingernail polish are just some of the things that your kids can do when they are not occupied with mom-directed activities.
One of my kids was ‘artistic’ from the time she was a toddler. She went through a stage where she hadn’t discovered paper and was using the wall. One day when I was totally exhausted and crashed on the sofa, she got into my fingernail polish and ‘decorated’ my new bedspread with bright pink!
The worst part was that she collaborated with her 4-year-old brother and they tried to clean the mess with a white dress shirt!
Of course, they were supposed to be napping too.
The bedspread was a mess! Maybe it was ruined?
Instead of throwing out the bedspread, that thrifty-thing in me came to life, and after 4 washes and every imaginable detergent, the stain was gone and only the material had faded!
Mom-Life is Messy, Lovely, and Real
Mom-life is messy and lovely at the same time. But it’s so real!
This is why years later I wake up with a heavy feeling of being a complete failure.
During the moments that followed my discovery that my sweet children had created a mural with makeup on my bedroom wall along with a masterpiece on my bedspread with fingernail polish, I wasn’t the calmest mom ever.
I was a mess.
I was stressed.
I was trying to get to the bottom of the situation to discover who was the villain so I could teach them to behave!
In retrospect, years later, it’s so much easier to see what actually was happening than it was at that moment.
Wisdom isn’t always there when you are young and in your twenties. Maybe for you, it is but it took me years.
I only hope that what I am sharing will help you see through the messes in your own life so you can give grace to yourself and your kids.
If I had only realized that I was not alone in my mess. Other moms didn’t admit that they ever had fails. I just bumbled along making a real mess continually.
If I had only demonstrated God’s grace in that moment it would have cleared up the mess a whole lot better in my own heart while living Christ for my kids to see.
Living in the Moment
Because one day your house will be quiet and lonely because they’ll all be grown!
I never looked ahead and wished my kids would hurry and grow up.
I lived in the good and bad moments of my imperfect mom-life.
When your kids are home all the time because they are little, or you homeschool them, or its summer, or extended break because of the COVID pandemic, it won’t always be wonderful like you see posted on your social feed.
At least, not if life is real at your house and if the truth-be-told.
Your kids are sinners and so are you! Even if you are saved, family life isn’t perfect like we dreamed.
I thought I could pull off this parenting thing and improve on how my parents raised me. What was I thinking?!
Living in the moment and finding solutions is the best way of pulling off this mom-life-experience to God’s glory.
5 Tips for Managing Messy Mom-Life
One way of managing your messy mom-life is to get a mug that’ll make you smile!
When I first became a mom, I thought it would be easy. Looking down into the eyes of my firstborn son was the most amazing moment of my life.
His tiny body was perfect. His fingers were so intricately designed by my creator God.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14
It was a happy moment in my life with many happy moments to follow.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would ever be difficult. What on earth was I thinking?!
There were things I needed for mothering but back then, I just wasn’t equipped.
It isn’t easy having my kids grown. There are still moments that are difficult but that is for another post. Another time.
There are ways to get around the difficult messy moments of mom-life and that is by managing the messes with these 5 tips.
I know this list isn’t complete and you might want to share tips you’ve found that work.
I didn’t want to bore you with 14 top tips because it all boils down to me not having it all together even now that the kids are grown!
- Stop and breathe deep! No special breathing techniques, just breathe in deep the beautiful air that God created. Count to ten. Whatever will help restore a little calm before you deal with the stress the situation has brought to your moment.
- Accept that your home, child, situation, and YOU are messy! Life is full of messes. Life is imperfect and so is your child. Step back and take in the situation for a moment before having a reactionary response. I wish someone had helped me with this sooner.
- Invite Jesus into your situation! Take a quick moment to pray. Invite Jesus to be part of your response before jumping all over whatever just happened and you will see a major difference in the calm you can give your child as you respond. Oh, how my younger self needed this advice! Prayer is not just as you start or end your day. It should be breathed out the entire day.
- Give your child grace as you deal with the situation they created! You can’t go back in time to fix situations you made worse. The older I get, and the more messes I have made, the more I have experienced God’s grace. If I would go back in time, I would have given more grace the day my kids painted the bedspread with fingernail polish!
- Direct your child to do an activity! Kids get themselves in trouble when they don’t know what to do with themselves. As moms, we get too busy and often don’t stop to spend time with our kids. Directing your child in an activity is relational while stimulating their cognitive abilities.
Jesus is the Anchor for Your Soul
We tend to look at our kids as being the problem or the one having the issues with their behavior or attitude. Too often, I found it was myself being annoyed (yes, annoyed) because MY time was being interrupted and I had to stop what “I” needed to get done.
The problem was MY messy heart.
I needed Jesus to be the anchor for my soul. You need this too!
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, Hebrews 6:19
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
What to do when you’re tired?
I thought my kids were taking a nap. Exhausted I fell asleep.
One of my biggest problems while raising kids was burning the candle at both ends. I stayed up late and got up early.
Nothing was a greater recipe for messy mom-fails!
The later I stayed up, the slower my thinking. It took me longer to get done what I thought was important.
Here are some things that will help you change-up stressful situations with your kids and help you maintain calm while living life’s mom messes:
- Get to bed earlier!
- Take reliable supplements to balance your cycle and emotions!
- Catch a nap IF your kiddos are actually sleeping!
What to do when you’re weary of it all?
Raising kids seems to be never-ending (although it really does end) and it is easy to get weary of it all. Most of the time, all that I needed as a break but it never happened until they all grew up.
Neither my parents nor my husband’s mom lived close by. I cannot emphasize how important it is for a mom to have a break and be able to get together with a girl-friend or simply get alone once in a while. A coffee shop outing would have been a dream!
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
So, if you don’t have those options either, can your husband watch your kids for a couple of hours?
Or could you sit at the kitchen table while they’re napping with your favorite coffee or tea and a book? There is nothing better than refreshing your soul in Jesus!
What to do about the chaos?
I don’t know what home with even one child doesn’t get chaotic on a daily basis.
If your home is quiet all day and you are always calm and collected, maybe you can share this with a friend because many moms are desperate for help!
You can have a time during the day for calm especially when your kids are home all day.
They can be encouraged to spend a half-hour reading a book in their room each afternoon while you set the refresh button.
You can have them pick up their toys before meals and that will cut down on the messy atmosphere in your home.
But most of all is spending time with Jesus each day so the chaos does not affect your heart so much.
The Last Thing You Need to Know About Managing Your Messy Mom-Life
The two most important things to remember is to invite Jesus into your messy mom-life in each situation because He is the anchor for your soul.
Are you struggling with life? How has this encouraged your heart today and what is your biggest takeaway?